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.
... touching ... In a compelling, even humorous narrative, Scheier parallels her life story--itself a fascinating journey to career, marriage and motherhood--with her mother's erratic existence. Scheier illustrates how a child can not only heal from trauma, but evolve into forgiveness.
... affecting ... Scheier’s debut is heartbreaking and compelling. The writing is insightful and candid, and the style is crisp and frank, threaded with both an aching sorrow and a droll perspective. The relationship between Scheier and her mother is complex and complicated, and Scheier doesn’t shy away from her frustrations or anger. What begins as an exploration of identity as she searches for the truth about her father ends up being a rumination on trauma and maternal love ... a worthwhile contribution to the library of stories about dysfunctional families, survival and compassion.