Johnston author's debut novel an inspiring account of life in foster care

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In her debut novel Have Mercy, Johnston-based and former Glocester resident author Barbara Ann Whitman pulls back the curtain to reveal the effects foster care can have on a child and delivers a powerful character-driven tale of love, empowerment, and self-discovery.

In Have Mercy, 18-year-old Mercy is a survivor. Growing up in foster care, she always played it safe by taking the right path. She is the "good" girl. Or, at least she was. Even her younger sister using drugs and living on the street did not distract her. But, when Lily turns up just long enough to give birth to a premature baby, Mercy faces decisions that rock her world.

During a lonely night in jail, she faces the past and makes a decision that gives her life new direction.

Mercy thought her childhood was the hard part. But she is about to find out that the road to adulthood holds lots of surprises. Can she shake off the events from her past, or will they continue to shape the future? The world has always played hardball with Mercy. Now, will she have the life she wants, or will life have Mercy?”

Barbara Ann Whitman is a seasoned social worker with experience as a child abuse and neglect investigator. She has worked professionally with hundreds of foster families. Currently, she is employed by Foster Forward, a RI-based, nonprofit agency that empowers foster children to become successful adults.

Her short story “A Changing Sea” was published in the anthology Shoreline and her poem “Galilee” was featured in the book Under the Thirteenth Star.

She has been a Sunday school teacher, a youth group leader, a parenting instructor, a Big Sister, and a Girl Scout leader. Barbara Ann founded a Meetup Group for active seniors in 2015. She is a member of the Old Fiddlers Club of Rhode Island and sings in her church choir. She serves on the board of directors at Gaits of Harmony, a therapeutic riding facility.

Have Mercy is available to purchase through select bookstores and gift shops, major online retailers and through the publisher at www.StillwaterPress.com. Barbara will be signing copies of her new book at Stillwater Books in Pawtucket on Friday, June 22 at 6:30 p.m.

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