Book Reviews – Simply Nora: High Heels and Diapers

noraSimply Nora: High Heels
and Diapers
by Theodore Marquez
Club Lighthouse Publishing ISBN 978-1499648430

Reviewed by Forrest Whitman

This is a tender book about a mother, written by her son. It reads like a Christmas card or high school scrapbook. Theodore Marquez was born and raised in Del Norte, Colorado. Nora, his mother, had 24 children. Theodore was the product of an affair she had about midway through her marriage. Her husband, Ed Marquez, tended to accept the situation. Never a model husband, he did at least provide for his family. His drinking spells were troublesome, but she put up with that.
These days it’s hard to think of what life must have been like for a woman in those circumstances. Married at thirteen in 1929 in an arranged marriage, she simply made the best of things. The closest relationship she had was apparently to her father, a man who cared for her a great deal. Her many women friends were a constant source of help, but mostly it was a life of hard work and lots of diapers.
The 230 pages of this book read like the everyday diary of an everyday woman. I wish the author hadn’t added dialogue about what she may or may not have said in each situation. He can’t have heard much of it, and it comes across as simply wooden.
There are a few insights into how families made do during the Depression in small-town Colorado, and how sparse joys improved the situation. Reviewing a book like this is like reviewing a diary. Especially those who may have grown up in Del Norte, or friends of Theodore Marquez, will find some gems here.