This is a true story of a stepmother's uncompromising love for her four stepdaughters from a previous marriage. The book consists of recorded telephone conversations in real-time between the stepdaughters and their stepmother from 1994-2002, with surprising events unfolding before the reader's eyes. Their stories include heart-rending accounts of physical and sexual abuse in foster homes and spousal abuse in the marriage, the unwarranted loss of children, living on the minimum wage, and repeated ER visits resulting in pain-medication addictions. Their lively and impassioned personal conversations read like a novel but are true.
These women are survivors, but it is easy to see that traumatic childhoods left them with drug and alcohol addictions to stop the pain and the memories. One has served time in Chowchilla Women's Prison in California for drug abuse after life on the streets of San Francisco and LA. This book speaks volumes about the unfairness of our legal system and its failure to rehabilitate offenders.
Boxes of statistics inserted between the conversations add educational material to support the many social issues of the book. These four young Southern women try to live life with courage and determination despite an alcoholic birth mother who deserted them and a maternal grandmother who left them at the Salvation Army. Two daughters remained in foster care during their childhood, but all four girls have subsequently reunited and are close despite recurring sibling rivalries. Through all their adversities, these women show amazing inner strength and resiliency, and it is obvious they care about improving their lives.