It’s a curious thing that the individuals who motivated me to write this book are those who have caused me the greatest pain. Tales of suffering are best told by those who have suffered themselves. However, at times these same individuals have brought good into my life, and so I thank them for that instead.

Until her own voice was swallowed by dementia, my mother was the best encourager an author could hope for. Even now, I sometimes catch a glimpse of her silenced love and maternal pride. She would be delighted to know that we are finally sharing this story with the world. Thank you, Mom, for your many decades of unfailing devotion and support.

I’m also grateful to my children, each of whom has offered encouragement in their own special way. No doubt my lovely, literate daughters, who both share my appreciation for all things beautiful, will find themselves among the pages of this book. And though neither of my sons enjoys reading, I am thankful they are willing to help with the mundane tasks of life, especially keeping that pesky grass at bay.

My siblings are an ongoing source of refreshment for me, when work and woes tend to suffocate the pleasures of life. I am grateful for my four professional and somewhat competitive sisters, as well as my kind-hearted sister-in-law – we are more alike than we know. It is a blessing to have so many to whom I don’t have to explain myself. And then there’s my Mensa-minded brother, who has repaired my drywall, fixed my wiring, plumbed my sinks, installed my floors, and generally kept my house from falling down around me. It’s OK if he doesn’t read my book – I have other projects waiting, and am most appreciative of his help.

My literary sisters Terrie Wolf and Margaret Dixon, both experts in the printed word, deserve heartfelt recognition for their early review of my manuscript, and for inspiring me to become a better editor of my own work, even when it hurts.

I also owe a debt of gratitude to both the writer and translators of the Biblical book of Job, without whom this story would never have been written. Elements from several sources and commentaries were amalgamated into my own paraphrases and conjectures. I have tried to remain faithful to the original record and do not claim that my fictional account reflects what otherwise transpired, except to the extent that these characters surely had hopes and dreams beyond that which was transcribed.

Special appreciation goes to Katrina DeFord, who assisted with the beautiful cover design.

Lastly, and above all, I wish to thank my Creator for sharing his love and creativity with all humankind, and in particular with me.