Readers who praised this story of coming of age -- and coming into grace -- will love this new book club edition!
More than a memoir, this book is a promise of hope for anyone who was abandoned as a child, to anyone who woke up hungry and went to bed hungrier every day, for every wife who has loved a husband who left bruises on her heart and on her body.
Somewhere between stealing cold cuts from stray cats and watching a stranger leave her mother's bed after breaking in through their bedroom window, Mary figured out that her family was dirt poor. Worse than her empty stomach, she was hungry for acceptance and love. She thought she found it when her baby sister was born and she became her "mommy," taking care of her needs as best as she could at the age of seven. Then she had to say goodbye over a small white casket.
Mary's grandparents, first-generation immigrants from Puerto Rico, took her in and gave her a glimpse of faith and stability. For a brief, shining spell, she had a real home--until they decided that Mama needed her.
They may have been right, but Mama needed more than a little girl could give, and Mary lost her way again.
Just out of Juvy Hall, Mary found a knight in shining armor to take her away. She became a teenage bride to a man twice her age -- a man as deeply enslaved to booze as every stepdad she'd had as a child. She loved him anyway and wore the bruises he gave her, even when she tried to leave him to give their children a better life.
Despite her fear and loneliness, she never imagined it would take a gunshot in the middle of the night to teach her courage. She was even more surprised when her rediscovered faith paved the path to forgiveness after so many years of pain.
Running in Heels is an autobiography of the grit and grace that carried a young girl through the shadows of her mother's choices and on through an abusive marriage. Mary A. Pérez narrates an incredible story of survival in the face of hopelessness, and learning to forgive against all odds.
Now with "Questions and Topics for Discussion" for your book club!
"A heart-wrenching testament to perseverance in the face of constant physical and emotional violence. An honest portrait of abuse within two generations, chronicling the author's long and often painful journey to recover her life and her faith within a most difficult legacy." - Rita M. Gardner, author of "THE COCONUT LATITUDES: Secrets, Storms and Survival in the Caribbean"
|Publisher:||Stellar Communications Houston|
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.94(d)|
About the Author
Mary A. Pérez is the author of "Running in Heels: A Memoir of Grit and Grace", her debut memoir of the turbulent and uncertain childhood she survived, unlike her sister.
Mary was born to a Puerto Rican immigrant family in the Bronx of New York and moved to Miami, Florida in 1962. Her childhood story played out against the backdrop of constant social change which defined the 1960s and forever altered the landscape for future generations. With political tensions of the time raging during the Vietnam War, there was a personal war within Mary's own family dominating her life. Her future held little hope for a precious girl who lived through more traumas before her adult years than most live in a lifetime.
As she cleaved to the Godly faith that her grandparents instilled in her at an early age, she still found the courage to persevere through her young adulthood seeking the peace and serenity they had shown her, though it continued to be an elusive ambition.
As you get to know Mary in the pages of this moving story of hope and forgiveness, you will be overcome by the power of a grandparent's love for their granddaughter, a child's quiet understanding of God's path for her, and the way in which Mary turned a life of peril into a life of promise. This book will leave you with the undeniable power of faith, hope, and love.
Mary began writing her memoirs in 2008 and continues to share her inspiring outlook with her writers group and fans through her blog. Her award-winning essays have appeared in La Respuesta and Sofrito for Your Soul.
Mary A. Perez was born in the Bronx, raised in Miami, and now resides in Texas with her husband of nearly twenty years. Her award-winning essays have appeared in La Respuesta and Sofrito for Your Soul. This is her first book.
Table of ContentsPrologue
Chapter 1: Humbled Beginnings
Chapter 2: Heaven, Hell or Hoboken
Chapter 3: To Abuela's House We Go
Chapter 4: The Little Green Dress
Chapter 5: Bump in the Night
Chapter 6: The Crux of the Matter
Chapter 7: Big Brother
Chapter 8: My Daddy's House
Chapter 9: Growing Pains
Chapter 10: A Rock and a Hard Place
Chapter 11: To Live Again
Chapter 12: My Dark and Shining Knight
Chapter 13: Pipe Dreams
Chapter 14: Colorado's Bicentennial Adventure
Chapter 15: Combustion
Chapter 16: Motherhood
Chapter 17: Letters from Home
Chapter 18: A Day of Reckoning
Chapter 19: My Two Cents
Chapter 20: New York, New York
Chapter 21: My Guardian Angel
Chapter 22: Texas or Bust
Chapter 23: Let Go and Let God
Chapter 24: It's Official!
Chapter 25: And Then There Were Four
Chapter 26: Good as Gold
Chapter 27: No Guts, No Glory
Chapter 28: Oh, Brother!
Chapter 29: Gone, but Not Forgotten
Chapter 30: Running in Heels
Chapter 31: My Grit, His Grace
Chapter 32: Into the Shark Tank
Chapter 33: Boy, Oh Boy!
Chapter 34: On Borrowed Time
Chapter 35: Mrs. C
Chapter 36: From the Inside Out
Chapter 37: Transition
Chapter 38: Mama Mia
Chapter 39: Happy Birthday!
Chapter 40: Storms Strike
Chapter 41: This Too Shall Pass
Chapter 42: The Catch
Chapter 43: Full Circle
Chapter 44: A Leaf in the Wind
Chapter 45: The Best for Last
About the Author
Questions and Topics for Discussion
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Very well written. The minute I started reading this book I could not put it down.It held my interest from beginning to end. Could not wait to see how it ended. The author has a long career ahead.Waiting for her next book.
Running In Heels is a book written from the heart. She shared her most vulnerable moments not holding anything back. It's hard to imagine someone going through these trials and still coming out sane. It is evident that there was a higher power watching after her. It is wonderful to know that the One Up Above cares so much for us. the book was sometimes hard to read knowing that someone had gone through such trials. I was so happy to see that she got her victory against all odds. It was a wonderful read.
“Running in Heels: A Memoir of Grit and Grace” is an exercise in truth and bravery, written By Mary Perez. “Running in Heels” represents the triumph of the female spirit over the phantom of abuse and instability that follows those of us who are unfortunate enough not to have the benefits of an “idyllic childhood”. This book is an inspirational exercise in human struggle and salvation. Mary Perez has opened wide the door to her life and welcomed us all in without fear of recrimination. Written in clear and precise language, this is the story of a young girl, neglected to the point of abuse--a situation that is counteracted at times by the opportune intercession of grandparents who are able to plant the seeds of love, Christianity, and self-respect within her. This seed eventually matures and helps to save her life. Mary’s youthful awareness, tinged with humor and adult intelligence, allows her to see life for what it is. This gives her the ability to deal with her mother’s poor choices, and the incessant entrances and exits of her many boyfriends, who at times are even more unstable and irresponsible than her mother. At a very young age, Mary learns the sad truth that she is the adult in her relationship with her parent, a fact which becomes pellucid when her baby sister is killed by a car and she has to comfort herself. From little girl, to youth and adulthood, the phantom is always over her shoulder creating instability, loss, and at times mayhem in Mary’s life. She thinks she is saved when a man old enough to be her father enters her life, but once again, because of the lack of stability, she is unable to see him for what he really is. She makes excuses until she can make them no more. It is then that her grandparents’ influence returns and she sees what she needs to do to save herself and her children. Even though the details of this memoir may be hard to read at times, the engaging and descriptive nature of Mary’s discourse of her life, gives the reader the impetus to continue turning the pages, all the while cheering her on and hoping that she makes the right choices. She doesn’t disappoint. The final chapters tell us the story of her redemption, most of it through her own actions with help from “above” and friends below. Not everyone can achieve this.
From the moment you begin reading you are enthralled. I found myself staying up late into the night because I just had to know what the next page would bring. This is a truly beautiful story of "grit and grace". Heartache and happy tears will follow you through every page of the book! You feel connected to the author regardless of whether or not you have been in that exact situation. You feel the heartbreak of a little girl, the turmoil of a troubled young woman, and the peace and beauty of the woman she grows into.