As the Sycamore Grows is a true story about abuse, loss, redemption and hope.
Think about Sleeping with the Enemy out in the woods when the enemy totes a Bible and packs a .38. Mike slapped and shoved, but his primary tools were isolation and economic abuse. Until he discovered the power of the Lord as another means of control. Ginger was brought up to pray and obey, but she escaped the isolation and poverty of the cabin hidden behind a padlocked gate.
Both Ginger and Mike speak, as do family, friends, in-laws and exes. Thus Ginger is revealed as a flawed heroine, a rebellious teenager who abandoned her baby. Mike ran away to escape his father’s fists and yet, years later, he glimpsed himself in his father’s casket.
From south Texas to a Foxfire lifestyle in Tennessee, they spiraled downward into poverty by Mike’s choice, and abuse enforced by religion and a gun.
Undergirding the abuse is loss: the alienation of families, the spiritual void from betrayal of church, and the death of the son Ginger abandoned. This boy’s suicide as a teenager, symbolized by the sycamore tree, became the wedge that allowed Ginger to break free and ultimately to work toward ending the legacy of abuse.
Ginger McNeil Stone is a court advocate employed by Safeplace, Inc. which operates in a six-county area in The Shoals in northwest Alabama. Stone serves on the board of the Alabama Coalition Against Domestic Violence and is a public speaker. A 2004 graduate of Athens State University, Stone is married, the mother of two adult sons, and is a native of Texas.