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Island Girl

A Triumph of the Spirit

Author Norma Joyce Dougherty shares how God led a poor, young farm girl from Prince Edward Island, Canada to live out a real-life fairy tale on the world stage. “I became a world traveller and overnight success as Miss Dominion of Canada and contestant in the Miss World, Miss Universe, Queen of the Pacific and semi-finalist in Miss International. I found fame and fortune,” she explains, “but I lost my home, my self and a sense of belonging. It took many years to find ‘me’ again.” Women of every age, every stage and every face will relate with her “identity crisis” ~ a crisis that is all too common in this post-modern era as women search for authentic validation. Teen girls will be particularly inspired by her struggle to live by the motto: “Beauty is as beauty does.”

Norma Joyce recounts her story in a lively “fairy-tale” theme as she shares her long journey from a world where lies and deception prevail to one where the truth of Jesus Christ is her power source, her light, her radiance, her beauty, her peace, her joy and her triumph.

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"Norma has written her story from the heart; gathering up all the heartaches of disappointment and revealing how Jesus Christ covers them in His love and forgiveness, bringing joy and lasting contentment. Reading this book caused me to consider the wisdom found in God’s Word: 'Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing, but a woman who fears the Lord she shall be praised' (Proverbs 31:30).
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− Donna Lee Toney, a colleague of Franklin Graham for thirty years, has been involved in the ministries of Samaritan's Purse and the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and in literary collaboration since 1982, most recently with Franklin Graham on "A Story of Simple Gifts: Operation Christmas Child" and "Salvation: The Reason for My Hope" with Billy Graham

"Every young woman seeks approval, validation, and meaning for her life. Tragically many search in the wrong places such as physical beauty and 'worldly success'. Here is an authentic, delightful testimony of the grace of God in the midst of a difficult beginning followed by a fairytale dream come true which in turn was followed by a deep emptiness. Through many struggles Norma finally realized fulfillment is found in a living personal relationship with Jesus Christ who alone fills our empty hearts."

− Gudny Munro, wife of Dr. John Munro, Senior Pastor of Calvary Church, Charlotte, NC

"Norma Joyce (Hickey) Dougherty was and continues to be a goodwill ambassador of her native Prince Edward Island. Her memoir, "Island Girl: A Triumph of the Spirit offers an inspiring account of her race with destiny and how an abiding faith lead to the discovery of her true purpose in life."

− Alex B. Campbell, Premier of Prince Edward Island 1966-1978

"Norma has painted a beautiful and very relate-able story of how to choose to live a committed life! She paints great word pictures to show the struggle in choosing to do the right thing and the consequences/rewards of that choice."

− Janice Mayo Mathers, Bend, Oregon Author, Speaker, National Board Director of Stonecroft Ministries, Inc.

"Many readers, young and old, will relate to this inspirational, rags to riches story that begins in poverty, betrayal, and isolation and ends in the discovery of life’s most meaningful treasures ~— deep, personal contentment, and a truly triumphant spirit. You will be drawn into the honest-to-goodness story-telling approach of this true-to-life personal testimony while it unfolds its many failures, heartfelt victories, and spiritual triumphs."

− Hon. Archibald Hynd Johnstone, Retired Canadian Senator

"Norma Joyce Dougherty has lived a surprising life. Unexpected fame thrust this beauty queen onto a world stage that led her from an obscure childhood in Prince Edward Island to a global runway of glamorous awe. She soon learned that glitz is only skin-deep. When the spotlight dims, a searchlight often probes the deeper things of life. A deficient fairytale for this Island Girl led her on a journey to faith in Jesus Christ that transformed her into a proclaimer of God’s truth. A Triumph of the Spirit will shine a light on what is real."

− Melvin F. Graham, Graham Enterprises

"Norma's experiences in the glittering world of beauty pageants were something most girls and women can only imagine, yet they didn't bring lasting happiness or fulfillment. Her relationship with God brings out her physical and spiritual beautiy as He created it to be. I commend Norma for making her memoirs public and pray that as you read about her life, you too will find the true essence of the human heart."

− Lorraine Myrholm, Former Executive Director, Stonecroft Ministries Canada

"Norma Dougherty pulls you quickly into her life’s journey with a colorful, compelling style. And what a journey it is! Norma’s fascinating life is graced with many triumphs and not a few tears. But her most important victory was not at the close of a beauty pageant, but when she “started to grasp the height, the depth, the breadth and the width of Christ’s love for her - a love that surpasses knowledge….” I am so grateful for the role Stonecroft played in Norma’s story - and for the gift of service she has given back to the ministry. Enjoy her story and may it bless you as it did me."

− Lorraine Potter Kalal, President, Stonecroft Ministries, Inc.