by Anne Wainscott-Sargent
A cook. A speech therapist. A credit union executive. A fashion model-turned-cancer activist. A secretary. A homemaker — all were mothers. Nineteen lives cut short — women from all walks of life, hailing from every corner of the United States and a province in Canada. Some were homemakers with little or no formal education; others were career women with college degrees and accomplished resumes. Regardless of their backgrounds, all these women share one thing in common: an addiction to smoking that culminated in an array of illnesses and their untimely demise. Their stories, told by their surviving daughters, pay tribute to the mothers they lost, often at pivotal moments in the daughters' lives, and the legacy they continue to live with every day. A Breath Away offers a powerful anti-smoking message that goes beyond the statistics to today's generation of girls and young women, to think twice before lighting up.