The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio: How My Mother Raised 10 Kids on 25 Words or Less by Terry Ryan
rating: 5 of 5 stars
I don't often give books 5 stars, but this one deserved it. An uplifting look at a way a mother in the 50s and 60s took what could have been a devastating situation and turned it into the best. The stories and anecdotes in the book made me smile and sometimes laugh out loud -- the story of when terry (aka Tuff) babysits her siblings, the tulip fiasco, the amazing ways they find to make their household appliances work even when they don't (applying pressure to the fridge at just the right spot to pop open the seal when the handles broke).
The mother's husband is a sometimes-abusive alcoholic, and yet while not glossed over in the book, he really is a peripheral character -- the spotlight is on the tenacity and creativity of the author's mother, the Prize Winner. In a contest-centered world, she uses her skill with words to win various prizes, from appliances to cash to trips. The timing of some of the wins is fortuitous.
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