Back Cover Material: In the summer of 1974, Bobbie Rossi’s life is near perfect. She’s twenty-eight, has a teaching position at a junior college, a new lesbian lover, and a family she adores. There is only one problem. Her twin sister and her nieces live on the other side of Kansas with a man who is abusive, a man who absolutely hates his wife’s twin and will do anything to prove that hatred.
In trying to help her sister and nieces escape the abuse, Bobbie sets into motion an explosive emotional prairie fire, with Bobbie’s young niece, Gracie, caught in its direct path.
Now, in the aftermath, will working through the abuse of a family, and the guilt spawned by the assault of young Gracie, destroy the life that Bobbie has created? Or will it weave three women and three young girls together in a new family as only love and fire can?
Advance Praise: From Katherine V. Forrest, author of Curious Wine and the Kate Delafield mystery series: Caught in a crucible of guilt and recrimination, three women unite in mutual determination to heal gravely damaged ten-year-old Gracie in this unforgettable, deeply affecting, tangibly real story of love, courage, family, and redemption.
Additional Info on Author’s Background Relevant to This Book: Ona Marae is a survivor of childhood sexual abuse. While this story is not a historical, factual account of her childhood, she believes there is a truth greater-than-fact in story, and this story tells the truth of her childhood.
One of the reasons Ona wrote Gum for Gracie was to push past her shame over her past: after all, she didn’t do anything wrong. No survivor did. Another reason was to share her healing story. As survivors, we all walk down the roads like those we read about in the story: the fear of overwhelming emotions and the terrible feeling of misplaced guilt are just two examples. It’s possible to work through these, however, with time and love and effort. In the above/beside/below photograph, the child next to the cover of the book is Ona at age 10, the same age as Gracie in the story. The paradox of healing is this: as we heal ourselves in the now, we reclaim ourselves in the past. Bobbie’s journey and Gracie’s journey will be intertwined in ways that no one could ever have imagined when it all started.