Author Joan Engelhardt Nielsen has crafted an immensely emotional tale of love and sisterhood

PRESTON, Iowa- A common issue in the world today is the huge population of orphaned children. From countries like Cambodia to the USA millions of orphaned children suffer and die due to starvation and exploitation. These children are left to fend for themselves in a cold uncaring world without guidance or support of any kind. In "Without Mama'" author Joan Engelhardt Nielsen has written a touching story of four sisters who were orphaned at a very young age and survived despite the harsh realities of life.

"Without Mama" is a true story of survival. It depicts how Helen and her sisters are abandoned by their alcoholic father after their mother's death. Without guidance of either parent, during their childhood they are physically alone, hungry, and needing affection. Geraldyne, 12, is in a wheelchair. Thelma, 9, wants the sisters to always be together. Helen is a mystified five year old who does not understand death, nor what Christmas is all about. Ethel, the baby, is 8 weeks old. This sad yet inspiring story shows the sheer courage it took for these four young girls to live life without parents and the immense effort it took to keep a family together.

This book is based on the true to life story of Helen who was interviewed by the author in her capacity as a nurse. The story is all true and is an accurate depiction of Helen Hunter and her sisters struggle to go on in life. "Without Mama" is a true testament to the strength of the human spirit

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About the Author

Joan Engelhardt Nielsen is a free lance writer and has loved writing since she was a small child. She has done feature articles for newspapers, short stories for a variety of publications, and has written several poems. Working as a nurse she, cared for Helen, who shared her life story with Joan. As she cared for Helen, Joan learned how vibrant and determined Helen was. Some of the obstacles Helen endured were similar to Joan's experiences. Joan has been a type 1 diabetic for 58 years. Like Helen, she had severe problems with her legs and feet.


Without Mama* by Joan Engelhardt Nielsen

Publication Date: October 14, 2011

Trade Paperback; $19.99; 140 pages; 978-1-4653-5281-1

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