Francesca Wright, pictured here in her Santa Fe home at the age of 95, was born into abject poverty, the youngest in a family of nine children, in the Ozark Hills of Missouri in 1911. Her mother and siblings farmed a small parcel of depleted land while her father sought supplementary income as a painter of both structures and canvases.
As a child, Francesca followed in her father's footsteps as he gathered bark and berries to mix for his paintings. Today, her acclaimed portraits and landscapes reside in prestigious art collections worldwide.
is the true story of Francesca's childhood. It is the story of her mother's tireless efforts to educate and empower her children in the face of grinding poverty, and of Francesca, at the age of twelve, finding herself left entirely alone for four long years-alone to manage her own survival as well as the crops, livestock and buildings of the family farm.
In counterpoint to the genuine hardships, the myriad delightful characters and details which Francesca recalls-through the eyes of a child-make for a heartwarming, often quite funny, and altogether uplifting read. Francesca's tale ends with her fortuitous escape at age seventeen into a wider world, a new beginning to a long and distinguished career.