Immediately the reader is hooked ... Scheier writes a compelling memoir that is hard to put down. Written in decisive prose, Scheier does not coddle herself or her mother. Neither does she vilify or glorify anyone ... Our response is more profound awe than merely a sympathetic aww ... The memoir's only flaw is in what is written but what is left unsaid. Not so much as how Scheier coped in situations with her mother, but how she coped with interacting in the world outside her home. How do you learn to trust others, how do you learn to even trust yourself? ... Every reader will take something different from this memoir. Some will see themselves while others will empathize. But in the end, Never Simple reminds every reader that no matter who we are and where we come from, life is never simple.
Sometimes raw and other times wry, Scheier recounts the combinations of adventure and abuse, love and terror her mother, Judith, engendered ... Scheier’s final pages are a moving confession of learning how to love her own children the 'correct' amount without subjecting them to the damaging extremes of a mother’s love.
A tense and heart-rending story ... Scheier is sometimes as sardonic as her mother, as well as funny and frequently clever ... The narrative sometimes feels undercooked, but ultimately Never Simple writhes with the sorrow and guilt only a deep and complicated love can arouse.