A few months ago, a stranger wrote to tell me how personally moved she was by The Sisters, and, in particular, by a short scene in which my character Marshall, a student of archaeology, tells Rainey about his childhood passion for collecting old potsherds. After Marshall discovers his first fossil–the imprint of a beetle in a small stone–he puts his shoebox full of potsherds in the garage and forgets about it. A couple of years later, he finds his artist mother at her worktable, setting the sherds into plaster, “making something beautiful, something new and whole out of what had been lost and broken.”
This passage was so meaningful for this reader that she wrote to tell me of her work with Living Water for Girls, a foundation dedicated to creating a safe refuge for young women who have suffered the trauma and brutality of sex trafficking. The staff of Living Water for Girls provides the patience and multifaceted care these young women need in order to rebuild their shattered lives into something new and whole.
This past weekend, I had the lovely, humbling honor of speaking at the spring fundraising event for Living Water for Girls and the even greater privilege of meeting some of the radiant young people who have been saved thanks to the efforts of the dedicated, visionary women who make up the Circle of Friends. Because of them, in fewer than seven years, 79 traumatized young women have built wholly new lives.
For those of you who have read The Sisters, you’ll understand when I say that, this weekend, I felt as if I’d met a dozen or more twenty-first century Mabels.
That reader who wrote me in the last days of December is a stranger no longer, but a friend and, yes, a sister who counts me as part of the circle.