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One woman’s story of ambition, disappointment, and hope.



No one knows that what should be the most difficult day of my life really isn’t.

I feel more like shouting Martin Luther King’s words:

“Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, I’m free at last.”


When Isla Carrick’s adult daughters find this shocking entry in one of their mother’s diaries following her death, they are horrified. Needing to know more, yet afraid of encountering further devastating revelations, they make a pact to work their way through nearly sixty years of their mother’s journals together.


While reading the first diary, Isla’s girls become acquainted with her as a determined eleven-year-old growing up in the ‘50s, when she chooses an unusual goal. During her teen years, they are astonished by the candid way in which their mother describes her dating life, her educational aspirations, and her broken dreams. Details of their parents’ complicated relationship are revealed throughout the diaries, and they must learn to cope with this new knowledge.


Despite these disclosures however, nothing prepares the sisters for the startling discovery of two older siblings and the impact that each has had on their mother’s life.


Written in the style of Rosamunde Pilcher and Francine Rivers, Isla’s story is interspersed with her journal entries, and bound together by regular exclamations, insights, and reminiscing from her daughters as they come to understand and cherish their mother in a new and more intimate way.

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