The speaker for the October 17 membership meeting will be Mary Ann Connell. She will be discussing her book, "An Unforeseen Life." Following is the description of her book:

When Mary Ann Connell was born, her father told the town: If it’s a boy, I’ll send up black smoke; if it’s a girl, I’ll send up white. The entire town of Louisville, Mississippi, saw white smoke billowing from the chimney — announcing Bill Strong had a daughter. This smoke — determined by gender — would come to define Mary Ann’s life in ways none of them could have expected. As a child, fire robbed her of a precious piece of her life. Later, Mary Ann faced a different kind of firestorm as she became one of the first women lawyers practicing in Oxford, Mississippi.

"An Unforeseen Life" is Mary Ann’s account of the many joys and trials of her life — from attending Harvard Law School with classmate Barack Obama, to serving as the president of a national association of university attorneys; from losing her husband to cancer, to defending the wrongful termination suit of beloved Ole Miss football coach Billy Brewer. This powerful memoir is a funny, touching account of a life “most richly blessed,” if sometimes in unexpected ways