Reader reviews and comments on The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio, plus links to write your own review.

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The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio

How My Mother Raised 10 Kids on 25 Words or Less

by Terry Ryan

The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio
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  • First Published:
    Apr 2001, 352 pages
    Apr 2002, 352 pages

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There are currently 4 reader reviews for The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio
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Cordelia (11/01/04)

I enjoyed the realness of the book. It was told very well, always engaging, and the reader (I listened to it on audio tape) was fabulous! Evelyn is a hero: to her children, her husband, her friends, and fellow Contesters. She is a hero because she did what she could with what she had and kept on going...setting that example for all who engage with her, including me as I listened to the story. She dealt with things as they came instead of being dealt with by them (controlled by them) and it showed when her kids reminded her of this in the house crisis toward the end of the story....she'd taught them well! Through it all she retained her sense of humor, kind heart, and willing spirit...I like and admire her. She stayed the course far beyond most people today and she gave her daughter sage advice that I have adopted since finishing the book yesterday. Thank you for writing this, Terry Ryan, being seventh of seven myself, I related to much and cried at the end for the wonderfulness she left with all of you. She is a treasure that keeps on giving! Call me Cordelia. p.s. it reminded me much of another delightful book to which I recently listened, "Kitchen Privileges: A Memoir" by Mary Higgins Clark. Both are well-written, delightful, real, and inspiring!
Mike Fawcett (02/23/04)

The book brought back an era I lived through, and a place that was not too far from where I lived at the time. We never entered contests; my parents were convinced that no one ever actually won them, and they would have been astonished that people like Evelyn Ryan and her friends in the "Affadaisies" club actually existed. The idea that Mrs. Ryan was winning things she needed for her large family would have been beyond our comprehension!

Many of the stories in the book ring very true. People in those days really did keep cars a long time, and repaired them any way they could. Catholic priests really did give wives of alcoholic husbands the kind of "just suck-it-up" advice Mrs. Ryan received, because it happened to my aunt. Even the baseball part sounds very much of the era, because it was before the time of the free agent draft, when a team like the Detroit Tigers could sign anyone they wanted as long as another team hadn't gotten to him first!

The copy I read already had the binding split, so it had been much read!
Virginia Selanik (10/30/02)

Terry Ryan's book rather reminded me of one of my favorites...."Cheaper by the Dozen". It was just
as compelling, and just as much frun to read. The only differences between the two books were the childre
children and their ciircumstances....the Gilbreth family (Cheaper by the Dozen) was fairly well-to--do, where
whereas the Ryan family was quite poor. Somehow or other, when children are poor, they don't seem to realize
mind their poverty....and they become stronger people in the long run. This story is most inspirational, amd
and as the previous reviewer noted.....I too read this entire book the same day I bought it!
jack raywood (09/07/02)

I did not read this book. My wife did. I have never seen anyone read a book as quickly as she did this one. She appeared to really enjoy it. Could not put it down. She shared many parts of it w me. The parts she shared were really well written and entertaining. Quite an inspirational story. Makes me want to stop whining about how hard I have it. Gives one hope about the abilities of individuals to make a difference under the harshest of circumstances.
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