Fire. While it appears destructive, it’s also a force of renewal. Just as fire clears the way for new growth, so, too, can people transform their lives when they confront their worst fears and step into the sunlight of their purpose and truth.
House on Fire, a raw and riveting memoir by author and publisher Jenn T. Grace, explores her journey growing up as an adopted child in a chaotic household. Surviving a turbulent childhood marked by family conflict, mental illness, and alcoholism, Grace promises herself that life will get better. But as an adult, Grace’s personal and professional successes belie her inner turmoil.
When she bravely steps in to adopt her sister’s emotionally troubled daughter, she soon discovers that love and patience are not enough to meet the child’s needs. Desperate to find help, Grace and her wife struggle for years to navigate a broken mental health system that too often fails families and their children, leaving them with a heart-wrenching decision to save their sanity.
How do we let certain things go once we realize we have choices? How do we come to a place of healing and forgiveness? Too often, the outside world judges and criticizes without understanding the private challenges that many families face. Grace’s courage and honesty in telling her story is an inspiring message of hope and resilience for anyone suffering from trauma, adversity, and obstacles that seem insurmountable.
For more than a decade Jenn T. Grace, the Professional Lesbian, has helped organizations connect with the lucrative LGBTQ market.
In this, her fourth LGBTQ book, she takes us behind the scenes of her professional and personal life as she shares stories that illustrate the do’s and don’ts of doing business with the LGBTQ community. Woven into her stories, which are sprinkled with Jenn’s signature style of unapologetic honesty and lighthearted humor, are proven strategies to help readers navigate this highly nuanced demographic – sensitively and profitably.
Jenn T. Grace is clearly both a truth speaker and a truth seeker and I believe she desires others to try to live in the same way. She is able to share the most vulnerable aspects of herself in order to connect with her readers and allow them to absorb the intensity of her world from the start as a young girl into womanhood. Her story feels a lot like ocean waves bringing you up and down and at times feeling like you are being dragged in the undertow alongside her. Ms. Grace is able to share heartbreaking moments, trickled with some laughter, the difficulties of having an alcoholic parent, and demonstrating how some children have no choice but to grow up fast. As a reader, there will be moments where you'll want to rescue her out of the pages, but you will soon realize this woman is going to walk through fire and come out on the other side, no doubt with some soot on her face but she triumphs just the same. Other moments you will be cheering her on and other times you may want to be standing by her side helping her navigate a very dysfunctional educational and child protective system. You will no doubt learn things you may not have known before, relate to ongoing themes, connect to her love of animals, her use of running as a coping skill, and what it is like to navigate the world even when you might not have the most reliable of supports. She still manages to help others and not have a hardened heart and that is one of the beautiful elements of this book. I listened to this on Audible and loved it. Raw, resilient, truthful, and educational. Read this, or listen to this, and share it with others. Thank you Jenn T. Grace for sharing your story and for having the courage to do so.
Jenn Grace opens the book on her life, sharing her upbringing and challenges with a raw and exposing matter-of-fact delivery. The book lays open a deep level of neglect, both physical and emotional, that happens in plain sight of other family members, school social workers, and family friends. Her early triumphs in controlling what she can, her dedication to sports as a lifesaving endeavor, and the dysfunction of family dynamics that leave her abandoned in her own home with few advocates.
House on Fire is both an actual event and an analogy for Jenn's path through the inferno that was her early life - she triumphs in quiet ways and pushes her body and mind hard to succeed. There are too many examples of times when others might have thrown in the towel and a frank acknowledgement of how close she was to walking towards the flames because of physical and psychological anguish and overload.
Because of House on Fire I learned about RAD, a form of mental illness that consumed the bandwidth of her adoptive family and then her family of choice, and about determination and compartmentalization in a way that was very thought-provoking. Mostly, I felt huge empathy for the young girl then woman who deserved so much more than she received and admiration for the woman who emerged from the flames clear-eyed and supported.
It is not often that we are given the chance to be within the intimacy of family stories that are told without apology, or restraint, the truly raw and real insides of home and family. With House on Fire, Jenn invites us in and you immediately feel welcome. As you relax into being within the family your heart binds to the characters and their triumphs and struggles. You cannot help but feel like you are in the house with them. The depth this personal narrative takes is one that is so often hidden. It is a story that needs to be shared and is shared here with courage and great craft in the writing. Jenn invites you in, say yes to the invitation.
Authenticity and personal inspiration are central to every lesson Jenn teaches--especially in Beyond the Rainbow. By exploring years of experience as a highly-respected expert in diversity marketing and business development, Jenn has crafted an essential guide that can help everyone, from startup to C-Suite, achieve success with the LGBTQ market.
If your company wants to reach the LGBTQ community, you need a strategy. Beyond the Rainbow provides a smart and nuanced framework to help you reach this powerful and lucrative market.
We live in a world that's driven by analytics, statistics and tangible results, however does that truly measure a strong culture and an accepted workforce? Simply meeting quotas and providing benefits is not enough in today's workforce to attract and retain top LGBTQ talent. Beyond the Rainbow is the conductor in the symphony of business to help organizations understand that diversity is simply inviting people to the party. To truly differentiate yourself from the masses by creating a strong value proposition, you must create the song that asks your workforce to dance.