This true story of a woman surviving domestic abuse as a child, emancipating herself as a teenager, and then becoming a successful attorney is courageous and fascinating, written with a descriptive restraint that recalls moments of tragedy and perseverance with simplicity and subtlety. Her story begins with an account of life among “a scrappy pack of homeless siblings” and narrows to Calcaterra’s rise to executive director of the New York State Moreland Commission on Utility Storm Preparation and Response. Woven into the narrative is Calcaterra’s search to discover the identity of her birth father, a man who resisted acknowledging that he is her parent; this conflict led to a landmark court decision in the state of Washington over an adult child’s right to an accurate determination of paternity; it also led to a touching reunion with other members of her birth father’s family. Written as a “story of the hope it took a community to raise a child,”
Calcaterra concludes her story with the genuine sentiment that “we all have to believe.” At the end of this unforgettable book, readers will.