When Stephanie Cassatly was 18 years old, her mother was shot and killed in a convenience store robbery in New Orleans, changing every preconceived notion she had about the world and what it meant to feel safe. Twenty years later, she found her mother’s killer and forgave him, just before he died in the notorious Angola State Penitentiary. It was then that she realized that she had been as much of a prisoner as he was.
With a searing honesty that will make readers’ hearts both ache and sing, Notice of Release chronicles her traumatic and at times dangerous childhood as an expatriate in South America, her shift from grieving college student to high powered ad-executive, and how she reconciled her deep connection to her own children, with her fear of being taken away prematurely from them. In this memoir, she proves that shedding the weight of the past can unlock a brave and beautiful future, and comes to see that finding and forgiving her mother’s killer is as much a journey of finding herself.
Stephanie Cassatly earned her undergraduate degree in Business from Emory University and her MFA in Writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts. Her work has been published in literary journals and anthologies and has won awards and notable mentions. She speaks on the topic of forgiveness, is a contributor to The Forgiveness Project and teaches writing at Palm Beach Atlantic University. She resides with her husband in Florida and has two grown daughters.