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The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio: How My Mother Raised 10 Kids on 25 Words of Less

I absolutely love to read.

I used to shy away from fiction because I get so sucked into a story that sleep and everything else important to one's daily life suffers until I finish that story. I limited myself to one or two fiction books a year. And that's a great way to become a terrible writer.

I figured I was safe with this book. But I honestly couldn't put it down. Probably because the heroine of this true story was balancing the same things as me...

A Mother and A Writer

A mother is always multi-tasking, but how does one balance two such mentally demanding endeavors such as mothering and writing?

By doing it a little at a time. Every day. Keeping your eyes always open and a pencil and notebook always at the ready. At least that's what I gathered from this wonderful read about a woman keeping her family together despite a lack of finances and stability due to her alcoholic husband. Suze Orman sums the book up best in this line from the foreword:

Richness of the spirit can dwell in the most desolate places, and it pervades Evelyn's household like a healing balm.

Evelyn was a writer in the contest era, before sweepstakes and other luck-of-the-draws took over. Contests back then required word skill, and Evelyn had a knack for winning the biggest prizes right when her family needed them the most. Reading this made me miss the great grandmother I never met. She shared the same name, marital and financial situation (albeit with six less children) and still held her family together.

For those of you familiar with the famous (or infamous, depending on the day of the week) Proverbs 31 woman, and wondering what the heck that looks like in real life....I think Evelyn may come close.

Despite the 300+ page length, this was a relaxing, quick read that was truly inspirational - without being cheesy - in the midst of family life.


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