Only One Life

Secrets divide. Forgiveness unites.


Ashley Farley writes books about women for women.
Her characters are mothers, daughters, sisters, and
wives facing real-life issues.

About AshleyAshley's Books

Only One Life

A homecoming becomes a reckoning for an estranged mother and daughter.
A heart-stirring novel of family, long-held secrets, and second chances.

Julia Martin grew up wealthy, but it wasn’t until she met her husband, Jack, that she knew true happiness. He made her feel worthy and loved. Their marriage was also an escape from her sister’s bullying, her father’s scrutiny, and her chilly and enigmatic mother. But when tragedy strikes on the night she gives birth, Julia’s happiness is shattered. She has no choice but to return home to her family’s South Carolina mansion, where the grief and guilt buried in her mother’s past await her.

As a young woman trapped in a bitter marriage, Julia’s mother, Iris, once needed her own means of escape. In Lily, she found a best friend. In the flower shop they opened, she discovered independence. Then came a transgression—unforgivable, unforgettable, and unresolved—that changed Iris’s life forever.

Now, in Iris’s most desperate hour, her only hope is to regain the trust of the daughter she loves—and to share the secrets of the heart that could rebuild a family’s broken bonds.

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Slideshow from Research Trip to Beaufort

Only One Life is a thought-provoking and bittersweet tale of how family secrets and misplaced loyalty can destroy a family. Gripping, smart, and heartbreakingly honest, Farley’s latest is a compelling novel that belongs at the top of your must-read list.

Bette Lee Crosby, USA Today bestselling author

A powerful, moving story of the dark secrets hidden beneath the veneer of wealth, and the healing power of love between a mother and her adult daughter. This is Southern fiction at its best!

Christine Nolfi, bestselling author of the Sweet Lake series

Only One Life is a compelling, bittersweet story about Julia and Iris, an estranged mother and daughter that must find their way back to each other after family secrets and dysfunction drive them apart. Equal parts heart-wrenching and heartwarming, you will root for these women as they face harsh tragedies, as well as the truths of their family’s past, with strength, grace and honesty. I highly recommend it.

Jane Healy, author of the bestselling Beantown Girls

Ashley Farley is one of the greats when it comes to writing Southern Fiction! She delves into family situations and deep friendships as though she’s dissecting them to reveal all their deepest secrets, both old and new. Her latest novel, ONLY ONE LIFE, proves she is a master at her craft.



Another wonderful story of love, loss, and life in the south!  Characters that are brought to life by this incredibly talented author. 



5 Drinks to Enjoy While Reading

5 Drinks to Enjoy While Reading

It is hot and steamy in Central Virginia. Typical weather for mid-July. My favorite time of day is six o'clock, when I pour myself a cold drink and escape with a good book for a brief period before the hectic dinner hour arrives. I wanted to share some of my favorite...

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