Ellen Nichols was born in the Deep South in the mid-1940s. One of four daughters of a Methodist minister, her childhood was spent moving from small town to small town across the South; Alabama, Florida, Georgia. Her memoir recreates lazy summer days, playing dress up with her sisters, and getting into various scrapes–little Ellen had a strong sense of mischief!
But of course, growing up in the Deep South in the 50s and 60s meant that the reality of race was never far from the surface. Ellen’s father had a strong sense of right and wrong and he championed racial equity, but he was of course in a tiny minority. Meanwhile Ellen and her sisters would drink from the “Colored” fountains and plop themselves down at the back of the bus, or order from the “Colored” window at the local Dairy Queen. When Ellen was in college, she marched for Civil Rights and was threatened with expulsion.
This forms a background to the book, the bulk of which is anecdotal in nature and tells stories of the author’s various boyfriends and relationships. Although wild at heart, Ellen was Preacher’s Daughter by training. She made friends easily (no doubt from that constant moving) and was the life of the party, and her naiveté no doubt saved her from what might have been some scary situations.
Remember Whose Little Girl You Are is a delightful book. It will remind you of listening to your grandma tell stories of her life. The stories go down easy, and the short chapters make it easy to set down and pick up again. Perfect for a summer afternoon.