Karen gives an overview of the book:
A few months ago I walked out of my house to find a razor sharp javelin stuck in the middle of my front door. It was at eye level, right where my forehead would have been if I’d opened the small window in the door and looked out when I heard the screams and squeals of tires around 1:30 am. I guess if I’d looked, I wouldn’t be here right now. I’d probably be dead.
Fifteen years ago, my husband and I had moved to Calabasas, the new Beverly Hills of LA, thinking there couldn’t be a safer suburb in which to raise our children. We were the perfect family—really looked the part, private school, big house on a hill overlooking everybody else on the flats. Seven years later I was divorced, expelled from paradise and living just across the border in Woodland Hills. The perfect façade was gone but I was happy in my modest home, making the best of my situation, believing it to be a peaceful neighborhood and close enough to Calabasas so we could smell the clean air wafting our way and my kids could stay in the preppy schools.
I now find myself, a single mother of two teenage sons, one sixteen and one fourteen, fighting for their safety and my own. Their sister made it through the terrifying teens and is in her third year at UCLA Law School, so I know there’s hope. I believe in my boys, I am proud of them and love them fiercely. They are exceptional human beings. More than anything else in this illusory era, where the concept of standing by your word is virtually unknown, they need to hear me say “I believe in you,” “I am proud of you,” “I love you,” and know that I mean it, so that they can grow into believing it about themselves.
Karen Hunt, a native of California, is the co-founder of InsideOUT Writers, a nationally acclaimed creative writing program for incarcerated youth in Los Angeles. Karen has traveled all over the world as a child and adult and has lived in England, Slovenia, Switzerland and...