Life Is Here, and I Have Been Away (Paperback)
When Mary Burnett finds herself at the very end of her rope, she musters the courage to repel her suicidal demons and commits herself to psychiatric care. And so, her life-saving journey begins-one she vows to take without self-deception, as if looking into a truth-telling mirror.
As she rereads decades of her old journals about long-forgotten incidents, the past comes alive-the good times and the bad: growing up with a petulant mother, her hopes for romance dashed when her intended reveals his homosexuality, two failed marriages, the birth of two sons while living in poverty, and finally, a third husband facing the death penalty.
Resolving her long stream of memories and banishing self-doubt, as she completes therapy, Mary zeroes in on three goals: to retrieve her sons from a Dickensian boarding school, where relatives have placed them; secure a home for her little family, see her boys launched into the world as self-assured young men; and to find a way (in her own words) "to be of use, to serve some purpose in this life."
In Life Is Here, and I Have Been Away, Mary Burnett's son Dan Bessie weaves his mother's narrative with his own perspective, and in so doing explores exactly how one woman was able to reinvent herself and rebuild her life.