Around April of 2016, I hit a wall as an elementary school teacher. I’d been doing it for a while, and the well of inspiration I’d dipped into time and again was dry. On top of that, family events and the death of close friends, set in motion a great change in my life. To be blunt, it felt like I was dying. After some soul searching I decided to write a novel. My experience in putting together a novel was limited. I’d written a novella in a writing program a decade earlier, but this new project required a different motivation.
What began as a maudlin collection of bios of all the people I’ve lost over the years, morphed into a story about two sisters’ tragic childhood. One of the bios was about my sister who left this earth in 2014. I spent the next eighteen months in front of the computer, ultimately spilling out a 134,000-word novel (550 pages). The end result is two books that chronicle the excruciating events of the lives of Amber and Grace Rentano. Their story is the story of women who have been marginalized by a society that conspires to keep them in the shadows. The miracle I found on this journey is that the human spirit, exemplified by these women, endures and transcends.