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“Honest and moving . . . Her painful tale is engrossing.”—Washington Post Book World For most of us, it was just another horrible headline. But for Deborah Spungen, the mother of Nancy, who was stabbed to death at the Chelsea Hotel, it was both a relief and a tragedy. Here is the incredible story of an infant who never stopped screaming, a toddler who attacked people, a teenager addicted to drugs, violence, and easy sex, a daughter completely out of control—who almost destroyed her parents’ marriage and the happiness of the rest of her family.
“We have a homicide. We’ve fingerprinted the victim and identified her as your daughter, Angela Noe.” These are the words that changed a mother’s life forever. “How can you be sure it’s her?” “She has a tattoo on her left shoulder that says, ‘Free Bird.’” Carol Noe’s safe denial was smashed to pieces. Carol remembered how excited Angela was the day she got the Free Bird tattoo that represented her continual search for freedom. But Angela’s desire to be free had a dark side. At about age 14, she began to resist authority; she stayed out late or didn’t come home at all; and, soon, she was spiraling down a path of addiction. Despite family, friends, clergy, and therapists reaching out to help Angela, she continued her desperate slide into alcohol, drugs, and eventually a life of prostitution that ended with her tragic murder at the age of nineteen. Farewell, My Free Bird is a mother’s story of her daughter, Angela, and her life that was filled with turmoil before she was brutally murdered. However, it is not only a story of tragedy and loss. More importantly, it is a story of forgiveness: forgiveness made possible only by God’s faithfulness to Angela and her family. It is a testimony of how God can bring freedom for the captives; how He can heal the broken-hearted; and how He brings new life out of death. It is natural to wonder, Is God real? Does He answer prayer? Can He be trusted? Does He care about each of us and what we’re going through? All these questions are answered with a resounding “Yes!” in the pages of Farewell, My Free Bird.
On 5 February 2011, Marcia Grender received a phone call which changed her life forever. The flat her beautiful nineteen-year-old daughter Nikitta shared with her fiancé Ryan Mayes was on fire, and Nikitta was believed to be trapped inside. Marcia and her partner Paul, Nikitta’s father, rushed to the scene but there was nothing they could do. Firefighters had already discovered Nikitta’s body in the wreckage of the home she’d lovingly built with her childhood sweetheart. To add to their agony, Nikitta had been eight months’ pregnant. The fully formed yet unborn baby girl she’d already named Kelsey May was gone, too. But it soon became apparent Nikitta’s death was far from an accident. Within hours, the investigation became a murder inquiry and Ryan’s cousin Carl Whant was the prime suspect. Whant had been openly infatuated with Nikitta and boasted that he thought of her every time he had sex. As her world collapsed around her, Marcia could only watch in horror. Shortly after Whant was charged with murder, child destruction, rape and arson, she began charting her feelings in a searingly honest diary, the contents of which are published for the first time in this book. Marcia painstakingly recalls the agony of holding her granddaughter for the first time in a police mortuary, but being unable to see her dead daughter because of the shocking state in which Whant had left her. She charts the pain of laying them both to rest, knowing she will have to face their killer every day in court when Whant’s case comes to trial. For the first time, she opens up about her turbulent relationship with Ryan and the devastating revelations which almost cause her world to shatter for a second time. But, above all, she speaks of the indescribable hell of learning to live without the most important thing in her life.
In the 1970's, the Burlesque industry was thriving. Nudity and pornography was a public and political outrage. And people across the country were flocking to burlesque theaters to see Melissa St. John: The Upside Down Girl, A.K.A. Wild Star. Little did they know she was a single Mother, alone, on the road, with her two children in boarding schools in separate states. Over a 6 year period while traveling on a burlesque circuit across the country, she was searching for a way to come face to face with her true spirit. Through writing her innermost thoughts on paper, she found herself in the most unconventional way. THOUGHTS OF A STRIPPER: A MOTHER'S STORY, by Opal Dockery, is an inspirational, spiritual and autobiographical journal of a stripper's thoughts over a 6 year period in the 1970's. Her personal thoughts on single parenthood, spirituality, alternative lifestyle thinking, travel, the burlesque industry and family will inspire you, shock you and uplift you.
Anne Firor Scott’s The Southern Lady: From Pedestal to Politics, 1830–1930 stirred a keen interest among historians in both the approach and message of her book. Using women’s diaries, letters, and other personal documents, Scott brought to life southern women as wives and mothers, as members of their communities and churches, and as sometimes sassy but rarely passive agents. She brilliantly demonstrated that the familiar dichotomies of the personal versus the public, the private versus the civic, which had dominated traditional scholarship about men, could not be made to fit women’s lives. In doing so, she helped to open up vast terrains of women’s experiences for historical scholarship. This volume, based on papers presented at the University of Mississippi’s annual Chancellor Porter L. Fortune Symposium in Southern History, brings together essays by scholars at the forefront of contemporary scholarship on American women’s history. Each regards The Southern Lady as having shaped her historical perspective and inspired her choice of topics in important ways. These essays together demonstrate that the power of imagination and scholarly courage manifested in Scott’s and other early American women historians’ work has blossomed into a gracious plentitude.
In the space of a heartbeat, author Lorene Holizki was thrust into a world she did not know or want. On August 20, 2001, the unimaginable happened; her 16-and-a-half-year-old daughter, Kalei, was killed instantly in a head-on car crash. Desperate for insight into the emotions that threatened to crush her from the inside out, Holizki learned everything she could about her different world and new life. Along the way, she discovered there was an entire lifetime housed within the world of grief. In Forever Kalei’s Mom, she offers a deeply personal analysis of death and her journey through the grieving process. Divided into three sections, this memoir gives a sense of Holizki’s relationship with her daughter, discusses the inner turmoil of the unimaginable grief and shares how grief and the future learn to cohabitate. At times heartbreaking, Forever Kalei’s Mom discusses the lessons she has learned during the process. It presents an honest look at the chaotic mental and emotional grieving journey from Holizki’s perspective as a mother.

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