Liralen's Reviews > The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio: How My Mother Raised 10 Kids on 25 Words or Less

The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio by Terry Ryan
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Jan 27, 12

bookshelves: nonfiction, z-2011, reviewed, hear-me-roar, z-2013

One of my creative writing professors used to say that good writing was partly about the way a writer wrote (she was much more eloquent when she said this) but also about the material that the author chose to use. This book, I think, is an excellent example of that.

This book works well in part because Ryan is a good writer, but the real brilliance is in knowing which parts of her family's story -- her mother's, in particular -- to use. Taken on their own, her mother's contest entries might provide brief interest or amusement; with explanation and background, their wit is all the more apparent.

Ordinarily this might not be a five-star rating for me (I am stingy with those!), but it was such a compelling portrait that I couldn't stop reading even as I wanted to slow down and make the book last longer.
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