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Following the unexpected death of her alcoholic mother, and worn down by the unceasing taunts of "bastard" from her hostile and mentally unstable stepfather, plucky sixteen-year-old Terry Sue sets out to find her biological father-believing this man, whom she has never met, could change her life for the better.
But before she can find him, she must identify him, and the unfamiliar names on her birth certificate perplex her.
She comes to realize that tenacity must run in her family, for as determined as she is to find her father, he appears equally determined to remain hidden. In The Strongbox, Terry Sue offers readers a forthright and inspirational account of her challenges, as well as her against-all-odds successes.
This decades-long personal journey reads like a detective novel, full of setbacks, false leads, jaw-dropping discoveries, and heartening triumphs.
The narrative's twists and turns also pull back the curtain on many of today's inconvenient truths: child abandonment, multigenerational alcoholism, sexism, economic inequality, domestic violence, mental illness, and illiteracy. Undaunted by the many blind alleys she encounters, Terry Sue forges on in her hunt for the loving care and emotional support she never received from her parents, and she ultimately finds it-but it arrives in forms she never expected.
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