Orca Book Publishers

Browse by Category


Adult Nonfiction
Pages: 232
Publisher: Second Story Press
Pub Date: 12/Oct/2021
Bookmark and Share

Toronto ON, April 2021 — What was it like growing up as a smart girl in a world of 1970s suburban conformity? What family secrets were hidden behind the vertical blinds and sliding glass doors, or swept under the orange shag carpets? Is it possible to move from married mother-of-two to lesbian feminist activist without passing heartache?

In her bittersweet memoir, Mary Fairhurst Breen sketches scenes from a life darkened by four generations of mental illness and addiction. Despite the odds, Mary’s sense of humor and willingness to practice “radical acceptance” see her through the chaos to a life full of friends, art, and the joys of being a grandmother. Ultimately, she must face her greatest challenge of all when her daughter becomes one of the tens of thousands of people every year to die of opioid poisoning. This is a journey of awakening and activism, and a portrait of a life to be celebrated in all its complexity.


Resources for Teachers:

Orca Book Publishers produces a number of tools and resources to help teachers, librarians, reading specialists and other education professionals enrich the teaching and learning experience.

Please visit our Teacher Resources page to access and download materials.

Classroom Materials:

Free Teacher Guides

Digital Subscriptions

Resource Websites

Research and Support Materials:

Common Core

Reading Levels