A Good Girl
Gracey Reiter confronts a painful past and an intimidating future with the approaching death of her father, Henry Mueller, the self-described "last Mohican" from the chaotic gene pool known as the Walsh-Mueller family. The present holds the answer, and the last opportunity for Gracey to understand her father's alcoholism, her mother's infidelity, and her siblings' version of the truth.
The voices of the past give Gracey the courage to find her voice. Using biting humor and gut-level truths for the first time in her life, Gracey walks across the land mines created by a crippling family legacy.
Henry's funeral and the Irish wedding of Therese Mueller, Gracey's and her husband Mark Mueller's daughter, coincide by a few weeks and serve as a completion of the family circle. With the closing of one door, and the opening of the future, Gracey finds forgiveness by realizing six generations of the Walsh-Mueller family, saints and sinners, criminals and heroes, the abandoned and the celebrated, are forever family, forever bound by blood and the dreams of an Irish girl, Patricia Walsh Mueller.
A Good Girl examines the numbing work of raising children and burying parents through six generations.
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About the Author
JOHNNIE BERNHARD is a former English teacher and journalist with a passion for reading and writing. Her work(s) have appeared in the following publications: The Mississippi Press, the international Word Among Us, Southern WritersMagazine, Southern Literary Review, The Texas Review, and the Cowbird-NPR production on small town America. Her entry, "The Last Mayberry," received over 7,500 views, nationally and internationally. Johnnie's first novel, A Good Girl received finalist recognition in the 2015 Faulkner-Wisdom Competition. It is a featured novel for the 2017 Mississippi and Louisiana Book Festivals, a finalist in the 2017 Kindle Book Awards, and a nominee for the 2018 PEN/Robert Bingham Prize.
"When we think of our family circle, there are so many words that can be spoken about the circle of life that formed us. [A Good Girl] brings the story of family 'full circle' reflecting on what matters most, at the end of this life here on earth--love and forgiveness. I was deeply touched by this family's journey of healing-- a journey we all inevitable seek to experience with someone in our family."