My Last Last Name is Grace by Beaty Miller

About Beaty Miller:

BEATY MILLER broke the Mennonite tradition of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and continued her education past eighth grade and graduated from high school—the first to do so in her family. At nineteen years of age, she accepted the position to teach at a parochial school. Later, she resumed a full-time job as a secretary.  After a promotion to the office manager, Miller started classes at Reading Area Community College and earned an Associate Degree to become a registered nurse. She began a twenty-year geriatrics career, ending as a Personal Care Home Administrator. After Miller and her husband relocated to Rock Hill, she wrote her memoir, My Last Last Name is

We're going to talk about a non-fiction book called My Last Last Name is Grace. As a quick recap, we were unable to host Beaty at Arts on the Ridge due to an emergency, but we did have her book on display. I had the pleasure of running into her at another local festival, and if you get the chance to speak to her, I highly recommend it. She's a pretty interesting woman. 

Okay, now, to the fun stuff...

Beaty's book is about her life with the Mennonite community and their Lancaster County (not the one in SC) traditions. This book gives us an insight into Beaty’s life. Imagine sitting at a table with your mother or grandmother or even your children if you have any and discussing the stories of your childhood. That is exactly what this book is.

Beaty grew up in what I would consider a very conservative community, and as expected from a writer, she was a highly curious person. She questions almost everything, but also she gives us the good with the bad. As with all of our lives, for every bad thing that happens there is a good thing that comes out of it. We can see things of that nature in Beaty’s parents’ behaviors. Neither of her parents are loving in the way that today’s culture believes normal; however, their mother took great care to make sure they were clean, dressed, and fed well while their father liked to play not so practical pranks. (Beaty, my grandfather used to play jokes like your father’s. It was exceptionally funny as long as you weren’t part of the punch line.)

Beaty’s book took a factual tone that I admittedly had a bit of a hard time getting through. It was more like reading a history book about someone’s life (which I know that is pretty much the definition of non-fiction). She repeated a few of her childhood memories quite often as well, which threw me off again.

Overall, I’m not sure I’d recommend My Last Last Name is Grace to just anyone that walked up and started talking books with me. I think this writing style is an acquired taste. Don’t get me wrong, the stories are interesting and (for someone my age [late twenties]) the stories were very educational from a historical/cultural standpoint. I would recommend this book to non-fiction lovers, and people who study culture. Definitely take a look and let me know what you thought about the book in the comments.


This blog was brought to you by Arts on the Ridge 2018 hosted by the beautiful Ridgeway, SC. Remember, Arts on the Ridge is coming up on May 4th, 2019. I hope I'll see you there!

Up next, I’ll be reviewing Waging War on Fear by Betty Parker. If you have a book you’d like reviewed please message me a link to your book, or make sure I know where to get a copy of it.