An Unforeseen Life by Mary Ann Connell
When Mary Ann Connell was born, her father told the town: If it's a boy, I'll send up black smoke; if it's a girl, I'll send up white. The entire town of Louisville, Mississippi, saw white smoke billowing from the chimney - announcing Bill Strong had a daughter. This smoke--determined by gender--would come to define Mary Ann's life in ways none of them could have excepted. As a child, fire robbed her of a precious piece of her life. Later, Mary Ann faced a different kind of firestorm as she became one of the first women lawyers practicing in Oxford, Mississippi. An Unforeseen Life is Mary Ann's account of the many joys and trials of her life--from attending Harvard Law School with classmate Barack Obama, to serving as the president of a national association of university attorneys; from losing her husband to cancer to defending the wrongful termination suit of beloved Ole Miss football coach Billy Brewer. This powerful memoir is a funny, touching account of a life "most richly blessed," if sometimes in unexpected ways.