Julie Mannix van Zerneck & Kathy Hatfield
Blue Blazer Productions
Toluca Lake, California
Once in a while you find a book that has a voice that is so authentic it actually pulls you into the story. That is Secret Storms which is the story of a mother who was forced to give up her child and the child growing up without knowing she was adopted and finally finding the truth and her mother.
Julie Mannix grew up in an unusual family being that her father was an author and traveled the world. At their home in the Philadephia area would be numerous exotic animals. To accomplish this task throughout the world required much of her life being spent in boarding schools. In many parts of the world, children were not always safe in the adventurous life of exploring parents.
Julie's dream was to become an actress in New York. What her parents did not plan on was Julie becoming pregnant while in New York. While visiting her home, she saw a doctor who informed Julie's mother, not Julie, of the pregnancy. The father of the child was already married. Her mother, like many mothers in 1963, looked for a solution. When Julie took three sleeping pills her mother then had her answer. This could obviously be a suicide attempt.
Julie was committed to a private psychiatric facility for an abortion but she refused to sign the papers. Her punishment for the refusal was to move her as a pregnant mother to the state hospital for the mentally ill to wait for the birth of the child. There she took a vow of silence. When the baby arrived, the baby girl that Julie so wanted was quickly wisked away to be adopted. She had no choice in this matter. Only then was she accepted back at her home.
With her mother's help, Julie was able to return to New York to follow her dream and naturally to the man she loved. Now that he was divorced, they could marry, but Julie would always have a missing part of her with the baby that she gave up for adoption, Aimee.
Kathryn did not know that she was adopted. She grew up in a loving family until tragedy struck and her mother died. As her father and brothers attempted to continue to have a normal life, they closely bonded through economic hardships and a difficult remarriage.
During this time, Kathy discovered the truth, but life was unstable so she placed her clue to her real identity in a safe place and forgot about it. Years later by chance, she discovered the paper and quickly used the internet to uncover the clues to her true identity.
Secret Storms is the story of these two women as they worked through their personal guilt and discovery of their relationship with each other and their families. This story is a heart wrenching tale that literally places you in each of these women's shoes understanding the circumstances through their eyes. This personal journey of discovery for both women shows us the true gifts of love that encircle each of us.
Secret Storms is a marvelous journey for everyone to read.