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When Colleen Haggerty lost her leg in an accident during her senior year of high school, she could have retreated from life and let her disability become her defining quality—and no one would have blamed her for it. Instead, she went the opposite way. In the years following her accident, Haggerty explored her physical world with vigor, testing the limits of her body by joining a ski team, playing with a co-ed soccer team, and taking up kayaking and backpacking. She also tested the limits of her heart, pursuing love and passion with restless men.

In this unflinchingly honest memoir, Haggerty tells how she sacrificed two pregnancies out of fear in her youth—and then, later in life, chose to follow through on two pregnancies despite her fear. Those four choices informed the seasons of her emotional and physical life: abortion undid her emotionally; pregnancy undid her physically; and motherhood reconfigured her entirely. Emotional but ultimately uplifting, A Leg to Stand On is the candid story of one woman’s journey toward motherhood, both in spite of and in light of her disability.

Ann has two kids, two careers, two divorces, a pile of friends and sings soprano in the church choir. But after twelve years single, she is sick of celibacy. She’s been through enough to know that marriage is not what she was brought up to expect, and that love can be slippery and uncertain. With a re-awakened libido and a longing for adventure, she steps outside her comfort zone—embarking on a boundary-pushing, soul-searching journey into the world of online dating.

Ranging from Montclair, New Jersey to Harare, Zimbabwe, Daring to Date Again: A Picaresque Memoir is a compelling, often racy memoir of one woman’s late-life adventures with sex and dating in the modern world. As she rollicks (and bawls) her way through dozens of relationships, Evans tackles some touchy topics with humor and insight: the morality of dating married men, whether women over sixty should consider having children, what age difference is too much, and more. Daring, frank, and a little bit nutty, Daring to Date Again is a story about what happens when a lonely, sex-starved sixty-year-old woman decides to put herself on the market again—but on her own terms. 

Freddie was raised on faith. It’s in her blood.  Yet rather than seeking solace from the Almighty when she loses her husband of many years, she enters a state of quiet contemplation—until her daughter, and then her sister, each come home with a host of problems of their own, and her solitude is brought to an end.

As Freddie helps her daughter and sister deal with their troubles, her own painful past—a wretched childhood at the hands of an unbalanced, pious mother—begins to occupy her thoughts more than ever, as does Anna, the grandmother she’s always wished she’d known better. Freddie feels that she and Anna are connected, not just through blood but through the raising of difficult daughters, and it’s a kinship that makes her wonder what unseen forces have shaped her life. With all that to hand, a new family crisis rears its head—and it forces Freddie to confront the questions she’s asked so many times: What does it mean to believe in God? And does God even care? 

In the early 1900s, the United States YWCA began recruiting women for international service from many countries, and from many disciplines. Clara Taylor, who graduated from the University of Wisconsin, Madison in 1910 with a degree in economics, was one of those women. Clara was initially hired by the YWCA to inspect factories and report on the conditions of working women abroad—but when the organization asked her to take on a two-year teaching stint in Russia in 1917, she couldn’t refuse.

Edited by Katrina Maloney and Patricia M. Maloney—Clara’s great-grandniece and grandniece, respectively—Dearest Ones at Home is a collection of the letters Clara wrote during her time in Russia, accompanied by short historical essays that shed insight on those years. From teaching English, home economics, bookkeeping, and basketball to Russian factory girls to attending the Moscow ballet, Clara (“Teke” to her family) documents her “Russian Adventure” in these more than seventy letters with good humor and vivid detail—and in doing so offers a unique window into an American women’s experiences abroad during this turbulent time in history.  

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Comment by Rita Gardner on April 29, 2014 at 11:56am

Wonderful!  Can't wait (well, yes I can!) until they're published!

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