Miss Brenda and the Loveladies is a fast, furious, funny memoir.
This story begins with a red headed lady who never takes "No" for an answer. Her poverty stricken childhood made her determine to be earn lots of money when she grew up, and her business prospered for years. And then the IRS raided the place. And miss brenda nearly went to prison.
Thats when she decided it was time to do something new. She was going to found a Whole-Way house for former prisoners transitioning to the free world.
At first, Miss Brenda envisioned herself as the director of the program. She hired a cook and a driver and a housemother to staff the big house at Hob Hill, and she had it decorated beautifully to make it really feel like a home. She thought she would just check in routinely.
She never imagined that all the staff would quit when they saw the ex-cons coming.
These women, the Loveladies, had been written off by the system as lost causes, and were feared by society because they'd been in the system. Ther's be no option for them to start over, because no one trusted them!
If the vicious cycle wasn't broken somehow, they'd be back on the streets waiting for the jaws of jail to close again.
Miss Brenda suddenly began to see just how very bad... or how amazingly good... this idea could be.
And Miss Brenda found herself smack in the middle of every progress and problem. She became chauffeur, counselor, caregiver, friend, and mother to an awesome group of women who would change her forever. As Brenda watched these women learn to burn the past and choose a better future, so did she. Soon, she was honored to count herself among the Loveladies.
These Loveladies came here through broken families, the harsh streets, and prison itself. Could a family/home style program be exactly the environment these ladies needed to find their own place in the world, fill the role they were made for, and see their own value? Yes, it was.
This is a real, raw, inspiring reminder that not matter the pain, the past, or the scar, Love can give you a reason to raise your head and take another step.
Thank you Blogging for books for my review copy!
Brenda Spahn is founder and executive director of the Lovelady Center, the largest and most successful nonprofit transitional center for women in the country. It serves 450 women and children every day, providing substance abuse counseling, drug rehabilitation, meals, childcare, career counseling, and job opportunities to women working to establish successful lives outside of prison walls. Brenda is married and has four adult children as well as one young child who lives at home.