Top positive review
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The Story of a Fifties Mom Who Saves her Family from Financial Disaster Over and Over Again!
on May 29, 2016
To think that until the last year I had never heard of Defiance, Ohio or of the Ryan family, and now I've fallen in love with the family, especially the indomitable mom. I reconnected with a former classmate via classmates.com who lives in Defiance. While volunteering with some church friends, I told a friend about my new email friend from Defiance. She told me that her husband lived in Defiance at one time. The next thing I knew she was giving me the dvd about the Ryan family. I watched it and was so moved--I cried and cried. It was hard for me to laugh, though. I then knew that I definitely wanted to read the book. I looked forward to getting back to the book every day even though it seemed like it was one jingle after another! We get to read her winning jingles and all the ones that didn't win. This was interesting but I felt as though I needed a break from the contest routine. I needed more about the children (they were fleshed out a little but not a lot). It was interesting to read about their house and all the broken appliances and the mom's ingenuity when it came to coping with them. Can you imagine not having a handle on your refrigerator door? I will admit that I wanted to hear more about her alcoholic father's rages, but she is very discreet when it comes to focusing on her dad's shortcomings. Now I'm thinking that she was right to take the focus away from him and to concentrate on her absolutely wonderful, amazing, ingenious mom who kept the family afloat with her prize-winning contest entries. I cried at the end. It was illuminating for me to find that some of the scenes in the movie were exactly how they happened. Sometimes when I was watching the movie, I was thinking that a particular incident couldn't have really happened but sure enough it did. The father was interesting in that he was terribly violent but he'd snap out of his rages and become gentle again. I kept thinking that some of the occurrences wouldn't have happened with my father who could be violent without any alcohol to fuel him but whom we would have been afraid to challenge verbally and physically as the Ryan family does with their head of family. This dad is like a lion and a mouse all in one. He's remorseful after many of his blow-ups. I guess if he'd been worse the family wouldn't have been as happy as they were. They became such a resilient family--the children learned from their mother about resourcefulness and survival techniques. In order to understand this book, you have to know more about the fifties when so many moms were out of the work force, taking care of home and family, and often not even being able to drive a car. My mom didn't drive when I was growing up. She was our mainstay--always home when we got home from school. Gave me a very secure feeling. The book is a treasure because it's a relic in many ways--it's a tale from a bygone era and for me it was inspiring and amazing and beautiful. So glad Terry Ryan shared this story before her untimely passing.