Sign of Life: A Story of Family, Tragedy, Music, and Healing

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9780306819131: Sign of Life: A Story of Family, Tragedy, Music, and Healing

Just after noon on a spring day in 2006, aspiring singer songwriter Hilary Williams and her sister Holly – the granddaughters of country legend Hank Williams and daughters of country music star Hank Williams Jr. – were driving through Mississippi down a rural stretch of Route 61 on their way to their grandfather’s funeral. Suddenly, the front wheel of the truck became caught in one of the many deep ruts and gravel lining the road, causing the vehicle and its passengers to flip over several times, crushing steel and breaking fragile bones as it crashed. Holly was lucky. She only suffered a broken wrist and cuts and bruises. But when the Jaws of Life finally pried Hilary's shattered body free of the wreckage, she was in shock and barely breathing.She had suffered two broken legs, several broken ribs, a ruptured colon, and bruised lungs. Her back, collarbone, tailbone, pelvis, and right femur were fractured. Her hips were crushed. It had taken nearly 30 minutes for an ambulance to arrive, and she had already lost a large amount of blood. Then, as EMTs scrambled to stabilize her in the middle of a muddy Mississippi field, Hilary Williams died.   But that was only the beginning.   This is a story of struggle and pain. But more so, it is a story of second chances, of love and resolve and recovery. When she was pulled back into life, Hilary’s world changed. It was the beginning of a long, courageous, and inspiring journey during which she would undergo twenty-three surgeries and years of therapy. Along the way, with her family at her side, Hilary has learned the meaning of strength, not only the strength to survive, but the strength to live with the legend, the talent, the burden, and the privilege of her place in country music’s most famous family.

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About the Author:

Hilary Williams is a singer songwriter, following in the footsteps of her father and grandfather, but more than anything she is a survivor. She lives in Nashville.   M.B. Roberts is the author of over fourteen books and is a former staff writer for Country Weekly Magazine. She has been published widely in music magazine, covering the biggest names on the scene. She lives in Hollywood, Florida.

Review:

Kid Rock
"Hilary is the real deal. I consider her family."

Kellie Pickler
"I'm blessed to have Hilary as a close friend. Her strength and will to overcome her own adversities has given me the strength to overcome my own."   Alanna Nash, journalist and author of Let’s Play House and The Colonel “The only thing Americans like better than a story about a down-and-out hero is a story about a triumphal return from the edge. In Hilary Williams' story, you have all that and more   Holly Williams "My sister has been an inspiration to all of us through this heartbreaking and extremely challenging time. She has not only made all of us see how much we take for granted but also what can be accomplished through perseverance, a strong will, positive thinking, and a smile. She has fought harder than anyone I've known to get back on her feet again. This book will inspire for generations to come, and shows there is a purpose and a reason the good Lord allowed her to live."   Bobby Tomberlin, Grammy Award-winning songwriter

"Hilary Williams is one of the strongest people I know. She embraces her family roots but has developed her own identity as a songwriter and artist. After the accident, I witnessed her determination to overcome the odds and turn tragedy into triumph. She has been such an inspiration to me and I’m sure that you will find her story inspiring as well."   Michael McCall, Writer/Editor/Curator, Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum and author of several books including  Johnny Cash: An American Legend (AMI Books, 2003) and Shania Twain: An Intimate Portrait of a Country Music Diva (St. Martin’s Griffin, 1999)
“The story of the accident and courageous recovery of Hilary Williams, now told in Sign of Life, would make an emotionally riveting and moving story in itself. The fact that this inspirational tale is set against the backdrop of one of America’s most iconic families only makes it more fascinating.  This is a grand tale of tragedy and triumph told from the intimate and personal point of view of a grounded and spiritual young woman.”


Liz Welch
, author of The Kids Are All Right, (Harmony Books, 2009)
To be the daughter of a country music legend already makes Hilary Williams extra-ordinary. But then she survives a terrifying car crash, which is just the start of a story that will have you speed reading to find out what happened next.  Sign of Life has all the best ingredients of a hit country song:  triumph that beats tragedy and is fed by sheer determination, oodles of talent and a whole lot of love.”
Lisa Wysocky
, author of Horse Country: A Celebration of Country Music and the Love of Horses, (Lyons Press, 2008)  and co-author of Front of the Class: How Tourette Syndrome Made Me the Teacher I Never Had (Vanderwyk & Burnham, 2005)
“Hilary Williams is an amazingly talented woman with an incredible story of tragedy, hope, and resilience. She overcame all odds and is an inspiration to us all. Sign of Life is definitely a must-read!”   Booklist Online, November 2010 “This inspirational and sweetly written memoir recounts her many surgeries and her determination to get better...Country-music fans will especially find it appealing.”  

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