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Staying True

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Staying True

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BONUS: This edition contains a Staying True discussion guide.In this candid and compelling memoir, the first lady of South Carolina reveals the private ordeal behind her very public betrayal--and...
BONUS: This edition contains a Staying True discussion guide.In this candid and compelling memoir, the first lady of South Carolina reveals the private ordeal behind her very public betrayal--and...
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Description-
  • BONUS: This edition contains a Staying True discussion guide.

    In this candid and compelling memoir, the first lady of South Carolina reveals the private ordeal behind her very public betrayal--and offers inspiration for anyone struggling to keep faith during life's most trying times.

    She's been a successful investment banker, a mother of four, and the campaign manager for one of American politics' rising stars--her husband, Mark Sanford of South Carolina, once widely hailed as a possible candidate for president in 2012. Yet to most Americans, Jenny Sanford is best known for the one role she refused to play--that of conventional political spouse standing silently by while her husband went before the media and confessed his infidelity. Instead, she stayed true--to herself, to her faith, and to her highest ideals of parenthood and public service. She chose to let Mark Sanford deal with the embarrassment and political fallout from his own actions while focusing her own efforts privately on raising their children to be men of character, even in the face of the lies their father has told.

    In Staying True, Jenny Sanford recalls her shock and anguish upon discovering that her husband was having an affair with a woman in Argentina, and the further pain when she learned--just a day ahead of most Americans--that he had not ended the affair when she believed he had. She reveals the source of her determination to be honest and forthright instead of the victim in the tabloid passion play that gripped the nation in June 2009.

    But her story neither begins nor ends with Mark Sanford's astounding fall from grace. Writing with uncommon candor from a deep well of spiritual strength, Sanford shares personal stories and life lessons from before and after she stepped into the public realm. She recounts the many stresses--as well as the myriad joys--that she experienced on a daily basis while living in the governmental spotlight. (Just try keeping four young boys out of mischief in the governor's mansion!) And she describes the many ways that the seductions of power can drive apart even the most committed couples.

    At every step along her journey, Jenny Sanford has made choices: She gave up her career, moved far from her home state of Illinois, even changed her religious practices. Every choice was a glad concession to harmonious married life and, in some cases, to the support of her husband's political aspirations. But the one thing she never gave up was her sense of self, her inner moral compass. Her remarkable poise and decency make her a role model for men and women alike. Her story will empower anyone who has fought to maintain independence and integrity--within a marriage or elsewhere in life.

Excerpts-
  • From the book

    PrologueI see now that June 24, 2009, was a day that changed forever the trajectory of my life, but it did not change me.

    I woke up early that day, as I have always done during our summers at the beach. The boys and I were at our house on Sullivan's Island, where we had moved when the school year ended a few weeks earlier. My mornings there began with a sunrise cup of coffee in the hour before the boys woke. I savored that quiet time alone as the kitchen filled with light and I wrote in my journal. I jotted thoughts, rarely a narrative of events, and usually reflected on a passage of scripture. My devotions had become more urgent and searching in the six months since I discovered that my husband, Mark Sanford, the governor of South Carolina, was having an affair with a woman in Argentina.

    As I sat on a stool at the kitchen island writing, I knew Mark's flight from Buenos Aires was about to touch down. He had been out of the state (though the world didn't yet know how far he'd wandered) for several days. The media and his political opponents were asking pointed questions about where he was, but only a few reporters had called me. Being on Sullivan's-- two hours away from the state capital, Columbia-- was a blessing on that front. I'd found out only the day before that Mark was in South America. Within hours, the world would know, and the press would be hovering at the end of our driveway.

    The truth was that Mark and I had been quietly separated and had not spoken for two weeks, at my request, with clear restrictions on contact with the Argentinean woman he had started an affair with a year earlier. If he and I were to have a chance at reconciliation, he agreed not to contact her or the boys and me while he sorted things out. Cut off this way, I hoped, Mark might understand what it would be like to lose his family in the form he'd always known it. I wanted Mark to ache for what he'd always said mattered most to him. I thought he got it. Before he left to "get his head right," as he'd explained it to the boys, he looked me straight in the eye and said, "I will not see her." That morning I knew he had broken that promise.

    My prayers were brief but pointed: "Lord give me strength. Lord let Mark find you. Lord protect our boys." So many times, I had prayed for the patience to wait this out, or for understanding for him and for me. I felt the full weight of the day ahead on my shoulders. This time when I clasped my hands and shut my eyes, I prayed that the Lord would grant me the strength to protect our children in the ugly time ahead, and I prayed for Mark who was clearly lost.

    The only one of the four boys at home that morning was thirteen- year- old Bolton, who was about to leave for a day of fishing with his uncle and cousin. As he gobbled down his breakfast, I pictured our dear friend and Mark's long- time aide, Chris Allen, picking up Mark at the Atlanta airport. A loyal young man who had recently tied his business goals to Mark's political future, Chris had driven through the night to be there when Mark landed. By now, they were on the road to Columbia. I wondered if Mark understood that the whole country, it seemed, wanted a full description of his "hiking the Appalachian Trail."

    The phone rang. It was Mark calling from the car. "Hey, how are you?" he asked quietly.

    "How am I? How do you think I am?" I sighed. "Jenny, be gentle with me," he said in a tired voice. "Gentle?" I asked incredulously. "Do you know what kind of a storm you are returning to? And where do we stand?"

    "The good news is it's over now," he said of his affair, and then added, "I've already met a reporter at the airport and told her...

About the Author-
  • Jenny Sullivan Sanford was born and raised in Winnetka, Illinois. A graduate of Georgetown University, she now lives on Sullivan's Island, South Carolina, with her four sons.

    From the Hardcover edition.

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    Random House Publishing Group
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