A Triumph of the Spirit

Girls are often raised to believe that beauty is everything. But, what if beauty isn’t enough?

“Norma Joyce Dougherty shines a light on what is real.” – Melvin F. Graham, Graham Enterprises

Do you feel like you are never good enough or never measure up – no matter how hard you try?

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Norma Joyce Dougherty knows all about the glitz and glamour that many women want. As a former Miss Dominion of Canada and contestant in Miss World, Miss Universe, Queen of the Pacific, and a semi-finalist in Miss International, beauty represented an escape to a better life. But, all that glitters is not gold. Having faced abuse and heartache as a young girl, she then faced an identity crisis once the spotlights dimmed on her new life.

Island Girl: A Triumph of the Spirit is the true story of overcoming adversity that is seen and inner struggles that are unseen. Norma’s extraordinary account will keep you captivated and reveal how any woman can:

Accept herself no matter how she looks, Feel beautiful in her own skin, Find hope and purpose in both success and failure Answer the questions: Who am I? Where do I belong? What is my purpose? Be an overcomer. Replace shame and guilt with a joyous, radiant face, Experience the deep, abiding love of God

Women of every age will relate to the identity crisis that Norma experienced – a crisis perpetuated today with the bombardment of marketing campaigns that focus on looking, acting, and being someone we’re not. Choose this triumphant story instead and discover the true beauty that lies within you.

Island Girl - A Triumph of the Spirit by Norma Joyce Dougherty
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Recent Honors

The story has been adapted into a screenplay by Cheryl McKay entitled Chasing Eden. She’s written (or co-written) screenplays for the films The Ultimate Gift, Extraordinary, and Indivisible, and recently finished penning the screenplay for The Power of a Praying Wife based on Stormie Omartian’s book series, for Pure Flix.

The book has been endorsed by Donna Lee Toney, a colleague of Franklin Graham for thirty years. She has been involved in the ministries of Samaritan’s Purse and the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association 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.

The book has been shelved in Ruth’s Attic at The Billy Graham Library.

Order an autographed copy directly from Norma

Purchase from the following

Barnes and Nobel
Ruths Attic
Park Road Books
Christian Book

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Reviews on Island Girl: A Triumph of the Spirit

“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)

– 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 led 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 relatable 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.”

– The Late Hon. Archibald Hynd Johnstone, 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 beauty 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, Former President, Stonecroft Ministries, Inc.

“Thank you so much for coming to speak to our overflowing crowd at Lunch Bunch. Your heartfelt message struck all of us as believers, whether we have had dysfunctional homes or loving homes. We could all identify with your disappointments, confusion, and pain until you met the Great Healer. Jesus has indeed redeemed the brokenness of your past and made something so beautiful out of your life. We all love the book! It will speak to women everywhere.”

− Arlis Galloway, Founder of Lunch Bunch for Bethel Presbyterian Women, Cornelius, N.C.

“Every once in a while I find a book that is out of my ordinary genre. This is one of those books.

Every woman, every young lady wants to be liked, needed and loved…not necessarily in that order. And sometimes as that young woman emerges in life, life does not go as expected. But, yet, as with Norma J. Dougherty we learn that God can and will help us if we only trust Him.

First of all, this story grabbed my attention because Lucy Maud Montgomery is Mrs. Dougherty’s maternal grandmother’s second cousin…Lucy Maud Montgomery wrote one of my favorite books, ever, Anne of Green Gables.

And it seems that the writing gene is strong because Mrs. Dougherty has written a memoir that captures the spirit of a woman who has had some hardships, made a few mistakes in life but knows that it’s only her trust and relationship with God that will get her through life.

This is a wonderful story/memoir that I encourage every woman and young lady to read.
I truly enjoyed this read.”

– Tammy’s Book Parlor

“If you look beyond the surface of the chapters which can easily become very focused on the author and as it should because this is a biography, after all, you will feel the layers of emotional moments that give way to a story that will inspire the reader. There are a lot of faith-based sections laced in so if you have a love for Jesus Christ this book will be so much more powerful in your hands.”

– Cassandra M’s Place