On July 20, 1995, author Terri Austin Chiles received a call at work that she had been dreading-her mother, Amanda, is dying. Amanda Fouther, a poor African American girl from Birmingham, Alabama, lived in a shack with her parents and seven siblings. Though she had very little going for her except charm, wit, and incredible good looks, she used these attributes to win a statewide beauty contest and college scholarship. This would be the first of many steps on a path filled with astonishing successes and devastating failures. But Amanda earned her doctorate degree and raised three children, including Chiles, who became a prominent Wall Street attorney. As Chiles endures a painful divorce and struggles to maintain financial stability, she makes sure that the well-being of her children is her highest priority. Drawing on everything she learned from her mother, Chiles obtains a small but affordable apartment and enrolls her children in the best school in Manhattan. Through all of life's difficulties, it is the values and lessons instilled by Chiles's mother that give her the strength to keep going. This captivating memoir includes letters and journal entries that provide a poignant tribute to Amanda's memory.