Any Kind of Luck at All : A Memoir

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Can the strength accumulated over a lifetime of losses be enough to cope with a daughter’s death?

What was it like growing up as a smart girl in a world of 1970s suburban conformity? What family secrets were hidden behind the vertical blinds and sliding glass doors, or swept under the orange shag carpets? Is it possible to move from married mother-of-two to lesbian feminist activist without passing heartache?

In her bittersweet memoir, Mary Fairhurst Breen sketches scenes from a life darkened by four generations of mental illness and addiction. Despite the odds, Mary’s sense of humor and willingness to practice “radical acceptance” see her through the chaos to a life full of friends, art, and the joys of being a grandmother. Ultimately, she must face her greatest challenge of all when her daughter becomes one of the tens of thousands of people every year to die of opioid poisoning. This is a journey of awakening and activism, and a portrait of a life to be celebrated in all its complexity.

Praise & Recognition

"Mary Fairhurst Breen's debut memoir, Any Kind of Luck At All, is at once heartbreaking and hilarious... While the memoir is less than 250 pages, readers get to know Fairhurst Breen intimately through her vivid description of herself."

This Magazine

"Any Kind of Luck at All is the inspiring story of one feminist’s lifetime of heartaches and joys."

Herizons Magazine


Publication Date: October 12, 2021

Genre: Adult Nonfiction

Product Format: Paperback

Pages: 232

ISBN: 978-1-77260-201-2

Head and shoulders of woman with short hair wearing glasses

About the Author

Mary Fairhurst Breen

Mary Fairhurst Breen grew up in the suburbs of Toronto and raised her kids in an artsy, slightly gritty part of the city. A translator by training, she spent thirty years in the not-for-profit sector, managing small organizations with big social-change mandates. She also launched her own arts business, indulging her passion for hand-making, which was a colossally enjoyable and unprofitable venture. Its demise gave her the time and impetus to write her family history for her daughters. She began to publish autobiographical stories, and wound up with her first book, Any Kind of Luck at All.

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