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A remarkable collection of intimate stories and revelations, Starlings in the Park is not your average cup of chicken soup. Instead, it's an inspiring and sometimes heart-wrenching look at real-life stories and struggles. Author Jeanne Johnson, who collected the stories during her many years as a teacher, counselor, Quaker prison chaplain, wife, mother and friend, shares some of the most touching moments she's witnessed. Here are a few stories she features:
— Three-year-old Annie, who, after refusing to leave with the kind-faced stranger who says he is her father, bravely endures years of violence and neglect with her prostitute mother before breaking free.
— Lauren, a young woman living a lonely life in the Irish countryside, whose decision to make a better future for herself and her young daughter in England breaks a solemn promise.
— Peter, in his prison cell, consumed by years of guilt and remorse over murdering his wife, who sees a ray of hope when a letter arrives from the daughter whose love he was sure he'd lost forever.
— Harry, an elderly man in an inner-city daycare center, who reflects with quiet dignity on the joys and hardships of life as a country-loving farm worker.
Regardless of the outward differences between the characters, these stories illuminate the common threads of human feeling. Fear, anger, sadness, isolation and conflict live alongside courage, creativity and hope—and darkness gives birth to light. An afterword to this book provides brief accounts of what eventually happened to many of the real people involved.