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Awarded Memoir Reveals Glimpse of Life in Foster Care, Unites Family after 70 Years

Related: Family, Non-Fiction

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"The Stovepipe" by Bonnie Virag is a story of survival and triumph over tragedy. A compelling memoir that chronicles the lives of four young girls who are forcefully removed from their family farm and placed in foster care---an experience that soon becomes a nightmare.
During her fourteen years in the foster care system, Bonnie Virag and her sisters are often separated, reunited and separated again as they are shuffled from one uncaring foster parent to another. They spend most of their formative years doing forced labor on a tobacco farm; not allowed to partake in family meals, locked in an attic with no access to inside bathroom facilities and only a stovepipe for warmth and a lifeline. But thanks to the enduring strength of sibling love, they survive. Then seventy years after they were taken from their home, they locate and unite with five younger siblings whom they had never known.

"The Stovepipe" is a heart-wrenching memoir. Its unflinching tone is not an indictment of foster care but rather a story of years of willful neglect and unspeakable abuse---a verification of the resilience that bonds loving sisters who are determined to find joy in spite of darkness and despair.

"The Stovepipe" has been awarded a Kirkus Reviews (starred) award and designated as Kirkus Reviews' Best of 2012.

About the Author

Bonnie Virag was born in the town of Simcoe, Ontario, Canada. In 1964, she and her husband Anthony immigrated to the United States. They reside in Michigan and have two married sons and three grandsons. She travels to Ontario often where she enjoys visiting her three sisters.


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