"Ordinary People, Extraordinary Times: A Memoir of One Citizen Activist by Lois Nicolai is the first book in the author's biographical trilogy. Nicolai begins with some backstory on her personal experiences leading the charge and discussing her family home life, including the devastating and unexpected loss of her husband. As Nicolai puts the pieces of her life back together, so she enters a thoughtful transitory period wherein she reflects on the trajectory of her new normal and makes the decision to be an agent of change in some of the world's most controversial and harmful schemes. This instalment details Nicolai's earliest years on the front lines of international peacekeeping, bringing to life her proactive dissent on nuclear disarmament, worldwide test sites, and atmospheric testing, all done alongside voices, visitors, and global hosts who find themselves and their own corners of the world impacted.
Lois Nicolai appears to have lived ten lifetimes in one. Ordinary People, Extraordinary Times provides incredible insight into the actions of a profoundly courageous woman and those who are also willing to risk it all while fighting the good fight, primarily through the World Citizen Diplomat organization. For me the most eye-opening part of Nicolai's memoir is the no-holds-barred look at the impact of radiation on some of the world's most vulnerable, namely children, which is absolutely heart-breaking. The journey from a Mary Kay saleswoman who was inches away from a full-blown career to anti-nuclear activism, supplementing her income by becoming one of only two female drivers and her arms-length proximity to those in power is awe-inspiring. I admit this isn't a book that I would normally choose to read as personal memoirs of writers who aren't already well known tend to lean toward the mundane. Nicolai's story is light years ahead of these autobiographies and I do believe her book will be of interest to more than just the generations of her own family that follow when the rest of us are all gone. I am so grateful to have immersed myself in Nicolai's activism."
Review Rating: 5 Stars
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