Carol Bodensteiner, Memoir (Iowa Farm) and Historical Fiction

Biography of Carol Bodensteiner from I’m a writer inspired by the people, places and culture of the Midwest. . . . I am privileged to have my writing included in a number of anthologies.

Growing Up Country: Memories of an Iowa Farm Girl


Book Description

In my memoir, GROWING UP COUNTRY: MEMORIES OF AN IOWA FARM GIRL, I share stories about growing up on a family farm in the middle of the United States, in the middle of the 20th Century, a way of farm life that is rapidly disappearing from the American landscape.

My Thoughts

This memoir of growing up on an Iowa farm (with two sisters and no brothers) in the 1950s is a treasure, especially since I also grew up on an Iowa farm (with one sister, no brothers) in the 1950s. Dad never wanted chickens around and didn’t have dairy cows, so I learned a lot about the dailiness of dealing with both. My sister and I were also in 4-H, so I could relate to preparing demonstrations and projects to take to the county fair. A family working together like they did to keep a small farm running and economically viable is a disappearing way of life. “Growing Up Country” is a wonderful way to keep those day alive.

Go Away Home


Book Description

GO AWAY HOME, my World War One-era novel, is a coming of age novel that will resonate with anyone who’s confronted the conflict between dreams and reality and come to recognize that getting what you want often means giving up something else you want just as much. GO AWAY HOME won the 2014 Readers’ Favorite SILVER MEDAL for Historical Fiction and was a FINALIST in the 2015 Next Generation Indie Book Awards. Lake Union Publishing, an imprint of Amazon Publishing, acquired and re-launched GO AWAY HOME in July 2015.

My Thoughts

A lovely redemption story of head-strong Liddie who grows up on an Iowa farm, longs for the excitement of a city, and comes of age just before the Great War. The story touches on so many of the important themes of that era–a woman earning a living on her own, war in Europe (and an Iowa boy being the first American soldier killed in France), registering for the draft, German immigrants harassed as possible spies for speaking their old language, women’s suffrage, orphan train children from the east, the deadly influenza. Even though Liddie faced many quandaries and heartaches, she eventually found redemption in her own story. (My grandmother was an Iowa farm girl who married about the same time as Liddie, and faced many of the same obstacles, including suffering from the virulent flu. A sturdy woman, she said she would have welcomed death except that she had two toddlers and a baby (my mother) to take care of.)

I was also interested in the Author’s Note in the back, which gives some background for the book’s setting, and tells about some of her research. I have also referred to John M. Barry’s The Great Influenza when making notes about my grandmother having influenza in late 1919. There is also a discussion guide at the end, with fifteen thoughtful questions for readers to ponder.

The author’s website:


  1. Thanks for reading my books and sharing your thoughts with your readers, Joy. I’m delighted to know that my stories resonated with your own growing up experiences and also your family.

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