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At 49, cartoonist Marian Henley hasn’t committed to marrying the man with whom she has been dating for seven years. But as the Big 5-0 looms, she realizes that above all else she wants a child. Her story follows the heartbreaking ups and downs of going through the international adoption process; deciding when it’s time to grow up and maybe even get married; and in the end, it’s the story of a daughter’s relationship with her father, and how becoming a mother finally led her to understand him.

The Shiniest Jewel is a touching narrative, accompanied by Marian’s winsome drawings, that beautifully weaves together her realizations about the joy, and sometimes heartbreak, of building a family.

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