I received this book from a Shelf Awareness giveaway (as mentioned in the previous post). Having recently finished Prissy Elrod’s memoir Far Outside the Ordinary, here is my extended review of it.
Far Outside the Ordinary
By Prissy Elrod
Published by Leather Leaf Publishing, 2014
Prissy (yes, that really is her name) Elrod penned a memoir of her life from the point in time of her husband Boone’s diagnosis of an aggressive brain cancer (glioblastoma multiforme, Stage IV) at age fifty and then after his death and beyond.
Through her memoir, Prissy chronicles her life with Boone: their romance, their lives together, and their family. Through her eyes, the reader experiences all her actions, all her emotions, and all her feelings. Prissy is living the dream life of a conservative Southern housewife until the unthinkable happens, and she and her family’s lives spiral out of control and upside down. Suddenly, her life is no longer ordinary.
Despite his surgery and diagnosis of a shortened life span, Boone battles bravely as Prissy does everything she can to affect a cure. With the same love, faith, energy, and tenacity which helped her to build a small cottage industry of home fashion consultant, she does the same in regards to Boone’s diagnosis. She researches therapies, both tried and untried, as well as natural remedies. She finds hospice caregivers like Du and Sallie who come to live with the family to provide care for Boone and normalcy and relief to her daughters, Sarah Britton and Garrett, and her. Throughout that year Boone and she travel to try untested medications and Native American cures. In the end, though, Boone’s health worsens, his faculties of sight, hearing, and ambulation deteriorate, and he dies.
Yet, even during this time, there are upbeat, positive moments. There are some crazy times and some moments of hilarity for the family. There are supportive people like Boone’s partners, extended family, and neighbors who help out Prissy and her family both financially and emotionally. Du and Sallie as well as Willie, another caregiver, become trusted friends, almost family.
Despite the loss of her beloved husband Boone, there is a happy ending for Prissy. Months after his burial, she receives a sympathy card from an old friend. Specifically, the card comes from her high school boyfriend, Dale Elrod. After thirty years apart, they reconnect through this card. From there, letters are exchanged, and their correspondence slowly progresses to an email relationship over the course of many months. Eventually, they meet face-to-face again in a neutral setting in Nashville, Tennessee, but there the story ends with the words, to be continued.
What next for Prissy Elrod, I can only hazard a guess. If she continues her writing (and she is a member of the Tallahassee Writers Association), I suspect there may be more to her and her family’s story. I’ll look forward to reading it.