In this deeply moving and wonderfully insightful novel, acclaimed author Cathy Lamb explores what can happen when one woman decides to reclaim her past—and her future—no matter where they lead…
Madeline O’Shea tells people what to do with their lives. A renowned life coach, she inspires thousands of women through her thriving practice—exuding enviable confidence along with her stylish suits and sleek hair. But her confidence, just like her fashionable demeanor, is all a front.
For decades, Madeline has lived in fear of her traumatic past becoming public. Now a reporter is reinvestigating the notorious crime that put Madeline’s mother behind bars, threatening to destroy her elaborate façade. Only Madeline’s sister, Annie, and their frail grandparents know about her childhood—
but lately Madeline has reason to wonder if her grandparents also have a history they’ve been keeping from her.
As the demons of the past swirl around her, a childhood friend with a gentle heart is urging Madeline to have faith in him—and in herself. And as she allows her resistance to thaw, the pain she expects pales in comparison to the surprises headed straight to her door. With one bold, unprecedented move, Madeline O’Shea may just wake up out of the sadness and guilt that have kept her sleepwalking through life for so long—and discover that the worst thing that can happen is sometimes the very thing we desperately need.
The First Day of the Rest of My Life is an eloquent and triumphant tale of a fierce act of love, a family’s legacy, and one woman’s awakening to her own power—with no secrets.... .
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(Monday, September 5, 2011)
Reviewer: Nancy Narma
What a poignant story this is! We follow Madeline O’Shea from her scarred childhood to her rise to fame as a renowned life coach as an adult. Madeline learns all of the fame, glory, and extravagance cannot erase the horrific memories of the childhood abuse she, as well as her beloved, chainsaw-wielding, withdrawn from life, Sister Annie endured for the sake of those they love, nor can it keep their talented Grandmother; Emmanuelle, from falling deeper and deeper into the dark pit of Dementia. I guarantee you will love Madeline and Annie’s pistol-packing Mama, the original “Pink Girl” herself; Marie Elise O’Shea, whose never-ending love and guidance is an inspiration, not only to her family, but to friends and the clientele of “Marie Elise’s French Beauty Parlor”. You’ll chuckle over the zany group of clients Madeline deals with in her practice (especially the Giordano Sisters) as well as their antics. Through all of the trials and tribulations, the O’Shea Sisters learn very valuable lessons with the help of their family, longtime steadfast friend Steve and love struck Bertie. It has been a long time since a story has brought me to tears, but, I assure you, this one did, as well as fire up my anger over child pornography and feel my heart ache for its victims. When I closed the cover on the last page, how I wished I had elders to hug as well! After reading this, I intend to do two things; read another of Ms. Lamb’s books and start my own patch of lavender—after all, who doesn’t need extra strength, protection and a bit of luck? I might even sprinkle marbles in between the plants while I keep watch for “A Swan” here in Northeastern Pa.! This is one book you won’t want to miss! Nancy Narma