A rare lawmaker who speaks candidly from raw personal experience, in Cinder Girl, Holly’s memoir, Rehder rises above standard political prose to provide an unvarnished look inside the worst of American poverty–those living in the margins. Cinder Girl is a compelling true life story. Part Hillbilly Elegy, part Ozark, this gripping story takes you through the human tragedy of poverty and addiction, but not without the critical ingredients of hope and perseverance that characterize Rehder’s unique story.
Cinder Girl, however painful at times with such a raw look at sexual abuse, domestic violence, and drug abuse; is an honest glimpse into what survival and triumph looks like growing up on America’s fringe. Holly doesn’t just talk about the American Dream, she embodies it.
Born in Memphis, Tennessee, Holly Thompson Rehder spent her formative years in Dallas, Texas, before moving to southeast Missouri, where her parents and extended family has lived for more than five generations. She has three children, Raychel Jarrett, Johnny Griswell Jr., Christian Rehder, and three beautiful grandchildren, Kayden Ray Talley, Karlei “Sassy” Jarrett, and Liam “SJ” Griswell.