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Many Hands Make Light Work: A Memoir is the rollicking true story of a family of nine children growing up in the college town of Ames, Iowa in the ’60s and ’70s. Inspiring, full of surprises, and laugh-out-loud funny, this real-life family champions diversity and inclusion long before such concepts become cultural flashpoints. Cheryl and her siblings are the offspring of an eccentric professor father and unflappable mother. Mindful of their ever-expanding family’s need for cash, her parents begin acquiring tumbledown houses in campus-town, to renovate and rent. Dad, who changes out of his suit and tie into a carpenter’s battered white overalls, like Clark Kent into Superman, is supremely confident his offspring can do anything, whether he’s there or not. Mom, an organizational genius disguised as a housewife, manages nine children so deftly that she finds the time—and heart—to take in student boarders from across the country and around the world, who stir their own offbeat personalities into this unconventional household. The kids, meanwhile, pour concrete, paint houses, and, at odd moments, break into song, because instead of complaining, they sing as they work, like a von Trapp family in painters caps. Free-wheeling and contagiously cheerful, Many Hands Make Light Work is a winsome memoir of a Heartland childhood unlike any other.
Cheryl McCarthy is a freelance journalist for the Wall Street Journal, the Los Angeles Times, and Chicago Tribune. Her work has been distributed around the country, including to the Seattle Times, the Baltimore Sun, and the Orlando Sentinel. McCarthy holds and MBA from City University in London and a bachelor's in journalism from Iowa State University. Previously from Ohio, she now lives with her husband in Bellingham.
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