Struggle and Strength: Eight Ordinary Women with Lives Most Unusual


Sharon A. Kennedy is a retired higher education academic and lawyer. She previously published a book titled Classroom at the End of the “Line:” Assembly Line Workers at Midwest Community and Technical College. She splits her time between the Midwest and Arizona.

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“The true wisdom of life consists in seeing the extraordinary in the ordinary.”
— Pearl Buck


From Motown to moo towns to Menominee and Mormon country, Struggle and Strength: Eight Ordinary Women with Lives Most Unusual explores universal themes that define the American experience.

Author Sharon Kennedy has spent a lifetime seeking out colorful characters in unexpected places. Here she focuses on eight remarkable women who have experienced unimaginable tragedy, struggle, and ultimately their own form of reconciliation. They represent generations of Americans and reveal profound truths about race, family, class, immigration — and what it means to live life to the fullest in the face of adversity.

Kennedy deftly weaves the profiles of these women with her own personal reflections on why their stories resonate with her. She shines a spotlight on the many ways universal truths are lived throughout ordinary lives. The profiled women in these pages are truly extraordinary — and ordinary — in their own particular ways. Their lives speak of resilience, relationships, and overcoming hardships. It is a powerful reminder of the strength of the human spirit and the indomitable American spirit.


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