I am thrilled to finally have published my book, “The Land of Sunshine and Hell, a Memoir of a ‘60’s Unwed Mother”. It is now available on Amazon or direct from the publisher, Austin Macauley. It was a two-year journey of discovery and a fifty-year incubation that finally culminated in the book.
Along the way I learned a great deal. I had significant numbers of people react to pieces of the story in such a strong and empathetic way that was encouraging after all the years harboring my secret. It became increasingly obvious that it was a story to be shared and an outcome to be celebrated. I researched the Vietnam War and validated facts and dates that I had forgotten. I found other books on the subject and immersed myself in reading whatever I could get my hands on. I read excerpts of my writing at my writer’s critique group and found out how therapeutic to do so after keeping so many secrets for so long. I saw “deer in the headlights” looks from young fellow writers who had no idea of the morals of the ‘60’s and could not believe my experience.
Going public with the memoir has been encouraging and exciting. The reaction to the book has been positive and supportive. I hope it opens up a dialog around morals, values, domestic violence and adoption challenges today. I would hope it helps us examine our values, where we’ve been and where we hope to be. While pregnancy without marriage today is commonplace and no longer taboo, domestic violence continues to be a significant challenge.
I look forward to hearing from those who have read the book and have come to some conclusions as to how to handle these situations. I know that my motivation to escape from the domestic violence I found myself in had everything to do with protecting my son. I was fortunate to have the financial capability to escape, understand how I could allow myself into such a relationship, and never return. Going public was definitely a cleansing experience.