My Book


What happens when a “GOOD DAUGHTER” invites her alcoholic and emotionally abusive mother to live with her? As repressed memories of childhood abuse by her mother arise, Joan Rough is filled with deep resentment and hatred toward the woman who birthed her, and her dream of mending their tattered relationship shatters. When her mother dies seven years later, Rough is left with a plastic bag filled with ashes and a diagnosis of PTSD.

Courageous and unflinchingly honest, SCATTERING ASHES is a powerful chronicle of letting go of a loved one and a painful past — a journey that will bring hope to others who grapple with pain and repercussions of abuse.


“In this well-wrought memoir, Joan Rough shows us the beauty of becoming the alchemist of one’s own life. What happens after she invites her elderly, narcissistic mother to move in to her home will often set your teeth on edge. The amazing ending, however, will leave you standing in awe at the power of love.” SHIRLEY HERSHEY SHOWALTER, author of Blush: A Mennonite Girl Meets a Glittering World

“A brave story, beautifully written in an authentic, raw voice that strikes a universal chord about mother-daughter relationships, breaking the cycle of childhood abuse, taking the responsibility for one’s own healing and finding forgiveness.” KATHLEEN POOLER, Author of Ever Faithful To His Lead: My Journey Away From Emotional Abuse

“At last, a mother-daughter memoir that chronicles a conflict-laden relationship without resorting to blame, victimization, or humor laced with sarcasm and cynicism. Joan Rough paints a vivid, in-depth portrait that captures anger, guilt, fear, denial, forgiveness, love, and healing — all the pieces of life itself!” KEVIN QUIRK, memoir ghostwriter and author of Your Life Is a Book and It’s Time to Write It! and Brace for Impact: Miracle on the Hudson Survivors Share Their Stories of Near Death and Hope for New Life.

“SCATTERING ASHES, is a heartrending account of a complicated mother-daughter relationship wrought with inter-generational patterns of conflict. Raw in its immediacy and honesty, Rough’s story testifies to the resiliency of the human spirit and how in the long and complex process of forgiveness, we need to go through all the stages of grief before we reach the final stage of acceptance.”  SALOMA FURLONG, author of Why I Left the Amish: A Memoir, and Bonnet Strings, An Amish Woman’s Ties to Two Worlds

SCATTERING ASHES, A Memoir of Letting Go
will be available wherever books are sold on September 20, 2016
and is now available for preorder on Amazon and Barnes & Noble

You can read the first chapter now by clicking on the “Read Chapter One,” when you go to “My Book.”