by Ronna Russell
Born into an evangelical church family, Ronna grows up feeling lonely and unloved. She perceives herself as different—and thereby, unwanted—alienated by a faith hostile to outsiders. Unbeknownst to Ronna, her preacher-father is a closeted homosexual, inwardly raging at his suppressed sexuality. He raises his daughters with an iron hand, ensuring they conform to the church’s traditional values. Ronna rebels, believing she can leave her upbringing behind and walk away, unscathed.
Desiring to be a mother above all else, Ronna unwittingly marries a man in denial about his own sexual preferences, caring for him and their four children almost single-handedly. As their sex life and bank account dwindle to nothing, fear keeps her silent. When her father—previously spurned by his beloved church—dies of AIDS, Ronna is forced to reexamine her joyless existence. She finds the courage to stand on her own: pursuing her gifts and awakening to herself. In the process, she falls in love with her own life.