The story begun in Dancing on His Grave continues, as the five Finch girls one by one escape their father's psychopathic abuse, only to find themselves cast into the world drastically ill-equipped to cope with the demands of adulthood. In this sequel, the girls find their paths mined with the untruths and denial learned as children, and the lack of self-esteem or faith in their own abilities. In spite of these pitfalls, the young women's intelligence, determination and love for their children keep them striving toward normalcy.
At the same time, their mother chooses to stay with her husband for seven years after her daughters have all gone, and with her classic denial conceals his increasingly psychotic behavior. Finally, after a severe concussion and a near miss again a month later, she flees to her oldest daughter's home and begins the long process of de-programming, after thirty three years of abuse. During her recovery, she fulfills a life-long dream of graduating from college with a degree in English.
Meanwhile, her husband pursues the path of an alcoholic, and two years later remarries. Within a few months his new wife disappears. It takes the girls over a year to find her, back in Las Vegas, with a story of a terror-filled night when she was convinced he would murder her.
Walking Wounded attempts to bring the Finch family's story to a reasonable conclusion, although the effects of the brutality inflicted on them as children create a life-long struggle for the women.
Barbara Richard lived for eighteen years on a hard-scrabble farm/ranch in eastern Montana. After high school graduation, she attended beauty school and, at age nineteen, opened her first business. In 1982 she formed a corporation for the purpose of assisting small Montana cities and towns develop community and economic development projects. Five years ago, after twenty years of consulting that garnered over fifty million dollars in funding for her clients, Ms. Richard retired as president of the corporation and began the completion of her family's story, a memoir she had begun writing in 1982, shortly after her father=s death. Started with Dancing on His Grave, and continuing with the sequel, Walking Wounded the story is now projected to comprise a trilogy. The third book will explore family history back to the late 1800s, in an attempt to identify factors that could have helped create such a monster.
An insatiable reader, Ms Richard read more than a thousand books before graduating from the eighth grade and continues to read a book or more a week. She credits twenty years of grantwriting, voracious reading and her mother, an English teacher in later life, for her writing ability. The mother of five grown children, grandmother of thirteen and great-grandmother of two, she lives in White Sulphur Springs, Montana and Sequim, Washington, with her husband Jim.