The Year The Trees Didn't Die is the story of how author Mary J. Koral and her husband Ken managed to cope with the challenges of making an interracial adoptive family. Strangers ask their children if they speak English know their birthparents and realize how lucky they are to live in America. They watch as those children move from happy to confused and angry rebel and make terrifying choices. Laughter leaves and fear is a constant companion. How will the family survive? Will the family survive?
Equal parts heart-wrenching and uplifting The Year The Trees Didn't Die tells of loss on every level imaginable: loss of identity loss of control and of a mother who promised to "exchange loss for love&hellip" Unflinching in its honesty and rawness it is a haunting and remarkable story that is unforgettable.
Mary Koral grew up in a small town in northwestern PA. She currently lives in Ann Arbor MI. Her writing including parts of this book has appeared in the Alaska Quarterly Review Tusculum Review Diverse Voices Quarterly and other journals.
"Mary Koral's memoir shares the love and family created by her and her husband as they faced the challenges of adopting and raising three children from three different regions of the world at a time when multi complexioned families were rare.The story is extraordinary and Koral's use of language is almost poetic. She captures people places and situations as no other author I have encountered and conveys the triumphs of persistent love in the face of the unpredicted demands of adoption and multicultural parenting. The book is hard to put down and almost every chapter left me teary and thinking about all of the people I wanted to share it with." - Marion Perlmutter PhD Professor of Psychology University of Michigan
"A vivid complex and truthful account of the journey of an adoptive family. Koral captures the devotion hard work and love that gradually transforms vulnerability and uncertainty into resilience and accomplishment." - Kritine Freeark PhD Center for Human Growth and Development University of Michigan
"Mary Koral is grit and grace adoption's face in this strong compelling story of a multi-cultural family. Her voice is both arresting and wise she lets us see through her eyes and touches each of us where we live. Mary doesn't pull any punches doesn't lose her grip gives new birth to our fears and joys and we thank her for it. We fall in love with Mary's family and adopt all of them into our hearts. Mary in The Year The Trees Didn't Die raises us up." - Chris Lord author of Field Guide to Luck published by Pudding House has been editor of Bear River Review co-host of "Writers Reading at Sweetwaters " has won competitions and been published in small press journals.