by Rosie McMahan

I won a 1st Place Blue Ribbon in the Journey Book Awards for Overcoming Adversity Non-Fiction, a Division of the 2021 Chanticleer International Book Awards! (The #CIBAs)

“…so powerful, so intimate, so unsettling, so brave, so word precious, so chokingly real, so important, so beautiful, so unbelievable…I just wanted you to know, I am reading it but it is taking me awhile to get through it as it just stops me dead so many times…”

Spring 2021, Reader Review

Fortunate Daughter is available on Amazon, B&N, Indiebound,, Apple, Kobo, etc.

You can go to any of these websites and search by title or my name, and my book should appear. You can then use the links provided on those websites. 

As a longtime fan of indie bookstores, I also encourage friends and family to buy from their local bookstore as a way to generate goodwill.

To read an excerpt from my book, click here.

Click here to read an essay I wrote some time ago titled “After All These Years” and check out Donna Jenson, a survivor activist who is doing incredible work to promote healing and joy within the survivor community. She also is one of the people I spoke with for my podcast series.

To read an essay I recently wrote titled “This Happened To Me” click here and check out StopItNow!, great organization doing terrific work in the area of sexual abuse prevention.

To watch a recording of my virtual book launch on May 21st 2021, click here. I am available to give a reading in person or virtually upon request.

Heart 2 Heart

Below, you can listen to conversations with various friends, colleagues and family members about my story of childhood sexual abuse (CSA), what promoted and hindered healing in my life and how my experience of reconciliation was shaped by caring adults, including my parents – the very people responsible for my abuse. Each conversation carries genuine and particular interest in unsettling the braid of secrecy, stigma and shame that so often accompanies (CSA), the force of speaking truth to power, and the role that forgiveness can possibly play in moving ahead in one’s life.

Conversation with Dr. Judith Herman and Emily Schatzow, the two clinicians who worked with my family and I. Hear what they have to say on the topic of breaking secrecy.
Judith Lewis Herman M.D. is Professor of Psychiatry (part time) at Harvard Medical School. For thirty years, until she retired, she was Director of Training at the Victims of Violence Program at The Cambridge Hospital, Cambridge, MA. Dr. Herman is the author of two award-winning books: Father-Daughter Incest (Harvard University Press, 1981), and Trauma and Recovery (Basic Books, 1992). She is the recipient of numerous awards, including the 1996 Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies. In 2007 she was named a Distinguished Life Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association.  
Emily Schatzow, M.Ed. is a psychotherapist in private practice in Cambridge, MA, offering individual and group psychotherapy and consultation to therapists and clients. She is a Senior Consultant at  VISIONS, Inc.  a non-profit training and consulting organization, specializing in diversity, equity and inclusion. Her publications include Breaking Secrecy: Adult Survivors Disclose To Their Families (co-authored by Judith). Emily and Judith run an ongoing consultation group for clinicians focusing on trauma.

Conversation (Part I) with Beth Fraster, friend and colleague. Listen to what Beth has to say about the impact my book had on her and her observation that there were a number of people who could have intervened on my family’s behalf and didn’t. For over 30 years, she has worked with and advocated for young people within a framework that values, honors and places emphasis on trusting relationships as a crucial element in healing.  She has held young people’s stories of trauma and journeyed with them as they move to a better place. She believes we cannot accomplish the task of helping people heal without using restorative practices. She, also, assumes that the impact of trauma on individuals, families and our communities need more attention as a social justice tool, thus creating more equitable space for all.  

Conversation (Part II) with Beth Fraster. Hear more about the ways in which Beth reflects with me on how trusting relationships play a critical role in my story of healing and reconciliation. Maybe her observations can help guide us in our work to help people heal.

Conversation with Donna Jenson, who founded Time To Tell with a mission to spark stories from lives affected by incest and sexual abuse to be told and heard.  She wrote and performs her one-woman play, What She Knows: One Woman’s Way Through Incest to Joy, which is based on her own experience of surviving incest and what she did to make her life worth living. Her book, Healing My Life from Incest to Joy, is a memoir of the choices she made and experiences she had that helped her heal from her childhood trauma.

Conversations with Kaydance Scotto, who grew up in the California Bay Area and currently lives in Western Massachusetts. They live and work to build meaningful relationships, strengthen communication skills, and continue to practice growth, healing, and creativity. They have the privilege of leading groups and supporting other individuals in this work through participation in nonprofit organizations and community spaces. Listen to what Kaydance has to say about the importance of forgiveness.

Conversation with Gabriel Grimes, my nephew and also a young adult man growing up in this world, trying to make sense of it. He is intelligent, funny, earnest and thoughtful. Because of COVID, he lived with us this past year and learned some stuff about his family, my family, our family that was new to him. It was his suggestion that I record our conversation with one another. He has not yet read my book, but he tells me that he will. When that happens, he would like me to interview him again.

Conversation with LeeLN Reed – Originally from Massachusetts, Lee Ellen Reed is a multifaceted artist based in Portland, Oregon, whose current occupation is in sales and operations for a nationally distributed organic hemp farm. Hear what LeeLN has to say about her take on how no one leaves this world unscathed and her own desire not to repeat the same mistakes her parents made.

Conversation with Vanessa de Harven, who moved to Western Mass in 2012 from San Francisco.  She teaches Philosophy at UMass, specializing in Ancient Philosophy and in particular on Stoic Metaphysics and Plato’s moral psychology and politics.  When she’s not thinking about the Greeks and Romans she enjoys spending time with family and friends … like Rosie.  And when there is no pandemic, she enjoys traveling.  Listen to her critique of the human urge to heal.

Conversation with Stephen Saloom, who has been a criminal justice reform advocate and advocacy network leader for over 25 years, at the state and nationwide levels.  He has created and taught graduate courses in Criminal Justice Policy and Legal Issues in the Criminal Justice System, won election to his local Board of Police Commissioners, and is an active member of the Logistics Committee of the Connecticut General Assembly’s Task Force on Police Accountability and Transparency.  He also enjoys being Rosie’s brother-in-law. Hear how he makes the case why restorative justice is a winner!

Conversation with Blair Maerowitz, who is Rosie’s husband of 28 years and the beloved father of their two children. A survivor of Fairfield County suburbia, he embodies a lifetime commitment to cognitive liberty. Anosmic since birth, he rerouted his neurology within the visual world of dermatology, practicing now for 20 years. Listen to his description of entering a family with a complicated history and how he understands the cost of the truth.

Conversation with Lisa Cowan, a third generation New Yorker, a mother, daughter, partner, sister and friend. She has worked in the fields of community health and college access, and now works at a foundation that supports leadership development. She was Rosie’s successor in her job as health educator at Somerville High School in 1995, and has been following Rosie ever since. Hear what she thinks about the overlap of harm and love and what ‘letting go’ might offer to anyone interested in healing.

I met Olivia soon after she was born into this world and have loved her since. She is a passionate and dedicated licensed clinical social worker, new to the field but eager to make a positive impact. Born and raised in Cambridge, MA, Olivia is deeply committed to her community’s growth and development with a particular focus on empowering and supporting young people and their families. She has experience in working directly with youth in after-school programs and within schools and continues to hone her skills in creating safe and nurturing spaces for their well-being. She has also provided essential mental health services to adults and aging individuals with cognitive and developmental disabilities. Olivia’s genuine enthusiasm lies in promoting and enhancing the overall well-being of individuals within her community, especially young people of color. Outside of her work, you can find her traveling to and exploring new destinations, enjoying nature walks and hiking adventures, or enjoying the company of her beloved dog, Kudo.

  • Virtual First Reading in Apirl 2021
  • Hampshire TIC in summer 2021
  • CSO in fall of 2021
  • CAC in fall of 2021
  • Gallery of Readers fall of 2021
  • Rowan Center in April 2022
  • Life Path Conference in April 2022
  • Dawn’s home in September 2022
  • Lisa’s home in October in October 2022
  • MMP Conference in November in 2022
  • Mental Health Summit in January in 2023
  • Conversation with Judith Herman on 3/21/23

  • CT Libraries (x2) in April in 2023
  • Healing Trauma podcast released in May
  • NYT quote
  • The Wisdom of Trauma here in Amherst
  • Reading at Mount Toby on June 14th
  • Podcast on August 15th