“Kid Carolina”, Book Review

8cdd0607d01592d73e32b5dd94ad5761Somehow I found myself in the biographies section of my local library. I’d never been there before, can you imagine? Me not knowing that there was an entire stack devoted to only biographies?

It isn’t that far of a stretch I suppose considering I’ve not read many non-fiction books in my life that weren’t assigned by a teacher.

So there I was, face to spine with all these books and one titled jumped out at me, Kid Carolina by Heidi Schnakenberg.

I learned quite a bit about Winston-Salem and one of its founding families, the Reynolds, from the first few chapters of this book. After that RJR Jr’s life took a turn for the dysfunctional. Multiple wives with children trailing behind him like breadcrumbs and all the man wanted to do was be at sea or on an adventure. He was a successful businessman, making money where others couldn’t, much like his father. Yet his personal life was constantly falling apart at the seams. I wonder what he was running from… Schnakenberg doesn’t speculate but it seemed he had the typical rich man’s problem: too much. Too much booze, too many parties, too many people asking for hand-outs, too many possibilities within your reach. Having grown up not-so-wealthy, if I won the lottery tomorrow and became a billionaire I’d have that money stashed away and be debt free. If that was your normal though, I can see how you might be restless.

The fact that surprised me the most was that the famous Reynolds Wrap was started by RJR Jr’s cousin!

If biographies are your thing, give “Kid Carolina” a read, especially if you’re a kid from Carolina yourself.

Have a suggestion for me? Comment below!


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