"When you’re young, you think you are invincible and can do anything."

This moving story of a woman’s life in all its fullness and complexity begins when Beth is a pregnant teenager desperate to marry the man she loves despite her mother's alarm and resolute refusal to grant permission. Beth's decision to follow her own desires lead her on a path filled with trials and tribulations at the mercy of an abusive husband. But with determination, perseverance, and hard work, she finds opportunities to improve her life at critical junctures. She relies on education and hard work to lift herself out of poverty and limited life choices. At one point, her son calls her "Mom of Perpetual Learning," which speaks to her belief in education. With each degree she completes, she increases her earning potential and becomes empowered in her professional life as well as her personal one.

Told with detail and nuance, Pryor captures the heart and mind of a woman finding her way through struggle and heartbreak. Friends and family swirl around her story, some who offer support and some who take advantage of her. Her triumph through each stage of her life is inspiring and uplifting for anyone who has felt let down by the world and thrust onto an impossible path paved with bad choices and bad luck. The hopefulness of Beth's achievements offers a light in the dark to women everywhere. This view into a woman's life elevates the value of telling everyday stories of struggle and determination. Pryor provides deep insight into a woman's worries, reasons, choices, and hopes through the story of Beth. With this feat, she adds to the voices of mothers, sisters, and daughters everywhere with tales of their own to tell that exhibit a fervent belief in the value of a shared life.

RECOMMENDED by the US Review

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