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Memoir Review – The Summer of Ordinary Ways


The Summer of Ordinary Ways by Nicole Lea Helget


Review by McGuffyAnn M. (nightprose)


Nicole Lea Helget has written a memoir that will stay with you. Her story is real, heartbreaking and vivid. She writes with incredible ease, in spite of the words and images they invoke.


Admittedly, it is a painful book to read, as the author’s memories are often quite unpleasant, even horrific. But that is the reality of a memoir: it is real life, as the author experienced and recalls it.


She tells of growing up in rural Minnesota, the oldest of several daughters. Her father is an apparently disturbed and cruel man, while her mother is a tired and overwhelmed woman. Nicole, herself, is overwhelmed.


Each chapter is a dated story, in beautifully written prose, in spite of the pain described. While it may not depict the small town and rural life that we want to believe or read about, it depicts the story that Nicole Lea Helget lived. This is a very powerful and emotional memoir.

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