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Bringing to the attention, an endearing tribute to life and family, author C. Blaine Hyatt’s, Old Shop Stories offers an unforgettable, multi-perspective, journey into his family’s past, which ultimately presents a legacy filled with love and wisdom. Presented through his unique collection of vignettes of memories, which do well to both teach lasting life lessons as well as entertain.

This is an instantaneously engaging body of work that is altogether delightful. The cover a variety of aspects of life, ripened with life borne wisdom, the stories stem from a sharing of the various experiences of loved ones, gone but not forgotten. Delving into the past, the vignettes in this book skillfully leads readers on a mindset altering journey to vantage, a point in history where the standard of working, living, existing and relating, was of a completely different nature, there were no cellphones, or modern conveniences that made life easier people had to live by their own gumption, grit, hard work and morality.

As well, author Hyatt’s collection of stories helps to connect the past and the present by offering this learned series of  common sense guideposts for living life to its fullest. Each story holds a valuable perspective and life lesson to approaching life. And although these experiences are rooted deep in the past, the life lessons, or the messages of common sense still hold true in today’s modern life.

Collectively the stories and experiences come from multiple respected family members of author Hyatt’s family, including his mother and grandparents as well. However, the majority of the stories center around his father’s experiences. Chester Hyatt, the author’s father was born in 1903, in Utah. A man of wisdom, and strength his life exemplified, resilience, creativity, kindness and tenacity. The many stories that include him cover the history of an expansive life, including farming, horses, his devotion to his family, acts of heroism, helping others when needed and much more.

Altogether, I truly enjoyed  author C. Blaine Hyatts’s Old Shop Stories, easily relatable, the stories draw life in a detailed and literate manner which did well to reveal the atmosphere and way of life of a bygone time, set in an often challenging location and explored from the telling perspectives of those that lived it.

Moreover, what also makes this book an appealing read, is the addition of family pictures, included at the end which gave faces to the many personalities mentioned. Additionally, the inclusion of a bevy of sensible quotes gleaned from those wise and knowledgeable familial sources offers a great added perk to the read. Wholly, this read was a well written , often heart warming, as well as, an easy flowing memorable read, which did well to leave behind, an inspiring and wonderful literary legacy. This is a book that I highly recommend, especially if you enjoy literate, leaps into the past.

Susan Brown, Pacific Book Review

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