In the summer of 1967, at the age of four, Tess received two things; a baby sister and the nickname Sister Girl. Neither of which she wanted. Life had been perfect before baby Grace came into their lives. Sure, sometimes Mama got mad at Daddy or Daddy got mad at Mama, but most days Tess enjoyed a regular routine. Eating her cereal while sitting on the floor in her underpants, watching morning cartoons, or visiting with Mrs. Gardner next door was enough to keep her happy. She didn’t see why anything needed to change, but as Mama always said, “Life moves forward and you need to move with it or you’ll get swept away.”
This humorous coming of age novel by Jonna Ivin takes the reader on a journey through the late 60’s into the early 80’s. You'll fall in love with Sister Girl as she manages to survive a world where grownups teach her how to nail clothes to the floor, hustle money at the track, and play with matches. All the while she manages the overwhelming responsibility of being the big sister to Grace (an increasingly odd child who lives in a fantasy world and barks at strangers).
Raised by an alcoholic mother and without a father, Jonna learned at a young age to put her needs on the back-burner. After her mother dies of cancer, she goes on a spiritual journey looking for enlightenment and a purpose for her life. Eventually, she ends up as a volunteer in the relief effort following Hurricane Ike. There she meets a man who will forever change her life.
In the swamps of Louisiana and the hills of Arkansas, Jonna follows her heart to build a life with an American hero - a 20 year veteran of the Army Special Forces. Only after uprooting her whole life, leaving everything and everyone she knows behind, do the pieces of this fairytale start to unravel. Realizing the man of her dreams is actually the stuff of nightmares; Jonna must once again go within and discover why she is a woman willing to love for crumbs.
Attorney Lauren Atkinson has spent her career defending death row criminals. When a murder hits close to home and clues tie her to an old forgotten case, Lauren must stop at nothing to find the killer. With her marriage crumbling and her life in shatters she begins to question everything she has been fighting for. Will her views on the death penalty change once the killer is revealed?