The Life and Death of a Country Store, A Memoir, is a touching story of the men, women, and children who lived in rural Illinois near Hugo, along the banks of the Embarrass River. The book is an enriching read that leaves a sense of appreciation, nostalgia, and lingering joy for a way of life that spanned almost two hundred years, but has now come and gone. Edd’s writing skill is displayed in this simple, home-spun tale about Earl’s Place, a country store and gathering spot for the farmers who sat around the potbellied wood stove, drank coffee and RC Colas, swapped stories, played cards on top of an old cardboard box, shared life and friendship, and lived and died there. The touching account of this country store is a worthy book for just its contribution to the history of rural Illinois. Yet, it is more precious than just that, for you see, against that backdrop another entire chronicle unfolds, for Earl’s Place is also the setting for the life of the McGrath family. Their tale is a subtle, yet powerful, statement of the importance and wonder of being an accepted part of a real, multi-generational family, a family whose heartening lessons of life are shared in the experiences of love and sacrifice that permeate the McGrath clan’s narrative, as generation by generation they attend to the needs of the old folks while preparing the young for the challenges of life lived in truth and integrity. The McGraths' lifestyle could be studied and emulated, for it is a rewarding way to live.