Cover Image: An Ordinary Tragedy

An Ordinary Tragedy

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Member Reviews

An Ordinary Life is the story of a baby boomer family.  From the outside, they were the picture perfect nuclear family, but appearances are not always what they seem.

Lori Hart Beninger has done a masterful job of telling the story of her younger brother, Scott. Although estranged for many years, Lori has written the story of his life in an attempt to understand what went wrong.

I found the story engrossing, and read the book in one sitting. I would recommend this title to anyone who liked reading memoirs.

In the interest of full disclosure, I received a free digital copy of this title to review from Net Galley.

#AnOrdinaryLife#NetGalley
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Excellent writing. Lori Hart made me feel as if I were with her every step of the way. Scott's story may help others understand what their families are going through.
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A sad story of a middle child and his older sister trying to make sense of why he committed the crimes he did. Lori is trying to work out why Scott behaved in such a different way to her and her youngest brother, Grant. It is so sad how the behaviour of one individual affects the rest of a family.
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This book from Lori Hart Beninger was an easy read yet a valuable one. It focused on an All American family, your standard neighbours, raised like all those around us are presumably raised. This psychological exploration dug deep into the reasons why one child from a family of three would veer off the legal path, when all had been raised in a similar manner. Why does one child choose criminality, vandalism, theft and truancy? Is it an alteration of the psyche?. Must life events contribute to such a deviation? These questions are explored in this great memoir, once that spark many questions among us ordinary, middle class readers. I'd recommend this book to anyone interested in the workings of the human mind and what provokes our actions and behaviour.
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Such a sad story. The author wrote this as if she were speaking to a friend, like you were having a coffee together and getting the low-down on the family troubles you'd been hearing about. I sympathize with them and applaud her courage for writing this. As much as one can enjoy a book of someone else's woes, I did, thank you!!
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The author wrote a memoir that captured the frustration and other emotions as she tried to uncover why her younger brother became a criminal despite having the same upbringing as her and her other brother.  Her journey for answers was heartbreaking, as you could feel the emotional toll it was taking on her.  This is a great read!
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A heartbreaking but yet a great read!! Highly informative and very well written I’m glad I picked this !!
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Story I've heard 100 times over.  Why did this child become failure when siblings didn't.  Nothing new or out of the ordinary at all.  Boring, boring, boring.  Story drags along very slowly with no surprises at all.
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Lori Hart Beninger was born in the 1950s, as were her two younger brothers, and they lived a typical middle-class life in a neighborhood with lots of kids.  Only, her popular brother Scott stole things, from the family, from the neighbors, from businesses.  Once he got his license, he would also start totaling vehicles.  Why was Scott like that?  Why was he different from his siblings?  Those are the type of questions the author was seeking to answer in this memoir.  

Ms. Beninger was no bleeding heart when it came to her brother.  Her honesty about the burden she felt he placed on the family was one reason the story was so real and readable.  Yet his death, like death so often does, filled her with some regret about not trying to understand him better. Thus, she sought out those who knew him as a child and an adult; to see if they could provide some clues as to why he was such a stealer and so self-destructive, and so unable to turn his life around. 

While reaching no solid conclusion, it seems at the end the author was going with the idea Scott was irreparably traumatized as a very young child by their father’s absence due to work, and their mother’s anger at their father.  Sorry, don’t buy that.  Lots of individuals have traumatic experiences and relationships as children, and don’t have lifetime psychological problems.  Her brother had lots of second chances, no jail time or light sentences, therapy, employment and housing provided when he needed it, etc.  

Choices. We all start making choices early on in life, and they build up one on top of another.  On any given day we are the total of all of our choices.  That’s my theory.  That’s why the lives of siblings can turn out very different.  In addition, as someone who believes in reincarnation, I think past lives also play a big role in the matter.  Parents are the gateways to a life on earth, they are not gods who determine how their children will react to everything they encounter in the world.  Scott Hart made one bad choice after another, year after year after year.    Maybe next lifetime he’ll be wiser.  It will be his choice or choices, though, no one else’s.
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Book was different than I had imagined. It was sad and heartbreaking. The family had to go through so much. Very interesting family drama.

Thanks to author, publisher and Netgalley for the chance to read this book. While I got the book for free, it had no bearing on the rating I gave it.
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