Thursday, August 03, 2006

Summer reading


This summer I have read three amazing books that I want to share about here in case some folks come across my blog and happen to read it!!

The first of these books is the delightful The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio: How My Mother Raised 10 Kids on 25 Words or Less by Terry Ryan. It is the story of Evelyn Ryan , a housewife in the 1950s, living in Defiance, Ohio, with her 10 children and alcoholic husband. Because her husband was an alcoholic, most of the little money they did have was spent on booze for and by him. Evelyn entered "Prize contests" that required wit and writing skill, making rhymes for different products such as Chevrolet and peanut butter. This woman entered everything, often making multiple entries for each product. She won many things, big and little, including cash for a down payment on a house, a bike, a sports car, and a freezer. They were always things her family needed, and she was able, through her talent of writing, to provide for her family, when there was nothing.

The story is beautiful, poignant, sad and joyful. What touched me most was Evelyn's spirit. Her children adored her. They adored her for her utmost postive attitude that she continually had. Despite her circumstances, living in a household with a difficult husband, raising 10 children on nothing, she was continually looking at the best side of things. What struck me most was that she was devoted to her husband and family, yet found an outlet for her creativity through her writing in entering these contests. Not once did she consider the "way out" of her situation. The story is inspiring and captivating.

So, did I convince you? Pick it up at your local library, I am sure it's there. There is also a recent movie made about it, which I did watch, only after I finished the book, but it is obviously not nearly as good as the book, but perhaps a good way to top it off.

Happy reading!

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