NC Literary Hall of Fame



Stumbling Toward Enlightenment: A Wife's Thirty-year Journey with Her Green Beret by Polly B. Davis

Old Mountain Press
$15.00, paperback
ISBN: 978-1-931575-88-1
October, 2015
Nonfiction: Memoir
Available from

"Polly Brown Davis’ warm and wonderful Stumbling Toward Enlightenment reads like a charm. It is first a love story, full of energy and accomplishment, a rare combination of experiences: parachuting, mothering, going to graduate school while her husband goes off to Vietnam, confronting realities of health. Polly Brown Davis is a survivor, a beautiful one, as this memoir attests."
—Shelby Stephenson, North Carolina Poet Laureate

"An independent southern girl who copes, challenges, survives, and thrives as a career soldier’s wife (and much more), Polly Davis writes with grace, wry humor, poignant honesty—I was with her all the way."
—Celia Miles, author/editor

"You might think you know what it takes to be a US Special Forces Green Beret soldier during a time of war. But very few understand what it takes to remain his wife and constant companion for over forty years. Polly Davis does. With courage and wit and a heart too big to fail, Davis’ memoir is at once an adventure tale, an enduring love story, and an unwitting case study of true grace under pressure."
—Brian Knopp Author, Private Investigator and adjunct professor, UNC-Asheville

Married to a Special Forces soldier during the height of the Vietnam War, Polly B. Davis was a soldier’s wife with a difference: she often led, always followed, and sometimes fought alongside her Green Beret. Whether leaping out of airplanes, SCUBA diving off the coast of Massachusetts, hauling her family and their dogs over two continents, or battling a life-threatening disease, Davis’ life story is superbly rich with courage, compassion, and a sly humor that overcomes all obstacles. Failure is not an option with this warm and enticing tale.

Polly B. Davis did something she thought she never would do: marry a soldier. A Green Beret even!

Polly started out as a military wife with a BS Degree from the University of Georgia, and over the next thirty years, raised two children, numerous dogs and cats, and attained a Masters and a Doctorate. All while tramping the world with her soldier husband. Often alone in strange and uncertain circumstances, she not only rose to the occasion, she excelled in everything she ever did.

She has taught at every level from pre-school to college, served as the head of the English Department and Director of Research and Planning for Fayetteville Technical Community College. She was the first woman to join and the first woman to be president of the Kiwanis Club of the Cape Fear, President of the Cumberland County Library and Information Center, President of the Friends of the Cumberland County Library and Information Center, and Program/Speaker chair of the Cumberland County Library and Information Center for which we drew authors from all over the area and beyond. She was also the President of the North Carolina Community College Council of Teachers of English.

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