The Prize Winner of Defiance Ohio by Terry Ryan is the perfect book for summertime reading and has become one of my all time favourite books. Not just because it is a wonderful true story about a woman who has inspired many a contestor, but because it also changed my life.

In 2003, after seeing several people chat about the book in an online contesting group I decided would like to give it a read. I remember walking around the house, with a duster or vacuum in one hand and the book in the other as I could not put it down. (I also highly recommend having a tissue box nearby.)

Apparently, someone in Hollywood was also inspired and in 2005, Julianne Moore stared in the movie of the same name. As soon as the movie came out on DVD I bought it. I was watching the extras and saw that Dortha Schaefer was still alive, living in Payne OH, and writing for The Paulding Country Progress. I wrote her at the paper, and she me wrote back!

I eventually met Dortha, the remaining Affidaisy members and even became an honorary Affadaisy for a day. I was also lucky enough to interview all of them for my book. (The Winning EDGE Vol 3 Issue 5 and The Affadaisies.) Sadly, both Evelyn, the book’s heroine, and the author have both passed away and I did not meet either of them.

This is not your regular book review. I am not going to give anything away as I want you to run to your local bookstore or library and get it. And, only after have you read the book do I want you to see the movie.

I hope you enjoy the book and movie as much as I do.