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4.3 out of 5 stars
Moonshiner's Daughter
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on October 27, 2010
Format: Perfect Paperback
These are descriptions we hear all the time from people who have read "Moonshiner's Daughter". Mary's clear and unfussy way of describing her early life put you right there with her as a child and teenager as she and her siblings endured brutality and abuse from not only her parents but also neighbors and school personnel. Readers are e-mailing Mary with their heartfelt praise and are passing her memoir around to everyone they know. For someone with Mary's very limited education to be able to write about it and then get it published is remarkable. For someone to live through what she did is even more so. Get your hands on "Moonshiner's Daughter". You won't be able to put it down. Her website is: [...] for more information.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on November 28, 2011
Format: Perfect PaperbackVerified Purchase
What a heart-wrenching story!! I cried through a lot of it. I absolutely could not put the book down. Everyone should read it and then feel that you are blessed. If you ever thought you had it bad, just read this.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on September 7, 2011
Format: Perfect Paperback
You cannot put this book down. It breaks your heart to think children went through the many years of abuse. I can't imagine not having a coat or shoes to go to school in the awful weather. This book will be in my mind forever. I'll pass it on to my grandchildren to realize what a wonderful life they lead. Ms. Messer is an extrordinary woman to have lived through her childhood. I wish this would be made into a movie for all to see what really went on not so long ago.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on August 25, 2013
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
My wife and I had the privilege of meeting the author in her store in Waynesville. She told us of her plans to publish this book.We never got back again. My wife died 3 years ago. I am glad she got this published and I enjoyed it very much. There are few books that tell the truth about life. This is one that I feel is true. I recommend it highly if one really wants to know where most of us came from and the difficulties life brings.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on December 8, 2010
Format: Perfect Paperback
An extremely vivid account of childhood poverty, abuse and hope that is gritty and at times difficult to read. You read this book and wonder where could this have taken place...not in the US! It gives new meaning to the War on Poverty, and the importance of protecting the innocent. Well done, Ms. Messer!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on December 8, 2010
Format: Perfect Paperback
My brother sent this book to me thinking I'd like to read it. I initially noticed it was based in the Smokey Mountains where he now lives. When I began reading the book, it took me back to the 4th grade when we studied the Appalachian Mountains and the way people lived there in 1965. It was a rude awakening to a 9 year old living a pretty comfortable life in the Midwest. How could people live like this? How could they not have any money or education? Then I continued reading Moonshiner's Daughter and finished it within 48 hours. I felt like I was right next to Mary throughout her trials and tribulations. What amazes me is that Mary never complained. It was a way of life for her. What a strong woman she is to be able to open up her life to all of us.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on August 6, 2011
Format: Perfect Paperback
Moonshiner's Daughter by Mary Judith Messer kept me glued to the pages. I read the book in about a day and a half. I just had to keep reading to find out if this child of poverty ever got a break and climbed out of her abjectly painful circumstances. The story generated sympathy in me for Mary and her siblings, but also reminded me of many children in America today who have the misfortune to be born poor and powerless. For me it is a lesson in compassion.

I recommend the book for both the historical aspect of someone telling history as practiced in the Applachian Mountains in the 1940s and to show how an individual can go within and find courage to make better choices.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on March 23, 2013
Format: Paperback
We recently moved to the area. My daughter and I are both writers and were delighted to meet the author in person and read her book. It is a very heartfelt book and told us a lot about the local culture and Mary's experiences in particular. There are some very sad parts but there was REDEMPTION in the end. I am pleased to report that the locals we met in this area have been especially welcoming and some of the nicest people I ever met. Congratulations Mary on your very awesome book. I wish you even more success and happiness in life.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on June 7, 2011
Format: Perfect PaperbackVerified Purchase
From the minute I opened the package I was hooked! I could hardley put the book down. My family is from this area, I felt like I was sitting with an aunt telling me a story that broke my heart but I couldn't walk away from either, I was captivated!! So thankful not to have gone through such things in my life!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on December 6, 2010
Format: Perfect Paperback
Starkly authentic voice; written from a child's point of view which lays no blame, which must make this book unique. This painful story of alcohol, mental illness, and social ignorance is still with me, haunting me. Reading it brought my own story to life, drove me to therapy where my life imploded. The label "domestic violence" seems too academic, too abstract -- better "goddamned alcoholic wife beaters and child abusers" who deserve the very worse - prison or the graveyard. I can't thank the author enough for bringing this national shame to the light. Bless you Mary Messer.
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