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Moonlight On Linoleum: A Daughter's Memoir

Moonlight On Linoleum: A Daughter's Memoir

Escrito por Terry Helwig

Narrado por Ann Richardson


Moonlight On Linoleum: A Daughter's Memoir

Escrito por Terry Helwig

Narrado por Ann Richardson

avaliações:
4.5/5 (19 avaliações)
Comprimento:
7 horas
Editora:
Lançado em:
Oct 4, 2011
ISBN:
9781608149339
Formato:
Audiolivro

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Descrição

Even if others abandon you, you must never abandon yourself.

This simple truth became Terry Helwig's lifeline as she was forced to grow up too soon.

Terry grew up the oldest of six girls in the big-sky country of the American Southwest, where she attended twelve schools in eleven years. Helwig's stepfather Davy, a good-hearted and loving man, proudly purchased a mobile home to enable his family to move more easily from one oil town to another, where Davy eked out a living in the oil fields.

Terry's mother, Carola Jean, a wild rose whose love often pierced those who tried to claim her, had little interest in the confines of home and motherhood. In Davy's absence, she sought companionship in local watering holes-a pastime she dubbed "visiting Timbuktu." She repeatedly left Terry in charge of the household and her five younger sisters.

Despite Carola Jean's genuine attempts to "better herself," her life spiraled ever downward as Terry struggled to keep the family whole. In the midst of transience and upheaval, Terry and her sisters forged an uncommon bond of sisterhood that withstood the erosion of Davy and Carola Jean's marriage. But ultimately, to keep her own dreams alive, Terry had to decide when to hold on to what she loved and when to let go.

Unflinching in its portrayal, yet told with humor and compassion, Terry Helwig's luminous memoir, Moonlight on Linoleum, explores a family's inner and outer landscapes of hope, despair, and redemption. It will make you laugh, cry, and hunger for more.

Editora:
Lançado em:
Oct 4, 2011
ISBN:
9781608149339
Formato:
Audiolivro

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Sobre o autor

Teresa Helwig graduated with an MA in counseling psychology and for many years was a human development specialist, writing, lecturing, and leading workshops on personal growth and spiritual development. She is the founder and curator of The Thread Project and she and her husband currently divide their time between South Carolina and Florida.

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Avaliações de leitores

  • (3/5)
    I really enjoyed this autobiography about the author growing up with her five sisters, her unstable mother and her step-father, whose loving presence was often the only stability that she experienced. I thought that Helwig was able to bring impressive detail to the dusty Texas towns that she lived in, moving often more than once a year, because of her step-father's work in the oil fields. I particularly was struck by Helwig's descriptions of her connection to the natural world, which seemed to comfort her when her life was like a tornado spinning around her.

    The only drawback for me was that the last third of the book seemed to be rushed, with far less detail given to Helwig's senior year of high school, which was spent living alone with her two oldest sisters in California, and to her time immediately after graduation, when she returned to Texas to care for her two youngest sisters. She reached a point when she was comfortable differentiating herself from her difficult, mentally ill mother, no longer feeling the need to take care of her or to pick up the slack in caring for her younger sisters, but the details of this decision, which would have been the most interesting part of her relationship with her mother to me, were lacking.
  • (5/5)
    WOW. A powerful story of hurt and hope and healing. A fascinating coming of age novel and memoir. Terry Helwig's story begins in Iowa, where she and her sister live with their biological father and teenage mother. Their mother eventually abandons them and leaves them with their father and his parents. Later, she comes back and takes them to Texas to live with her new husband- the man they would come to think of as Daddy. Two girls eventually become six as they travel from town to town in Texas, Colorado, and eventually California following their step-father's job. Living with their mothers dependence on pain pills and numerous infidelities, the sisters become self-sufficient and band together to survive. Their story is sad at times, heart warming at times, and always hopeful. I truly enjoyed this book.Read this book of...*you enjoy memoirs*you love stories that take place in the 1960,s*you love stories of family*you love stories about sisters
  • (5/5)
    This memoir is very emotional because it's about children in a family. Terry is the oldest sister. There are many siblings. This family had so many heartbreaking problems It's hard to know where to start the review. I think it is possible to read about a dysfunctional family without placing blame on one adult's head. There are no perfect families. There are no perfect individuals. These two thoughts allow me to think with empathy and compassion for the whole family. However, these feelings do not an excuse the behavior of the adults especially physical abuse. According to TERRY HELWIG, her father was the strongest and most dependable of the two. Still, in my head I felt he was somewhat weak. What did he not give Terry's mom? What caused her to run from him over and over again? She would always run to the arms of another man. Why??? Does all the blame land on her hideous illness?Well, I can with happiness applaud the children. Growing up under such stress I wondered how they could make it from day to day. For example, they moved from Colorado to Texas over and over again. Then, they were moved to California. The girls never knew when they would be pulled out of school by the school teacher and principal because their parents had decided to move somewhere else. I can only imagine what it must feel like trying to make new friends so often and trying to pick up your studies without falling behind. One time Terry told a best friend I am "from everywhere and nowhere."The children also had to live with their mother's impulsive behavior. She divorced their father. Then, remarried, broke up, remarried. So many marriages so many times I couldn't keep count. Their mother also left the children to the care of Terry. It seemed like she couldn't wait for Terry to grow big enough to carry the babies, feed the babies, iron the clothes, fix the meals, etc."In addition to the driving and grocery shopping, Mama put me in charge of signing our report cards and writing notes for excused absences."While reading the book I realized that children are so vulnerable. Whatever their parents do or how their parents act is what they have to live with for many years. The children grow up in a world of confusion. Children are silent. They have no voice. They can only obey the orders of the big people. This is a fascinating memoir. There are pages and pages of pain. There are also pages of family love between the sisters. TERRY HELWIG'S MOONLIGHT ON LINOLEUM is a fascinating memoir. I think the author sums up the inability to see clearly in such a family by writing the following words.terryhelwig"The moon had climbed into the sky and was now shining inside the trailer window. I looked to where it spilled across the waxed linoleum floor....I stared at it for a long while. How was it possible that moonlight on linoleum, washed with my tears, could be so achingly beautiful?"
  • (4/5)
    Moonlight on Linoleum is Terry Helwig's memoir about growing up with an unstable mother and a house full of younger siblings. I guess the most notable fact is the way Terry stayed positive and nurtured her siblings to protect them from the hurts she herself had had to endure. Terry also maintained her feelings of love for her mother, Carola, throughout her life, although at best she was a negligent parent, more honestly, she was abusive. Still, in the memoir we are given tiny glimpses of Carola's kindness and humanity, like the time she pretended that her alcoholic sister sent Christmas gifts for her niece and her daughters, making sure that they were the most beautifully wrapped of all the gifts given that year. In contrast to self-centered Carola, her stepfather, Davy, whom Terry thought of as "Daddy" her whole life, was kind, honest, and compassionate. I particularly liked Terry's description of a Thanksgiving dinner that the family celebrated." ... Thanksgiving fell on the wrong side of payday. We couldn't afford to buy a turkey. Daddy didn't apologize; he merely bought a package of ground hamburger meat and molded it into the shape of a meatloaf turkey, complete with drumsticks on the side and a meatball for a tail...Daddy placed the meat-loaf turkey on a platter and lowered it onto the table beside the other steaming bowls. The seven of us bowed our heads and Daddy offered up a simple prayer. He thanked God for our family, for our food, and for the opportunity to be together."Moonlight on Linoleum is an unsentimental telling of triumph over a very difficult childhood.
  • (5/5)
    Moonlight on Linoleum: A Daughter's Memoir Author: Terry Helwig Published by: Howard Books Age Recommend: 16+ Reviewed By: Arlena Dean Raven Rating: 5 Blog Review For: GMTA Review: Review: "Moonlight on Linoleum: A Daughter's Memoir by Terry Helwig was a indeed an interesting read. Terry really did a wonderful job in telling her story... not only of the bad times, but also the good ones too. The story is of Terry who was the the oldest and responsible and her relationship with her... sisters(5), cousin(1) whose mother was terminally ill from cirrhosis of the liver, her mom (Carole Jean), dad (Daddy Davy..stepfather) his parents, ....her biological father from Iowa.... his mom, dad ...his wife Cathy and son Lanny, and his sister (Aunt Betty). Carola Jean had been a teen bride and the most important thing was that Carole Jean was concerned only for how she was living and not caring enough to take care of her children. Carole Jean left this mainly to her daughter, Terry! Carole Jean made the list and it was Terry's job to see that it was done.. This was indeed a dysfunctional family. Terry was the one that kept things going as they should, cooking and cleaning... ironing and watching over the girls to keep them safe. Terry was definitely the mother figure. When Terry would ask about her natural father from Iowa her mom told her that she could look him up when she was 18. The reason behind this was that Carole Jean thought since he sent no support he should not have any dealings with his daughters (Terry and Vickie). However, they would have some dealing with the Aunt Betty as long as her brother was notinvolved. Later Terry found out that her baby bother Lanny at 11 had cancer. I can say at this point I believe Carole Jean suffered from bipolar and that a lot of the time she was simply out of control. This family was noted from moving from place to place due to the fact that Terry's stepfather, Davy who worked from a oil rigging job that kept him on the move and he wanted to keep the family together. Davy was indeed a good person for he loved and showed it to this family. Terry accepted the love of her stepfather. Terry loved school even though she was from everywhere and nowhere.... Terry attended twelve schools in eleven years and she did graduate. All of this while Terry still managed to take care of herself, her sisters and even at times her mom. Terry was able to triumph over all of the pain and through all of this she not only loved her sisters but also her mom. Still trying to help her mom while Carole Jean is in the hospital supposing getting help from her suicide attempt... Carole Jean quietly leaves the Colorado State Hospital and doesn't come for the girls until Terry insist she comes and gets Joni and Brenda. Carole Jean married twice more and had another child, a son named Jodie. Definitely Carole Jean had problems that in the end through prescription abuse and the death of her son Jodie(2), her toddler overdosed on her sleeping pills and later died of pneumonia that lead to her suicide attempts and her death in 1974 from accidental drug overdose. Now.... The Sisters: Nancy, Vicki, Patricia, Brenda, Joni and Terry all live in four different states are still very close and doing well. They have a reunion every year with their children. In the end of the story Terry goes to her Mom's grave to ask for her blessing on the book "Moonlight on Linoleum." Letting her know things like Terry going to Africa. This was one thing she wanted to do. There was a lots of "Remember When" with the sisters ... and we learn that later Terry and Vickie's father from Iowa took his life. Terry had written this book for her shelf and her mom. I enjoyed the "Moonlight on Linoleum: a Daughter's Memoir" and I would definitely recommend it as a excellent read.
  • (4/5)
    Terry Helwig has written a memoir about growing up as the oldest daughter of a young, unstable mother. The story is reminiscent of Jeanette Walls' memoir, The Glass Castle, but is much more believable because Helwig's writing is less fantastic. At the same time, Helwig uses language and metaphor to communicate the depth and breadth of feelings she experienced at the hand of a mother she loved but could not trust.I won't go into the details of her story, but it is a story worth reading. And as I reflect on some of the children that moved in and out of my life in small town in the '60's, I suspect her story is more common than many of us would like to believe.
  • (5/5)
    An achingly brilliant memoir of an eldest daughter growing up with a mother whose dreams and desires were bigger than her own reality. For all those who grew up watching Leave it to Beaver or Father knows best and knew their own family never quite matched the TV ideal, this story will tear at your heart while striking chords of recognition in the truths. As her biological father once said, "Life is hard to understand at times" yet in her own life Terry not only survived but she excelled at finding joy and love which she shares with us through this memoir.
  • (5/5)
    Welcome to the 50's.....Grandma and Grandpa taking care of children, Mom gone, only Dad. Doesn't sound like the 50's to me....sounds more like the way families are today.Moonlight on Linoleum is a nostalgic trip back to a life that should have been filled with stable families, but it had two sweet girls who were left with their father and grandparents in Iowa while Mama fulfilled dreams of her own.And…..Mama wasn't done fulfilling her dreams...more sisters arrived and more new schools. Mama liked to go out and leave Terry in charge. One year the girls were in their third school, but at least with this move they had a house to live in instead of a cramped apartment. That didn't last too long, though. They moved again, and Mama kept on with her antics and with Terry in charge of the girls.Wow...what an outstanding memoir. This memoir definitely held my interest and made me feel for the children and how they had to endure their childhood as always the new kid at school and not really a kid at home since they always had to do chores that were an adult's. It is hard to believe how resilient we are as children.This sentence stuck with me: "How was it possible that moonlight on linoleum, washed with my tears, could be so achingly beautiful?" Page 218 I shed and shared Terry’s tears as I read this incredible book.I have to call you marvelous, Terry. Being able to live like you did as a child and to turn out like you did is truly amazing. You are such a goodhearted person and such a good daughter and above all a WONDERFUL, loving sister.
  • (4/5)
    Posted on Book Chelle.When I read the synopsis, I was drawn to the story. A lot of women I know do not have easy relationships with their mothers. Naturally, I wanted to know how Helwig’s own relationship with her mother differed from min. I read the forward from Kidd and was even more intrigued. And then, I read the the prologue and my heart broke. She had me during those few pages.In Moonlight Linoleum, Helwig writes an emotional memoir that details her childhood. Helwig did not just recount the events that took place in her life. Instead, she beautifully wrote the story of her childhood, filled with description and detail that I couldn’t believe it was real. Her story-telling abilities are so amazing that you are captivated by each memory that fills each page.With these memories, Helwig presents a life that is filled with sad and unfortunate events. Her life has become a story of strength, overcoming every obstacle that has been thrown her way. She has had to mature earlier than she has ever needed to be.Helwig’s mother is Carola Jean Vacha, a young teen who wanted to escape her own family and life. She married young, lying about her age to assure escape, and quickly had Helwig. After a short while, Carola left her husband, taking her baby to find a better and brighter life. Unfortunately, that is not the story for Carola, or for Helwig. The story continues moving from one city to another, adding children and husbands, one by one, with the dream of something more.The intimacy of detail that Helwig includes has only intensified the impact that Moonlight on Linoleum has had on me. Abuse, depression, and infidelity is only a few of what Helwig has had to endure throughout her childhood, and all while being the responsible one for her six sisters.But this book wasn’t just filled with sorrow and sadness. Helwig has a lot of love that she shares. While her mother was not the ideal parent, Helwig wholeheartedly loved her mother. If that isn’t a perfect example of unconditional love, then I don’t know what is. Helwig loved her mother, for what I think is the idea of who she could be.Helwig also loved her sisters like no one else. She realized the unrealistic situations and sometimes became the parent that they only had. Helwig also loved a man she called Daddy. Daddy Davy was Carola’s second husband, and was the only man that played a constant in her life. My heart broke for him. He loved and wore his heart on his sleeve. While he was content on being naive and in denial, I don’t think he deserved what was done to him.Moonlight on Linoleum is painfully reflective yet ultimately hopeful. 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. She conquered physical and emotional pain and clearly thrives. It is clear that the hope of Helwig will lead to a happy ending, not just for Helwig, but for the reader as well.
  • (4/5)
    Forced by her mother’s instability to care for her five siblings, Helwig crafts a moving story of a mother she loved and struggled to understand. Summary BPLSome readers have criticized the simple, linear narrative style, others the chore of reading about a truly awful childhood. I read the memoir because I wondered if Terry Helwig could clarify how she not only survived but, once she gained independence, actually thrived. I still don’t understand how she did it. I am all admiration for her objective comments about a mother who told her children when she was going out with other men while her husband was away that she was going to Timbuktu. The number of schools Terry and her sisters attended constitutes child abuse: Terry never spent an entire academic year at the same school. Mom had travelling feet and was always moving her daughters—or leaving them—somewhere.Terry Helwig writes with charity,compassion and clarity. No self-pity or payback here. An intelligent, warm human being with a story most of which should never have happened but which gave the world a beautiful woman.8 out of 10. Recommended to readers who enjoy reading about mother-daughter relationships, dysfunctional families and extraordinary people in a non-fiction genre.