Lucy DeVries Duffy’s years of research and editing finally pay off in this publication of the keen reflections and poignant observations of Rebecca Goethe DeVries, her mother, accompanied by evocative images of the French hamlet where Rebecca came of age at the outbreak of World War One. The special bond between mothers and daughters that silently runs through Vignettes of Moiry also impelled the preservation and publication of this unique record.
Rebecca’s foster mother, the stern but kind Madame Marie Soupet, looms large in the story. She quietly blessed the lives of others, and not so quietly disrupted Moiry when necessary. Without fanfare she took in orphans like Rebecca, fed and cared for beggars, and counseled young women in trouble, never casting stones nor suffering fools gladly. While imparting the necessary domestic skills to her foster daughter, she also taught lessons that would last a lifetime and beyond.
In these colorful pages we not only share moments with Rebecca and her parents, brother, and friends, but also meet some gypsies; tinkers and their curs; students and other donkeys; hunchbacks and healers; bullies and bogeymen; and, in the end, a special American soldier. Through Rebecca’s innocent but opening eyes, we also rediscover the first fruits of maturity through meeting life’s challenges of work, sickness, death, and war, and experiencing the joys of family, friendship, learning, and love’s first bloom. The mundane and miraculous merge in this simple book, and the profound truths baked in its loaves of daily bread have multiplied across three generations of warm and wise women to bless us today.