God Bless the Child

When we first meet Mary Kline in God Bless the Child, Book One of The Women of Paradise County series, she is sewing, her main obsession besides eating. It is hard to blame Mary for who she has become. She’s been perpetually hungry since childhood, and as she becomes a woman, she craves something far more delicious—a child of her own.

When Pearl Davis turns up pregnant after a church-basement encounter with James Pullman, the pastor’s son, Mary and her parents swoop in and “adopt” Pearl and her baby, Elizabeth. It’s a disastrous move.

As a teen, Elizabeth rebuffs Mary’s smothering affection and winds up pregnant. Mary insists on an abortion, which they both keep secret. When she later becomes a young mother, Elizabeth’s depression leads to severe OCD. When her irrationally patient husband, David, learns about the abortion and the harrowing nights Elizabeth witnessed as a child when her birth mother was abused, more secrets are revealed that explain Mary Kline’s insatiable appetite and her desire to be loved.

By the time Mary and Elizabeth confront the twisted truths that bind them, their entire family is sucked into grappling with layers of trauma spanning three generations.

Everyone in God Bless the Child must reckon with their past as they seek forgiveness and redemption.

About the author

Since she first fell in love with writing in high school, Anne Shaw Heinrich has been a journalist, columnist, blogger and communications professional.  Her first article appeared in Rockford Magazine in 1987. She’s interviewed and written features on Beverly Sills, Judy Collins, Gene Siskel, and Debbie Reynolds.

Anne’s writing has been featured in The New York Times bestseller The Right Words at the Right Time, Volume 2: Your Turn (Atria) and Chicken Soup for the Soul’s The Cancer Book: 101 Stories of Courage, Support and Love.

Her debut novel, God Bless the Child, is the first in a three-book series. She and her husband are parents to three adult children. Anne is passionate about her family, mental health advocacy and the intrepid power of storytelling.

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