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BOOK CORNER: Author shares her own story in memoir ‘Can’t Afford to Fail’

By Marissa Wells

Contributing Writer

“Can’t Afford to Fail,” by Petergay Dunkley-Mullings, is a story of trial and triumph that offers a candid look at the author’s life as she journeys through being a homeless teenaged mother in an oppressive marriage, abused and ultimately becoming the head nurse at a hospice facility.

“Can’t Afford to Fail” is Dunkely’s first book and was birthed from a traumatic moment in her life.

“I started journaling back in 1998 in an attempt to leave a paper trail after I was held hostage by my ex-husband,” Dunkley said. “I later decided to write my story as I learned that unfortunately many people can relate to my past challenges as well as learn how to cope through similar abusive situations.”

In the memoir, Dunkley not only details some of the tough experiences she had, but she offers practical tools to help readers navigate the obstacles they may face as well.

“No matter where life takes you, there’s always a way out,” Dunkley said. “I’m not just sending the message but I also detail some of the steps I’ve taken throughout some of the difficult times that I faced.”

The process of writing her memoir was an important, but painful, experience for Dunkley that took nearly three years to complete. Dunkley decided to push through to tell her story in the hopes of helping others on their journeys.

“I saw how helpful my situation was for some of the ladies whom I’ve shared with about my past and I figured if I put this in writing, I’ll have a wider medium to reach, teach and inspire,” Dunkley said.

“Can’t Afford to Fail” is intended for teenagers, pregnant teens and anyone who is experiencing extreme difficulties in life.

“My goal writing this book was to reach, teach and inspire those who feel like ‘this is the end, there’s absolutely nothing I can do about my situation…,’” Dunkely said. “I’m here to say that there is a way out, it will take hard work, it will take dedication, and a lot of self-esteem…”

In addition to being an author, Dunkley is the director of operations for a hospice company. She lives in Atlanta. For more information about the author visit

“Can’t Afford to Fail” is available for $14.95 and $7 (E-book) on Amazon and in Liberty Book Store in Lawrenceville, Georgia.