Ever since I was a little girl, I heard the stories of my great-grandmother Stella.
Orphaned. Mistreated. Escaped to America on her own at the age of 16. Bet in a game of cards. Stella overcame much in order to secure her freedom, the happiness of her future posterity. Her strength continues to inspire me, daily.
When I decided to write this book, my mom had mixed feelings. She worried about how I would portray other family members, how I would portray her grandma. At last, I showed it to her–just before the manuscript went to press.
She called me with tears in her eyes. As a college student, my mom said Stella came to her in a dream (years after Stella’s death). In the dream, Stella hugged my mom and said, “You are the only one who has not forgotten me.”
I did not know that story when I wrote this book or when I chose the title, THE FORGOTTEN GIRL. However, I get emotional thinking of my mom’s dream and my choice of title. Stella is not forgotten, and my book was a small way I could ensure that. Sometimes the stories we create don’t come from us; sometimes the words aren’t ours. I know that to be the case in this story. The writing isn’t perfect.
But, the story is.