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Emily Isaacson


Quotes From The Book

Sequoia was only eleven when she was the eldest of four children, on the yellowed stretch of property where a heritage house stood right on the outskirts of the city of Victoria. On one side you could see the mountains; on the other side was the country road that led to the homestead. Her father was J. William Hastings and ran a publishing house. He had a literary mind, and had raised his oldest daughter to have a love of literature. 

Evelyn had waited for her daughter to return from the field when the sun went down. Her daughter’s golden horse Aurora was her self-esteem, apart from the voices that criticized and berated her. The tyranny went on year after year as her daughter became a teenager. Yet, in spite of it, her gentleness and spiritual demeanor made her a favorite with people and animals everywhere she went. Sequoia had the potential to grow into a successful woman, even though her eating disorder had become more and more apparent to others, including her fellow students.

Evelyn, after five years of watching her eldest daughter refuse to eat, saw she had dwindled to a skeletal weight. She had finally taken her to a doctor, psychiatrist, dietician, and naturopath to find help. It was utter desperation that led her to City of Roses. She had heard City of Roses took on the worst and most severe cases; they were a stopping place for the desperate parents of eating disorder victims, and their phones rang with clients waiting in line from all over the world. 

“Playing God,” Maggie called it when they took on yet another patient who was as fragile as a baby bird and had to be spoon fed. Another person whose life hung in the balance was a risk to the program, but they took it on willingly, knowing that there was for these girls, no other recourse.         

“How do we know who to save and who can wait?” Maggie thought.


O true Presence,

O true healer,

O true voice,

O spirit of contemplation,



O only builder

of the three mansions of the soul,

(heaven, earth, hell)



O only Beauty of all created things,

O only Paradise of the seven heavens,



O Subject of the child’s dream,

O Object of the prophet’s word,

O Deeps of onward wisdom,

O Healer of the Mother wound,

O Tryst with triune light,



--City of Roses

    Emily Isaacson