Book Reviews

What Readers are saying about NO ORDINARY LIFE: Awakenings in the Final Days of Apartheid


“Marriage and political intrigue can be a winning combination for an appealing and fascinating read. A true story experienced first-hand by the author about South African politics and an American marriage in a foreign country showing so ably how everyone involved matured and was affected (often painfully) by the happenings of these two unrelated events in the same time frame. They are intertwined in this often gritty,extraordinarily down-to-earth story that has you wanting more –NO ORDINARY LIFE is a page turner in every sense of the word.” – Beverly Schroeder, U.S. Department of State, Foreign Service

“I was so moved by this book. It is an exciting true story depicting the challenges of interpersonal relationships during a volatile time in both history and the author’s new marriage. Such a lovely read.” Ann LeClerc, Travel Director, Washington

“Once I started reading, I could not stop! What an adventure. I felt like I was there with Mary.”Joanna Davidson, Feature Writer, The Denver Post

“This is a beautifully written memoir. Assigned to the Embassy in South Africa during the final tension and violence filled days of apartheid, Mary Byron and her husband were affected both personally and professionally by the events swirling around them. Writing with candor and sensitivity, NO ORDINARY LIFE evokes the highs and lows of that period, the impact on her and her colleagues of constant tension and worry, and the challenges in her marriage as both she and her husband become more engrossed in their work and more deeply affected by their environment. Few memoirs have captured this interplay of the personal and the historical as well as in this work.”Princeton Lyman, Former U.S. Ambassador to South Africa

“Lori Windsor Mohr has written a breathtaking memoir about Mary Byron’s two years in South Africa. Her writing puts us right there. “NO ORDINARY LIFE will make you laugh, make you cry, leave you joyful”Linda Parker, The Global Fight

“I couldn’t put the book down! What an exciting read! Bravo-Fantastic. This should be made into a movie. So well written. You transported me to a time and place far away.”Scott, Washington

“I was given a complimentary copy of the book for review. From page one I was drawn in to this story. Mary Byron witnessed one of the greatest moments in South African history, and Lori Windsor Mohr captures it beautifully. Even though the circumstances were extraordinary, I could totally relate to Mary as a woman struggling to keep her life in balance between marriage, career, and a world in chaos.

The irony of being a newlywed in such a dangerous setting drew great contrast and added tension. I learned so much that was never public knowledge at the time. Mary’s naivete was true for a lot of us. Seeing the brutality of racism through her eyes felt like my own awakening. How does Mary balance being gaga in love with the reality of oppression all around her? What a great read! I Loved it!”

“This is one of those priceless books that really stays with you. In fact, it is a book you find yourself never wanting to say goodbye to. Skillfully written, it’s a powerful and viscerally moving account of the extraordinary experiences of Mary, a young woman who is unexpectedly thrown into the midst of one of the most amazing and historic events of the twentieth century.

Even though we all know the outcome of South African apartheid, reading about it from the perspective of a love-struck newlywed who (to her horror) discovers she’s being shadowed and threatened in a very real way, is riveting. When Mary ventures into one of the townships to help a group of women organize for a U.S. AID program, she narrowly escapes – and finds that her courage and character are tested as never before.

Through it all, the incomparable beauty of South Africa shines through, as does the heartwarming story of Mary and Patrick. Be prepared to fall in love with these two, along with all the other extraordinary people you’ll encounter – from Nelson Mandela to Muhammad Ali. I can guarantee you one thing: once you allow this book to enter your life, you’ll never be the same.” – Ross Harrington

Enjoy this 310 page memoir ~ NO ORDINARY LIFE: AWAKENING IN THE FINAL DAYS OF APARTHEID ~ now available on 

Order here, and write a review to be featured on this website.

NO ORDINARY LIFE: Awakenings in the Final Days of Apartheid
NOW available on Amazon! Click here!

Published by Mountain High Publishing.  For author appearances and book signings, please contact



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.