Nightbird: A Memoir


In this compelling tale of redemption, Shavaun Scott, a psychotherapist with over 30 years of experience, recounts a harrowing journey that begins with the suicide of her husband. The narrative then flashes back to traverse a life filled with unique challenges and profound losses.

Nightbird: A Memoir

What does a woman do when she arrives home from work one night to find her husband’s body hanging in the dining room? How does she survive to tell the story when it’s clear he wanted her to blame herself for his death?

Scott hails from a low-income family with southern roots, steeped in superstition, religious zealotry, and beset by major mental illness. She vividly captures the colorful relationships and how damaged people try to cope with few resources. Scott also explores her personal blind spots, failed attempts at coping, and early unfortunate relationship choices.

Despite these obstacles, Scott was driven to escape the legacy of her family history. Through education and determination, she broke free from an oppressive past to become an independent woman grounded in reality.    

Themes of teen pregnancy, intimate partner abuse, and suicide are explored with unflinching honesty. Scott sheds light on poorly understood topics, such as the aggressive nature of a specific sub-type of suicide that’s associated with domestic violence. 

Through difficult and complex themes, Nightbird is ultimately a story about hope, transformation, and thriving despite adverse circumstances—a tale of survival and hard-won wisdom.

"Nightbird is a heartrending story that will pull you in from the first sentence to the last. There is no holding back in Scott’s narrative and no mincing of words. Whether you are someone who has gone through personal strife or cares for someone who has, this is a must-read, first for the person needing validation and for the other hoping for understanding. Nightbird provides both."

Aria Ligi


"In her memoir Nightbird, Shavaun Scott describes in gripping detail the traumas that she confronted as a child and young adult, including the revenge suicide of her second husband. Relentlessly hopeful, Scott redirected her faith in prayer, which she had been taught as a child, to faith in psychotherapy. She learned that choice was not to be feared but embraced and harnessed. In this way, Scott was able to free herself from the traumas of her past. This is a hopeful, optimistic story about not letting your past define your future."

Anne Abel

Author, Mattie, Milo, and Me: A Memoir