Jeanne Baker Guy, "You'll Never Find Us: A Memoir" (She Writes Press, 2021)

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In 1977, Jeanne’s German nationalist ex-husband, Klaus, tells her he’s gotten a new job and wants to take their three-year-old daughter and six-year-old son away for a long weekend to celebrate. Jeanne relents. But Klaus never returns and instead sends Jeanne a letter, delivered by a mutual friend, in which he declares that he has fled to Germany and she will never see him, or her children, again.

The next four months are filled with agony, despair, and anger as Jeanne seeks legal support but quickly learns that federal parental kidnapping laws will offer her little help. She reflects on her tumultuous ten-year marriage to Klaus and the unsettling events that followed their divorce. A product of the patriarchal culture of the 1950s, Jeanne’s nice-girl mentality is being tested and reshaped by the feminist movement of the 1970s, and she finds that the kidnapping ultimately becomes a doorway to unexpected strength.

You'll Never Find Us: A Memoir (She Writes Press, 2021) is the story of a young mother coming into her own power, regardless of past mistakes, bad judgment, and fears; the story of a woman who realizes she must tap into her newfound resilience and courage to find her stolen children—and steal them back.

Jeannette Cockroft is an associate professor of history and political science at Schreiner University.

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