Kate Rice


Imagine going through life looking — and feeling — like you just don’t fit into your family. They’re tall, fair-skinned and blue or green-eyed; you’re short with dark hair and eyes and olive-toned skin. 

Now imagine that, as an adult, you discover that you were switched at birth. Sounds like the plot of a soap opera, right? 

Only, for Shirley Morgan — now Shirley Munoz Newson, it wasn’t some made-up story. The Little Dark One is literally the story of her life. 

Shirley was born and raised in Gillette, Wyoming, believing she was part of the Morgan family. It wasn’t until just before her 43rd birthday that she found out, definitively, that she wasn’t a Morgan. 

What followed was months and years of excruciating research to find out who she actually is, the legal battles that came with that and eventually reaching out to her biological family to see who was willing to cultivate a relationship with her. As difficult as it was, Shirley was able to move forward due to her resilience, supportive relationships and faith in God. 

The Little Dark One is a fascinating book and a really quick read. What makes it even more compelling is that, even though Shirley’s story made national news, it takes place here in Wyoming! There were times when I wished I could crawl into the pages and give Shirley a warm hug and words of encouragement, or just howl with her over the injustices she endured. It’s especially sad knowing that some members of the family that raised her could so easily push her aside in favor of their biological daughter/sister. But the joy of discovering the truth about where she came from, connecting with some of her biological family and raising a close-knit family of her own makes this story a triumph. 

Last week, Wind City Books hosted a book signing that included Shirley Munoz Newson. If you missed it, you can still stop by Wind City and pick up a copy of The Little Dark One. With the holidays coming up, it’ll make a great gift or stocking stuffer for anyone who likes inspirational stories of hope and faith. Wind City offers lots of great reading options, and their customer service is amazing! Go browse their shelves in person, or visit windcitybooks.com and create your own holiday (or any time of year!) wish list.