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Who Gets the Drumstick?: A Story of a Widow and Widower Who Met, Fell in Love, Married and Lived Happily Ever After

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Helen Eileen Beardsley was the mother of the famous blended family of twenty children — eight by her first marriage to Richard North, ten stepchildren from the first marriage of her second husband Frank Beardsley, and two that she and Frank had during their marriage. She wrote Who Gets the Drumstick? about her family's experience. The book inspired two motion pictures titl Helen Eileen Beardsley was the mother of the famous blended family of twenty children — eight by her first marriage to Richard North, ten stepchildren from the first marriage of her second husband Frank Beardsley, and two that she and Frank had during their marriage. She wrote Who Gets the Drumstick? about her family's experience. The book inspired two motion pictures titled Yours, Mine and Ours, a 1968 version starring Lucille Ball and a 2005 remake with Rene Russo.


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Helen Eileen Beardsley was the mother of the famous blended family of twenty children — eight by her first marriage to Richard North, ten stepchildren from the first marriage of her second husband Frank Beardsley, and two that she and Frank had during their marriage. She wrote Who Gets the Drumstick? about her family's experience. The book inspired two motion pictures titl Helen Eileen Beardsley was the mother of the famous blended family of twenty children — eight by her first marriage to Richard North, ten stepchildren from the first marriage of her second husband Frank Beardsley, and two that she and Frank had during their marriage. She wrote Who Gets the Drumstick? about her family's experience. The book inspired two motion pictures titled Yours, Mine and Ours, a 1968 version starring Lucille Ball and a 2005 remake with Rene Russo.

30 review for Who Gets the Drumstick?: A Story of a Widow and Widower Who Met, Fell in Love, Married and Lived Happily Ever After

  1. 5 out of 5

    Andrea

    After seeing the movie (Yours, Mine & Ours - 1968) I decided to look into the background of the story. A widowed man with 10 children falls in love and marries a widowed woman with 8 children. Hilarity ensues. Not exactly. The movie is filled with conflicts left and right as only good movies were back then. The book, on the other hand, was written and is filled with such love and affection that I cannot even sit and watch the movie anymore, knowing it is 'made up' by hollywood's standards. The aut After seeing the movie (Yours, Mine & Ours - 1968) I decided to look into the background of the story. A widowed man with 10 children falls in love and marries a widowed woman with 8 children. Hilarity ensues. Not exactly. The movie is filled with conflicts left and right as only good movies were back then. The book, on the other hand, was written and is filled with such love and affection that I cannot even sit and watch the movie anymore, knowing it is 'made up' by hollywood's standards. The author, Helen North-Beardsley, writes about the heartache she feels in losing her dear husband of eleven years and 8 children and about meeting and falling in love with Frank Beardsley, a man who lost his wife to diabetic shock and a rapid death, who has 10 children. They are both catholic and while not crazy religious, they have faith and believe in God's love. The book had me on the verge of tears throughout its entirety. Tears of happiness for throughout their struggles and large brood of children, they make it through life happy and whole full of love. Like I said, after reading Helen's story, I could just not sit and watch what hollywood had done to it. There was love, just not the same. If you have ever seen the movie, and are curious, read the book. It may change your perspective as it has mine. Finding the book may be difficult, but I found it used online.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Lisa (not getting friends updates) Vegan

    I reread this book to death when I was a kid, partially because I’d always wanted sisters and brothers and partly because each set of kids had also lost a parent, and their story was so interesting. They were fairly local and after I was interested in the book friends would tell me other tidbits about them. The book was written by the mother and it was heartfelt and amusing and fascinating. Merging families, one with eight children and one with ten children, and then two together in this case, i I reread this book to death when I was a kid, partially because I’d always wanted sisters and brothers and partly because each set of kids had also lost a parent, and their story was so interesting. They were fairly local and after I was interested in the book friends would tell me other tidbits about them. The book was written by the mother and it was heartfelt and amusing and fascinating. Merging families, one with eight children and one with ten children, and then two together in this case, is simply riveting and she gave interesting background information too. I remembered this book because of Goodreads’ What’s the Name of That Book??? group and now would love to go hunt and see if I can find my copy; I’m not certain that I still have it. The original movie made from this book was entertaining also but they definitely made major changes so that it wasn't a true story anymore.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Dichotomy Girl

    I just recently re-read Cheaper by the Dozen, and I saw mention of this book. When I saw that it was the real life family from the movie Yours, Mine & Ours, I immediately added it to my to-read list. The book was interesting. The author was a bit religious for my tastes, but realizing that they were both catholic explains how a widow with 8 children met a widower with 10 children (and they had two more children together). This book was undeniably sweet, there were a few minor problems, but otherw I just recently re-read Cheaper by the Dozen, and I saw mention of this book. When I saw that it was the real life family from the movie Yours, Mine & Ours, I immediately added it to my to-read list. The book was interesting. The author was a bit religious for my tastes, but realizing that they were both catholic explains how a widow with 8 children met a widower with 10 children (and they had two more children together). This book was undeniably sweet, there were a few minor problems, but otherwise, everyone loved each other, everyone got along, and it was one big family. Oh, how I wish that was true. Unfortunately, after finishing the book, I turned to google to find out how everything turned out. The answers were buried, but two things were easy to find. All of the children in the book were adopted by the non-biological parent, and all children became Beardsley's. However, at some point in the future as adults, almost all of the North children changed their name back to North. One of them Tom North, wrote a book in 2012 stating that his Step-Father Frank Beardsley was violent, abusive and unhinged. Elsewhere I found whispers that the parents had been divorced prior to Helen's death in 2000, and that the divorce split the children into Beardsley/North factions. The most disturbing find was an interview with a homeless man "Joe B." (the first of the two children born of both parents), were he calls Frank a Pedophile, but says that he was fine as Frank only went after the girls. In multiple places there was mention of family therapy involving most of the children. The sad thing is, this doesn't surprise me. We read books like this because we want to believe in a simpler, idyllic time, even while the cynical devil on our shoulder is sneering and making snarky comments in our ears, causing us to search out the true story, which destroys the happy picture we had created in our heads. If you want a sweet, fun story of a big family, stick to Cheaper by the Dozen.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Peter

    I found a hard cover copy, with the original paper cover, at a used bookstore, and thought why not. I have read "Cheaper by the Dozen" and like that, so I gave it a shot. And it was well worth it. It was a fun read, and though taking place slightly before I was born, seems like a whole different world. The author is more matter-of-fact than most modern authors, not overly sentimental, doesn't give a sob story. She recounts her life - from the death of her husband, who she clearly loved, leaving I found a hard cover copy, with the original paper cover, at a used bookstore, and thought why not. I have read "Cheaper by the Dozen" and like that, so I gave it a shot. And it was well worth it. It was a fun read, and though taking place slightly before I was born, seems like a whole different world. The author is more matter-of-fact than most modern authors, not overly sentimental, doesn't give a sob story. She recounts her life - from the death of her husband, who she clearly loved, leaving her with eight kids, to marrying a man (similar to her former husband, as she is similar to his former wife (he is a widower)) with ten kids. Then, why not, they have two of their own. Geez. Why not they said. This is a great story of family, love and faith. This is part of the interesting part of the story - the importance of faith in their lives. Beardsley is Catholic, and that is both not hidden, but also not thrown at the reader. Clearly their faith is the ballast of their relationship, and to that of their children. Something that contributes to their happiness. This is a fun read, and a heart-warming read. It sort of reminds the reader to slow down, and enjoy the family around us.

  5. 5 out of 5

    AJ

    Ever since I was a kid and saw Lucille Ball and Henry Fonda star in Yours, Mine, and ours I have been wanting to read the real story of the Beardsley and North families joined by marriage. The memoir was a direct and straightforward chronology of the events leading up to Helen North and Frank Beardsley meeting and marrying. It explains some of the logistics of running such a large household and the novelty the nation saw in their lives. I understand that in recent years some of the adult childre Ever since I was a kid and saw Lucille Ball and Henry Fonda star in Yours, Mine, and ours I have been wanting to read the real story of the Beardsley and North families joined by marriage. The memoir was a direct and straightforward chronology of the events leading up to Helen North and Frank Beardsley meeting and marrying. It explains some of the logistics of running such a large household and the novelty the nation saw in their lives. I understand that in recent years some of the adult children have revealed some of the darker side of their home life and the heartaches created by it. This is tragic indeed. So for me, I take the memoir as Helen's perspective and explanation as she knew it at that time.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Rebekah Morris

    The story behind the movie "Yours, Mine, and Ours" is a fun read. Written by the mom, I chuckled a few times over things, and shopping trips? I was impressed by how well the Beardsleys ran their home and kept things running smoothly. Except for the pluming. Since the family is Catholic, there were some doctrine issues I don't agree with, but it didn't detract much from my enjoyment. I wanted to meet the family for real. The story behind the movie "Yours, Mine, and Ours" is a fun read. Written by the mom, I chuckled a few times over things, and shopping trips? I was impressed by how well the Beardsleys ran their home and kept things running smoothly. Except for the pluming. Since the family is Catholic, there were some doctrine issues I don't agree with, but it didn't detract much from my enjoyment. I wanted to meet the family for real.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Autumn

    This is one of my absolute favorites! The movie took God out of the story and made the teenagers troublemakers, but it wasn't like that it in the book. Helen Beardley does a great job of showing how God bought her family together and had a hand in their lives. She is also a fantastic writer. This is one of my absolute favorites! The movie took God out of the story and made the teenagers troublemakers, but it wasn't like that it in the book. Helen Beardley does a great job of showing how God bought her family together and had a hand in their lives. She is also a fantastic writer.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Ejayen

    Much more realistic than either of the two movies that were inspired by it. I enjoyed hearing about such a large family from a completely adult point of view, but I wish it was longer.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Becky

    I just LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this memoir by Helen Beardsley. Growing up, I enjoyed watching the classic film "Yours, Mine, and Ours." What I didn't know until I was an adult was that it was based very, very, very loosely on a book. I have read the book at least twice since then and have just continued to love it more each time. The book is told through Helen's perspective, and it begins with the death of her first husband. It chronicles her family's move, her settling down, her first "introduction" t I just LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this memoir by Helen Beardsley. Growing up, I enjoyed watching the classic film "Yours, Mine, and Ours." What I didn't know until I was an adult was that it was based very, very, very loosely on a book. I have read the book at least twice since then and have just continued to love it more each time. The book is told through Helen's perspective, and it begins with the death of her first husband. It chronicles her family's move, her settling down, her first "introduction" to the man who would become her second husband. As she's enrolling her children in school, she meets a woman with a brother who has just recently lost his wife. He has a very, very large family. As this woman is relating the story to Helen, she feels led to send him a poem that comforted her after the death of her husband. And so the two meet first by correspondence. Not that they stay in touch, but, eventually these two begin to correspond with one another and exchange pictures. After getting to know one another, they decide to start seeing one another, just to enjoy each other's company, just to have someone who understands, never imagining that God is giving them both a second chance at love and a happily ever after. But. God is writing their love story. And these two families will become one very, very big family in their own way and at just the right time. Half the book takes place after their marriage. Their are chapters that capture the every day, little, ordinary moments of family life: preparing meals, family arrangements (bedrooms, bathrooms, laundry, chores, etc.), shopping (grocery, clothes, shoes, etc.), holidays and birthdays. Oh, and learning to get along with siblings new and old. The book builds up to the big decision to adopt one another's children. The book is sweet, tender, genuine, and faith-friendly. The book is so very different than the movie, in a way. The movie adds a LOT of drama and comedic sketches. And very little of the courtship from the book is related in the movie--not that the movie gets it wrong exactly, but they're going for a different picture or idea. Especially when it comes to Helen meeting his children. Let's just say the movie is about as far away from the book as possible.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Shannon

    What a great story. Bear this in mind. It is not so much a great book as it is a great story... a true story. This is the story of the Beardsley family. Karen and Dick North, a Navy couple, have a lovely family of eight children. Frank and Frances Beardsley, another Navy couple have ten beautiful children and a perfect marriage. When Dick North and Frances Beardsley both die unexpectedly, the last thing Karen North and Frank Beardsley consider is re-marrying. Brought together by God, these two d What a great story. Bear this in mind. It is not so much a great book as it is a great story... a true story. This is the story of the Beardsley family. Karen and Dick North, a Navy couple, have a lovely family of eight children. Frank and Frances Beardsley, another Navy couple have ten beautiful children and a perfect marriage. When Dick North and Frances Beardsley both die unexpectedly, the last thing Karen North and Frank Beardsley consider is re-marrying. Brought together by God, these two devout Catholic, profoundly pro-life families become one. Frank and Karen even go on to have two children with each other, bringing the total Beardsley household to one with 20 children! It is a great story and an easy read. It is a deeply pro-life story through-and-through without being preachy. The book was published in 1965.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Gwen

    Found this at a parish rummage sale and thought my mom might like it. I'm going to read it first; it looks like a quick, light read. It's written by the real life Helen Beardsley who was portrayed by Lucille Ball in the movie Yours, Mine and Ours. Found this at a parish rummage sale and thought my mom might like it. I'm going to read it first; it looks like a quick, light read. It's written by the real life Helen Beardsley who was portrayed by Lucille Ball in the movie Yours, Mine and Ours.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Emily

    This is the book that inspired one of my favorite movies, Lucille Ball and Henry Fonda's "Yours, Mine and Ours". This is a really short, easy read, but the story is so sweet. She's a widow with 8 kids. He's a widower with 10 kids. They fall in love, get married and blend their families. Beautiful. This is the book that inspired one of my favorite movies, Lucille Ball and Henry Fonda's "Yours, Mine and Ours". This is a really short, easy read, but the story is so sweet. She's a widow with 8 kids. He's a widower with 10 kids. They fall in love, get married and blend their families. Beautiful.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Mimi

    What a delightful find - a quick, pleasant, and charming story. I was surprised, and delighted, by the author's quiet faith and the way she wove it into her story. I've always loved the 1968 movie, now I love the book too. What a delightful find - a quick, pleasant, and charming story. I was surprised, and delighted, by the author's quiet faith and the way she wove it into her story. I've always loved the 1968 movie, now I love the book too.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Chrisanne

    Almost therapeutic reading for me. Charming and old fashioned, it was a nice change. No huge, pushy agenda. Just a story told as one person saw it. Also, as much as I loved it, I still like the movie. Both of them have valuable messages and contain quality work.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Autumn Nelson

    Fantastic family book!! Loved this way better than the movie. The kids weren't trying to break up their parents! And the book shows Gods hand in their lives. Very well written. Highly enjoyable read. Fantastic family book!! Loved this way better than the movie. The kids weren't trying to break up their parents! And the book shows Gods hand in their lives. Very well written. Highly enjoyable read.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Robert

    The inspiration for the Lucille Ball/Henry Fonda film "Yours, Mine and Ours", but there is much more to the story than is shown on screen. All of the highlights make the transition to film, but the deeply Catholic faith of the author is completely lost in the cinematic version. The inspiration for the Lucille Ball/Henry Fonda film "Yours, Mine and Ours", but there is much more to the story than is shown on screen. All of the highlights make the transition to film, but the deeply Catholic faith of the author is completely lost in the cinematic version.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Terri

    This is one of my favorite books from when I was a little girl the true story of the family that inspired the Brady Bunch and the 1968 movie yours mine and ours

  18. 5 out of 5

    Susan

    The posies and candy movie version of this well-known story is sweet and funny, and perhaps inspirational, which appealed to the romantic side of me. Conversely, the real story appears to be quite different than this book version and Hollywood version. To that end, I am on the hunt for the book, True North written by Thomas North, one of the children of Helen Beardsley, who tells a very different story of this family life.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Mary Lou

    "Yours, Mine, and Ours" (the Ball/Fonda version) is one of my favorite films, so I was excited to find a copy of Helen Beardsley's book. This is one of the rare occasions where I enjoyed the movie more than the book on which it was based. That's not to say the book was no good, but I thought the script writers did an excellent job of pulling episodes from Beardsley's book and reworking them into a good, tight, enjoyable story. I was a bit put off by two things: Beardsley's heavy-handed spirituali "Yours, Mine, and Ours" (the Ball/Fonda version) is one of my favorite films, so I was excited to find a copy of Helen Beardsley's book. This is one of the rare occasions where I enjoyed the movie more than the book on which it was based. That's not to say the book was no good, but I thought the script writers did an excellent job of pulling episodes from Beardsley's book and reworking them into a good, tight, enjoyable story. I was a bit put off by two things: Beardsley's heavy-handed spirituality, and the lack of depth in any conflict. Though I'm a Christian and certainly not put off by the mention of God in our lives, I found the religious passages in Beardsley's narrative to be over the top and not too pious but, perhaps, just a little too much. As for the conflicts, there were few, and those that did exist were seemingly resolved quickly and easily. The children all seemed perfectly happy to do their chores, and in the evening were off quietly in other parts of the house doing their homework while mom and dad spent quality time together. Yeah, right. (This is, perhaps, where the movie scored points -- it portrayed the children much more realistically, though they were still basically good kids.) The exception to this was the chapter discussing the adoption - the turmoil she felt, and the comments she got from her deceased husband's family as well as strangers. Beardsley's writing here, compared to much of the rest of the book, seemed very candid. I got the feeling that she really opened up here, and wasn't quite so guarded. The reader got a glimpse of the real emotional struggle, and not just the happy moments or amusing anecdotes. (view spoiler)[ Was anyone else a little creeped out to read about how much Helen resembled Frances, and that their china patterns matched, etc.? Had I been Helen, I wouldn't have taken it as a sign that she and Frank should be together, but rather that he was trying to replace Frances with a doppleganger. I guess it worked for them, but to me it was a huge red flag. (hide spoiler)]

  20. 5 out of 5

    Stacia

    This is the book "Your, Mine, and Ours", starring Lucille Ball, is based on. I've loved that movie for a lot of year, and had no idea it was based on a true story! The book itself is delightful. The author's faith plays a large part of the story, which normally is something I don't really enjoy. In this case it was done in a way that made sense to me. I'm not sure how much of the story was sanitized for publication, but there are definite differenences in between the film and book. The movie show This is the book "Your, Mine, and Ours", starring Lucille Ball, is based on. I've loved that movie for a lot of year, and had no idea it was based on a true story! The book itself is delightful. The author's faith plays a large part of the story, which normally is something I don't really enjoy. In this case it was done in a way that made sense to me. I'm not sure how much of the story was sanitized for publication, but there are definite differenences in between the film and book. The movie shows a lot more conflict between Helen North and the Beardsley children. In the book, apparently they loved her right away. The film version showed a lot more conflict in joining the two families, the birth of a new child, and the adoption of all of the older children. In the book, they were a lot more thoughtful in how they joined households, so those conflicts did not actually happen. Or they weren't put in the book at least. Given that the book was published in 1968, I imagine everything was not quite as smooth in real life. I suspect the truth is somewhere between the Lucille Ball and Helen North Beardsley. What I really loved about this book was the opinions on home management and child rearing. It's really interesting how opinions are going back to older methods. They very clearly mark adult areas in their household, involve everyone in home maintenance, plan for family activities and outings, and allow children to participate at their own level. Everything is planned for a cohesive team, rather than a group of individuals. Given my own nature, I would have hated living in that house with all of those people. I would love to see some memoirs written by the children, just to see different perspectives.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Beth

    I read this because it was the true story upon which the classic movie (and more loosely, the remake) Yours, Mine, and Ours is based on. The book, predictably, is much, much better as Hollyweird, as it is wont to do, overdramatized things. (Or Mrs. Beardsley has a much more idealized view of how the family came together). The writing is informal, informative, and fast paced (the library will be happy to get it back so it can go back to the library not in the consortium, they were kind of unhappy I read this because it was the true story upon which the classic movie (and more loosely, the remake) Yours, Mine, and Ours is based on. The book, predictably, is much, much better as Hollyweird, as it is wont to do, overdramatized things. (Or Mrs. Beardsley has a much more idealized view of how the family came together). The writing is informal, informative, and fast paced (the library will be happy to get it back so it can go back to the library not in the consortium, they were kind of unhappy to let it go)--I finished it in a little over a day. It's also interesting to see how differently we view the world now as opposed to almost 50 years ago. (Mrs. Beardsley discusses the commercialized Christmas and avoiding it by mostly leaving the TV off, a strategy that will no longer work in our society, if some of my non-Christian immigrant coworkers' experiences are anything to go by). A fascinating read, I'm glad I went through the trouble of getting it through inter-library loan to read it. (Don't try to buy it, used copies in OK shape run $40 on Amazon.)

  22. 5 out of 5

    Karen

    "Who Gets the Drumstick?" was the inspiration for the widely known movie starring Lucille Ball and Henry Fonda, "Yours, Mine, and Ours." Although the movie is well done and merits watching, the book is written by the real-life mother of the 20-children Beardsley family, Helen, and is even more enjoyable. She's an agile, intelligent writer, and her faith, warmhearted wisdom, and joy in life shines on every page. By all accounts, she and her husband, Frank, were wonderful parents who handled the c "Who Gets the Drumstick?" was the inspiration for the widely known movie starring Lucille Ball and Henry Fonda, "Yours, Mine, and Ours." Although the movie is well done and merits watching, the book is written by the real-life mother of the 20-children Beardsley family, Helen, and is even more enjoyable. She's an agile, intelligent writer, and her faith, warmhearted wisdom, and joy in life shines on every page. By all accounts, she and her husband, Frank, were wonderful parents who handled the challenge of this mega-sized family with grace. Unfortunately, the book is out of print, and remaining copies are expensive. If you're diligent, though, and patient, you can find a reasonably priced copy, as I did a couple of years ago.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Marie

    I wish this book was longer. I didn't expect to like it as much as I did. The style of writing reminded me of Kate Chopin, of whom I'm also a fan. I write similarly sometimes, too. The author is very religious, which is another reason it's surprising I liked this book so much since I'm an atheist. It's nonfiction, but it really felt like a story. It's about two large families that combine to eventually become a family of twenty-two. It starts off sad when the author loses her husband, but then s I wish this book was longer. I didn't expect to like it as much as I did. The style of writing reminded me of Kate Chopin, of whom I'm also a fan. I write similarly sometimes, too. The author is very religious, which is another reason it's surprising I liked this book so much since I'm an atheist. It's nonfiction, but it really felt like a story. It's about two large families that combine to eventually become a family of twenty-two. It starts off sad when the author loses her husband, but then she meets a man who lost his wife and their marriage is what brings the joins the two families as one. The book talks about Christmas a lot, so I'd recommend reading it around then.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Emily

    I loved this book! I have seen the original movie "Yours, Mine and Ours" and found that it is quite different from the book. I found myself marveling at the parents being able to blend the two families as well as seeing the love and acceptance of the children to the step parents. I can't imagine the enormous amount of work that having a family that large would entail. I feel that there are many ways in which I can improve as a wife and mother. Reading about people who accomplish so much and with I loved this book! I have seen the original movie "Yours, Mine and Ours" and found that it is quite different from the book. I found myself marveling at the parents being able to blend the two families as well as seeing the love and acceptance of the children to the step parents. I can't imagine the enormous amount of work that having a family that large would entail. I feel that there are many ways in which I can improve as a wife and mother. Reading about people who accomplish so much and with order instead of chaos is an inspiration to me! :)

  25. 5 out of 5

    Kelly

    What a story! It was wonderful to read the truth behind the Hollywood version (Yours, Mine, & Ours). I loved to see the way Frank and Helen thought about their marriage and their children, and to see how they taught and loved them all. This book provided good fodder for conversation at our house- we're always eager to learn from parents whose children are well-behaved and well-adjusted, pleasant to be around and hard-working. I'm recommending this book to everyone I can think of- it's so much fun What a story! It was wonderful to read the truth behind the Hollywood version (Yours, Mine, & Ours). I loved to see the way Frank and Helen thought about their marriage and their children, and to see how they taught and loved them all. This book provided good fodder for conversation at our house- we're always eager to learn from parents whose children are well-behaved and well-adjusted, pleasant to be around and hard-working. I'm recommending this book to everyone I can think of- it's so much fun!

  26. 5 out of 5

    Maren

    Cute story. A predictable love story, "Who Gets the Drumstick?" is a definitely a quick, light read. Thankfully, Beardsley spares us the Nicholas Sparks cheesiness, but at the same time, this book is definitely missing a plot. It reads more like a diary, including the regularly random ups-and-downs faced by any family. Worth the read, but don't expect much from it. Also, a side-note: the print is microscopic, so open the book equipped with a magnifying glass! Cute story. A predictable love story, "Who Gets the Drumstick?" is a definitely a quick, light read. Thankfully, Beardsley spares us the Nicholas Sparks cheesiness, but at the same time, this book is definitely missing a plot. It reads more like a diary, including the regularly random ups-and-downs faced by any family. Worth the read, but don't expect much from it. Also, a side-note: the print is microscopic, so open the book equipped with a magnifying glass!

  27. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca Henderson

    A friend handed me this book and insisted I should read it and would like it. I was fairly sure I wouldn't enjoy it, but it turns out my friend was right. I had expected a book from this time period to be overly sentimental and melodramatic, but the writing was both straightforward and clever. It's a quick read and an enjoyable story, and the parts where Helen Beardsley shares her heart about losing her husband and falling in love again are well done and moving. A friend handed me this book and insisted I should read it and would like it. I was fairly sure I wouldn't enjoy it, but it turns out my friend was right. I had expected a book from this time period to be overly sentimental and melodramatic, but the writing was both straightforward and clever. It's a quick read and an enjoyable story, and the parts where Helen Beardsley shares her heart about losing her husband and falling in love again are well done and moving.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Ms. Yingling

    This was great fun, but what struck me was the super postive tone. Sure, her husband dies when she's 32 and leaves her with seven children and one on the way. No big deal. It will all work out. Meets and fall in love with a man with ten kids. Eh. A little more work. People today would write a memoir filled with hand wringing and whining, but North Beardsley lived through the Depression and WWII, so dealing with 20 children was no big thing! Sadly, she died in 2000. This was great fun, but what struck me was the super postive tone. Sure, her husband dies when she's 32 and leaves her with seven children and one on the way. No big deal. It will all work out. Meets and fall in love with a man with ten kids. Eh. A little more work. People today would write a memoir filled with hand wringing and whining, but North Beardsley lived through the Depression and WWII, so dealing with 20 children was no big thing! Sadly, she died in 2000.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie

    As a kid I was a huge fan of the movie Yours, Mine and Ours with Lucille Ball. It was one of the few movies I rented over and over. I had no idea there was a book associated with the Beardsley family. I can see now why Helen Beardsley likely wrote it, to quash controversy surrounding her marriage and subsequent raising of 18 children. A truly delightful tale, though less adversarial than the movie made it out to be. So much for my sister's favorite quote, "she has mean eyes!" As a kid I was a huge fan of the movie Yours, Mine and Ours with Lucille Ball. It was one of the few movies I rented over and over. I had no idea there was a book associated with the Beardsley family. I can see now why Helen Beardsley likely wrote it, to quash controversy surrounding her marriage and subsequent raising of 18 children. A truly delightful tale, though less adversarial than the movie made it out to be. So much for my sister's favorite quote, "she has mean eyes!"

  30. 4 out of 5

    Mia

    I really struggled with how to rate this charming story of the Beardsley/North clan. My guess is that this was a little more sugar coated than the actual blending of two these two families was when it happened. Still, in a world so full of strife this was a lovely little get away. I gave it 3 stars because I did enjoy the book, I didn't rate it higher because I save those stars for books that blow me away. I really struggled with how to rate this charming story of the Beardsley/North clan. My guess is that this was a little more sugar coated than the actual blending of two these two families was when it happened. Still, in a world so full of strife this was a lovely little get away. I gave it 3 stars because I did enjoy the book, I didn't rate it higher because I save those stars for books that blow me away.

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