Life throws a lot of curve balls, and one of the greatest gifts a person can receive in difficult times is the support of understanding friends. When those people come forward to listen and to share their own experiences, it reassures us that we are not alone and that we can in fact surmount whatever obstacle is in the way. In Courage to Climb, Author and Life Coach Sherry Shoemaker takes readers on a cathartic journey that echoes this universal experience of sharing with others so that we may find the necessary confidence within ourselves for meeting life’s challenges. In story after extraordinary story, 12 women—including Shoemaker herself—reveal the biggest tests of their lives and how they turned them into successes.From a mother who lost her son to leukemia, to a woman who overcame domestic abuse and crippling poverty, to a nurse who defied the limits of her workplace, the women in Shoemaker’s book emerge not as cautionary tales or supernatural heroines but as women with whom anyone can relate. They are women who had doubts, and who encountered sometimes impossible circumstances, but who relied on their inner strength to see them through the bad and to transform themselves into stronger, better people.Drawing on her personal experience and professional training, Shoemaker not only tells each woman’s story with compassion and accuracy, she also uses it as a springboard to guide readers in their own personal development. Each chapter’s final section, Reflections, features Shoemaker’s insights on how the woman in question overcame the negative obstacles in her life and how readers can develop those same qualities in themselves to improve their own lives.This book is close to Shoemaker’s heart, featuring only women who live in Pennsylvania’s Bucks and Montgomery County area. Some of the women are Shoemaker’s friends; others are people who came into her life at the right moment. And while their circumstances may be wildly unfamiliar or all too close to what readers have encountered themselves, the women offer a breadth of experience and emotion that feels universal, even as it’s specific to each woman’s life. Such is the power of Courage to Climb: It speaks to readers on a deeply human level while exploring how they can become—as the women in the book have—happier, healthier and more fulfilled human beings.