An autobiography of Helen Mar Carter Monson
A Vivid Memoir of a Unique Childhood
In our modern age of streaming media and scheduled recreation, it’s easy to forget what childhood used to be like—the everyday discoveries and delights, the hilarious catastrophes and small triumphs. No Ordinary Life is a time machine taking us back to Depression-era Salt Lake City, where Helen grew up making wonderful memories: “Spring was here! I coaxed Mama to let me leave my coat home. That way everyone could see my new dress! And that gave me two things to brag about, because most of the children were still cumbered with their winter coats. I was so excited at being center stage, I was talking non-stop as we arrived at school, and opened the doors to the long closet in back to remove our coats. As I sat, I became aware of an unusual silence. Strange. The bell hadn’t rung. I looked around to see what was the matter, and I heard some giggles and whispers, and I saw a girl point at me. I looked at me too. I was sitting there in my petticoat. Instantly I knew what had happened. I had absent-mindedly taken off my button-down-the-front-dress as if it were my coat, and hung it up with everyone else!” Despite poverty and stress, Helen’s stories focus on joy and adventure . . . while providing a poignantly authentic lens on her family and herself. No Ordinary Life is the first book of The Greatest Gamble series, and covers Helen’s life from her earliest memories through junior high.