Author & Speaker

From Hardship to Hope gives us an abundance of sorrow, joy, and truth. And a heaping amount of hope. Co-authors Adrian and Stueber have teamed up to create a powerful story that is as relevant as today’s headlines and as time-worn as all matters of the heart. Hope is their superpower.

—Doug Bradley, author, educator, veteran 

From Hardship to Hope is a reminder of what can happen to our hearts and lives when we are willing to engage with one another (and ourselves), honestly, authentically, and from a place of love. Stueber and Adrian move the reader from hardship to hope through the telling of four different love stories. Upon finishing this book, I was reminded of these words from 1 Corinthians: ‘And now these three remain, faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love.’

—Linda Ketcham, Executive Director, Madison-area Urban Ministry (dba JustDane)

From Hardship to Hope

  • By Judith Gwinn Adrian and Jaylin Stueber
  • Novel
  • Oct. 2023
  • 978159598-960-4

Two women end up living together during the pandemic. One is an olding White woman, a retired academic who understands the world through books. One is a pregnant, homeless, Black teen, who understands the world through having lived on the streets.

Initially, both fight the forced connection.

Trust, and then love, grows as they address pregnancy complications, the loss of their partners, a BLM protest, and the relentless isolation of the covid days. They share life-experiences, debate race-laced issues like police violence, access to jobs/housing/healthcare, and, of course, incarceration. As tensions ease, the women also explore differences in traditions, hair care, foods, language, and parenting, with growing shared humor.

The olding woman is thrown back to the loss of her only child – through adoption – when she too was 17. Trauma she had tucked away in her mind for many years.

The younger woman is learning how to trust people outside of her own race by opening up and allowing room for support, and vulnerability.

The book is autobiographical for both authors, fictionally woven together through shared stories, with a surprise ending.

Available from

The authors Jaylin and Judy

Please join us on WORT Radio’s Access Hour, September 18, 7-8pm, as we talk about the real-life experiences of bridging our many differences – age, race, prejudices – and discovering equally many similarities, as humans. The book release – through HenschelHAUS Publishing: Milwaukee — is being scheduled for October, 2023 at Goodman South Madison Library, 2222 South Park St., Madison, WI.

Book cover and drawings by Phil Salamone.

Read a Sample