The Last of the Good Girls: Shedding Convention, Coming Out Whole (Paperback)
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Mary Ann Woodruff's Last of the Good Girls is the compelling memoir of a child of the 1940s who followed all the rules-until she couldn't any more. Like many in her generation, she married Mr. Right, kept house, raised her children, joined a church, and volunteered in her community. Then, at midlife, she had to dismantle it all to find her true self. To her surprise, that included falling in love with another woman. It was a truth she had difficulty embracing. Woodruff had spent decades as a faithful church woman, serving as a Presbyterian elder and consulting with congregations and at every level in the denomination. When her church continued to insist on overtly restricting roles for gays and lesbians, she dared to speak out. To do so, she had to first face down the voices of homophobia clamoring in her own head-and all those forces that had compelled her to conform. A rigorous exploration of her emotional and spiritual interior led her to new understanding of her self. In lyrical, heartfelt prose, embellished with poetry, she tells how she was drawn to acknowledge a truth she didn't welcome, how an unexpected love called her out of deep fear, and how her whole family reshaped itself into a new circle of support.
About the Author
Mary Ann Woodruff grew up in Rochester, New York, and graduated from Mount Holyoke College with a major in English literature. She and her husband migrated to the Chicago area and then to the Pacific Northwest, where they raised their two children. She completed master's degrees in Librarianship (University of Washington) and Organization Systems Design (Antioch University, Seattle). An organization development consultant, she focused her practice on team building, conflict management, and large-scale strategic planning events. It was during this period that a tsunami of self-understanding began to transform her life and that of the Woodruff family. Now married to a woman, she is pursuing her life-long love of writing and occasional public speaking.