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.
ELLE Magazine, upon choosing Moonlight on Linoleum as their 2012 Grand Prix Nonfiction Book of the Year
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..
Readers loved Helwig’s unself-pitying embrace of her mother, as well as of her life and the cards it dealt her.
ELLE Magazine, #1 Readers’ Prize, December 2011
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.
Kathleen Coughlin Hefley, ELLE Magazine