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Reviewed by Denise Gabbard

Eugene Scruggs is an international scholar. He has studied in Paris and introduced many college students to the French culture via an immersion program in France which led to a Master’s Degree for participants. In later years, he also traveled extensively to Europe, Africa, Asia, Central America, and South America as Director of Student Exchanges and Study Abroad for the University of South Florida. These are quite lofty achievements for a boy born in a clapboard house in Cullman County, Alabama.

From his humble beginnings growing up on a hardscrabble farm in rural northern Alabama, Dr. Scruggs shares with us what life was like growing up and how that meager, though loving, existence shaped the man he was to become. It also paints a poignant picture of what life was like for generations past as they struggled to make a living and feed their families. I think most Americans can relate to his tales, regardless of which part of the country their family called home, as most Americans during these times had similar struggles.

Part of what Dr. Scruggs says in his preface to the book – “Regardless of where our journey takes us, neither place nor time erase the thoughts and actions of youth” – rings very true for most people in my generation. Being one of the so-called “Baby Boomers,” people in our generation have raised children and in some cases, have grandchildren as well. Yet no matter how far we go from where we grew up, we keep in touch with the people and the places that formed our values and the “grownups” that we have reluctantly become.

The View from Brindley Mountain is a wonderful memoir of growing up, and will hit especially close to home for those from the south. However, it also has great lessons for those who were as far removed as the large northern industrial cities or the fledgling towns of the American west.

Rating: 4/5

With a diverse but unsatisfying career background, Denise made the decision to pursue what she loves: writing! Her first novel, of course, is in the works. 

Review copy was provided free of any obligation by Eugene Scruggs. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.