Our readers favored Moonlight on Linoleum—about how Helwig and her five younger sisters survived their mother’s booze-fueled, man-crazy, and peripatetic lifestyle and indeed thrived—over work by Augusten Burroughs, Anne Lamott, Paul Auster, and others.
I was moved not out of pathos for Helwig’s plight nor because of anything especially heroic about her survival. She does not apologize and does not want our sympathies, and this made me respect her all the more as a writer. The power of this story is in the universality of celebrating the child who searched for the door, as she puts it, and how she ends victorious, whole and rich in her relationships with her sisters.
Readers loved Helwig’s unself-pitying embrace of her mother, as well as of her life and the cards it dealt her.
I really loved this book...[It] is a touching portrait of a family with an unshakable attachment to each other–forged in the flames of adversity…Anyone with a less-than-picture-perfect family of origin (that is to say, almost all of us) will find this memoir heartfelt, tragic, uplifting, funny and inspirational. There will be comparisons to Jeannette Walls’ The Glass Castle, but this is an original portrait of an original woman, and the strong women her weaknesses produced. Highly recommended.
Even through some dark circumstances, this memoir was an interesting and eye-opening experience. It was comforting to see the two oldest daughters Vicki and Terry smiling and embracing each other in a photograph…And the group shot at the end sealed the deal; no matter what these girls were exposed to, they conquered any obstacle no matter the size.
I wanted to know everything there was to know about this family. And after I turned to the last page and finished the book, I put it down and just sighed…[Terry’s] strength is admirable. Her writing is beautiful. Her story is unforgettable.
Moonlight on Linoleum: A Daughter’s Memoir ...will grab you from the first page and will take you on a ride that you will never forget… You do not want to miss this book - you do not want to miss this story of redemption and forgiveness. You will cry and laugh and cringe and ache for Terry...but she will prevail in the end. And you will rejoice with her.
The intrigue and adventure balance the heart-wringing moments enough that I would like to wager this book becomes a best-seller in no time.
Great descriptions. You finish the book rather awed by [Terry’s] positive attitude, given all she's gone through.
Terry Helwig's writing is superb and she tells her story with such clarity…If you enjoy memoirs such as The Glass Castle, then you will love this book. It's a moving story about a young girl's life and the bond between sisters.
Helwig is a fantastic story-teller and wrote this sad tale impeccably. This was a story told through the eyes of a young, little girl who believed in family and togetherness.
Wow...what an outstanding memoir.
Terry Helwig...manages to tell her story, her mother’s story and her family’s story with love and acceptance. This combined with excellent writing made the book a joy to read.
Terry Helwig’s memoir Moonlight on Linoleum reads like a lyrical poem. Its melody continues to hum in my heart long after I put it down. Terry truly was, as she puts it, a "child mystic". As a psychiatrist, it was fascinating (and heart-breaking) to read the story of having a mother with severe Type I Bipolar Disorder from a very young child's point of view. What most surprised me was how the book is, in the end, a love story. Despite the sometimes terrible things that happen to Terry, I could not find a trace of lingering anger or hopelessness; nor was the book bleak, or grim, as one would expect. Terry's intelligence made it possible for her to draw strength and courage from every possible source. And, as she looks back over the first 18 years of her life, she looks through eyes of love, gratitude, profound forgiveness, and—yes—humor. Marvelous!! (And I love the title: not Moonlight and Magnolias but Moonlight on Linoleum!!) I am delighted to give it an A+++ rating.