Patricia Christian’s childhood and adolescence fit the idyllic picture of America in the 1950s and ’60s in so many ways: a happy, cheerful child, she lived in a bungalow in a midsize Midwestern city, had neighborhood friends and a big brother, and learned to read with Dick and Jane. Her days were filled with selling Girl Scout cookies, riding bikes with friends, and roller skating; her summers had visits to her aunts’ and uncles’ farms and family road trips to explore the great American West.But in one very important way, Patricia’s life was unconventional: her mother was overcome by illness when Patricia was an infant, leaving her motherless at five months old. Her father was valiantly determined to keep his business going and his family intact despite his own heartbreak, and he hired a series of women to clean the house and look after Patricia and her brother—some loving and responsible, others downright negligent.Yet this is not a memoir of bitterness and self-pity. What sustained Patricia and allowed her to grow into a secure, confident child—making the difference between overcoming and being overcome by the various obstacles that lay ahead—was the experience, at age seven, of accepting Jesus as her personal friend. Patricia had not been dealt an easy hand, but her simple childhood faith in God’s love and guidance never wavered. Her story is a testimony to the fact that even a life shadowed by tragedy and “unfavorable beginnings” can be a joyous one when we put our trust in Him.