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historical, novel, multigenerational, women,
struggle, family, faith, grit, spirit, empowering

Party Lines, Prayers, and Privies - REVIEWS

5 Star Reviews

A stirring, captivating family saga of Indiana homesteaders during the 19th and 20th centuries, Party Lines, Prayers, and Privies  relates the historically accurate tale of three generations of women struggling to overcome the hardships of pioneer life.  Weaving historical fact with family love, Lambert skillfully recreates the lives of her ancestors Sarah, Esther and Helen to introduce us to characters and images that are clearly etched into our consciousness long after the story has ended.  The three women at the center of the story, each survivors of personal tragedies brought on by death, separation, servitude, oppression, and sexual abuse, demonstrate backbone and intestinal fortitude to not only endure but prevail over the obstacles life lays upon them.  Steeped in the teachings and beliefs of the Brethren Church, the family relies on the strength of their faith to support them and give them succor in their times of hardship and distress.  Readers of historical fiction will appreciate the attention to detail and painstaking research Lambert undertook to portray her characters in exactly the setting one would expect to see them if they were to call some Sunday afternoon. Party Lines, Prayers, and Privies is a story that is sure to resonate with readers whose ancestors lived similar lives and faced down some of the same challenges in Indiana and the Midwest during the hundred years between 1880 - 1980. 

 Lisa Plank


Engaging, intimate, and emotionally authentic.  I was drawn into a family history full of sacrifice, love, and hardship.  A generational roadmap that defined the future path of courageous, enterprising women.

 Pat O'Brien


Party Lines, Prayers, and Privies is based on oral histories of the author's great-grandmother, grandmother, and mother--stories tender, tawdry, and triumphant--you will laugh and cry.  These were simple folk overcoming hardship and tragedy, sustained by faith, integrity, and love of family.  You will be drawn into this family saga, surprised at the coming dawn, having read through the night.

L. Davis


Party Lines, Prayers, and Privies is a colorfully written love story about three generations of compelling women--pillars of their families.  I couldn't put their stories out of my mind.  This book taught me to look at my past to understand my today.

 Jana Johnson


Judy Lambert tells the story of her family's lineage through the lens of the descendants of her great grandmother.  After years of research, personal interviews, historical documents, records, and diaries, she takes her reader on a delightful journey.  It conveys the history of her middle-American family as they moved many times throughout Indiana with each generation trying to make a better life.  The story begins in the year 1884 and brings us to the 21st century.  The women become the heart of the story as they show incredible resilience, faith, and an unwavering work ethic.  The families must survive through harsh winters, droughts, the depression, ravishing illness, and world wars.  Judy is able to convey the unwavering strength of her grandmothers as they navigate life.  The story relates their sorrows, losses, and struggles - yet these strong women never faltered in their faith and conviction to make a safe, loving, home for their children.  The story includes light, happy, and tender moments as well.  Many of the conversations in the book are taken directly from diaries or interviews Judy had with her relatives.  Although much of the book is imagined dialogue, it reads very much like a memoir.  As I read this book, the people became real to me.  Her narrative style of writing is relaxed and friendly - as if one might be sitting in a comfortable chair enjoying a cup of tea with the author.

 Jean Mumper

Venice, FL.