No one else can tell my story. I contain multitudes: the second-degree Tae Kwon Do black belt who loves to spar at the Dojang, the mother of two thirteen-year olds, the police reserve officer, the human resources manager, the Assistant Boy Scoutmaster, and the woman who married her partner, August 2014. I’m also the woman who suffered repeated sexual abuse, who had a hushed-up abortion after I was impregnated at 14 by one of my brothers, who was pregnant again within a year by another brother, and who gave up a son and never saw him again. What I wanted most in my early twenties was to know that people could not only survive what I did, but heal and live a joyful and good life. Now, my book will help me be that person for others.Layout 1  

4 thoughts on “

  1. Mark Hines

    I just finished reading this book Ann you are the toughest person I know . I never new there was so much termoil in your family I dated your sister when I was younger and never new . You girls are truly remarkable. I hope you all have better lives as adults. I often think about what ever happened to all of you . I just wanted to let you know that this was a tearful read your family I truly feel for you.

    1. Post author


      Thank you so much for reading, House of Fire. It was a book that needed to be written. It has brought me much freedom.

      I appreciate you taking the time to let me know how it touched you.

      The best to you and your family.


  2. Peggy Swedien

    I know you are Elizabeth, but I feel you as Ann. As a fellow Ellsworth- St Francis- girl from the 70’s, I just want to thank you for your remarkable book. It is a story that needed to be told. For you and all of your siblings. Like Mark Hines, I too have often wondered what happened to you all. I recognize the courage it took to write this and commend you.

    I hope this isn’t too painful, but I just want you to know that I do remember your Johnny and his infectious smile and cheeks. We used to ride the bus together and sometimes spent a lot of time in line at St Francis waiting for it to arrive. I remember whenever I would look at him he always gave me a warm smile or was already giggling because he was teasing or being playful with someone else.

    This is a great read and I have cried through most of it, including this reply.
    Peggy Rohl

    1. Post author


      Thank you so much for commenting. My sweet, sweet brother, Johnny. My next book will be about how some of us don’t make it. I feel as if John always tried to build himself a home. One of my saddest days is when I had to leave him to save myself. Now I give that love to my children, Juan Jose and Crystel. If you are interested, I write a blog, WordSisters. I talk about present and past. I appreciate you sharing a memory of John. All of my siblings had good about them. You are right, House of Fire, was a book that needed to be written. Thank you.


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