Moonlight on Linoleum by Terry Helwig
A Daughter's Memoir

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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.

About Terry Helwig

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Terry Helwig, author of Moonlight on Linoleum: A Daughter’s Memoir, graduated with an MA in counseling psychology.  Before founding The Thread Project: One World, One Cloth in 2001, she specialized in women’s personal growth and spiritual development.  She and her husband Jim currently divide their time between the coasts of southwest Florida and South Carolina.
Published October 4, 2011 by Howard Books. 306 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Parenting & Relationships. Non-fiction

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Bearing the increasingly physical punishments and continually caretaking for her younger sisters while Carola drank at local bars, Helwig sadly reminisces on becoming “swallowed up by the grown-up world.” However, “for a few precious moments,” she reflects, “we actually felt like a normal family....

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Chicago Tribune

Although Terry seemed to miss her mother more than her sister, their childhood with their grandparents, biological father and stepmother seemed far more stable.

Sep 03 2011 | Read Full Review of Moonlight on Linoleum: A Daug...


Helwig tells her story in a sincere voice that never feels forced into the daytime talk show–inspired formula that instructs us to turn our negative experiences into bright ones when relaying them to other people.

Nov 30 2012 | Read Full Review of Moonlight on Linoleum: A Daug...

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