Local author Jane Driskell Fairchild has published her
memoir called The Last Laugh: Making Sense of It All. The story
describes the lifelong aftermath of her prom-night sexual assault at age
seventeen, and the resulting pregnancy. The story opens in southern
Illinois where the author grew up, but quickly moves the reader to New England,
and on to Concord, New Hampshire, where she settled.
In the early 1960s, the only acceptable option for pregnant
teens was to marry the boy involved, as Jane was forced to do. Predictably,
after years of abuse, the marriage failed and she found herself a single mom
with two young children to care for. Through the turbulent
nineteen-sixties and seventies, she fought to complete her education, make ends
meet in dead-end jobs and find meaning by becoming an anti-war activist and
living on a commune. As her children grew sturdy and strong, Jane
completed nursing school at NHTI, received a bachelor’s degree from UNH,
graduated from law school, and built a successful career as a healthcare
Although her enduring shame prevented her from telling her
secret of the date rape to anyone, she finally found acceptance and support
when she revealed her secret at a reunion of the high school class with which she
was not allowed to graduate.
On Sunday, November 13 at 3PM, in conjunction with the
Hopkinton Town Library, the author will present a program on the lifelong
aftermath of sexual assault as told through her own life story. The program
will include questions and discussion of this timely subject.