BIDDEFORD — In 2013, Rebekah Lowell escaped from a decade of domestic abuse and captivity, bringing her young daughters with her. Before she bravely embarked on this daunting journey, she had resigned herself to the idea that a longtime dream of becoming an author was over. Today, she is an award-winning author, illustrator, and surface pattern designer. Her artwork has been featured on the Maine Duck Stamp five times, and she was the poster artist for the 2023 Common Ground Fair with her ‘Monarchs and Milkweed’ design.

Finally realizing that lifelong dream, she has published two books, ‘The Road to After” (a novel in verse published in May 2022) and “Catching Flight” (a picture book published in March 2023). Lowell has also worked part-time at McArthur Library in Biddeford for the last several years, and launched both of her titles there to proud family members and excited young patrons.

Early in the summer of 2022, Lowell‘s story and books were featured on Newscenter Maine’s 207 program. McArthur Library Board member and local attorney Rick Hull saw the show when it aired, and was moved by Lowell‘s powerful story.

Hull was compelled to start a fundraising initiative with the library’s board, offering to match individual contributions, in an effort to extend the reach of Lowell‘s message. Hull wanted her books to be in as many places as possible throughout Maine, where they could be seen and read by the families and children who needed them most. Since Hull’s initial idea, more than $2,000 was raised from board members and library contributions.

One hundred of each of Lowell‘s two books were being delivered to Caring Unlimited in Sanford, Biddeford’s DHHS office, the York County Judicial Center in Biddeford, the Island Institute for Trauma Recovery in Saco, and Pathways of Maine in Scarborough.

Lowell has personally distributed the titles to multiple locations. “Children also experience trauma and, much like my girls, are going through the process of recovery,” she said. “I never thought that my work could make this kind of impact, or that leaving and telling my story could touch so many lives and bring a community together in this way. The response has been humbling. I want to thank the McArthur Library Board members for this generous gesture of kindness.”


McArthur Library’s Director Jeff Cabral said “I was thrilled that Rick reached out, and I was honored to be able to coordinate the process of spreading the word, purchasing the titles, and getting to the stage we are at now — where books will be getting into the hands of survivors. I hope that this is only the beginning of Rebekah’s outreach and I imagine there will be additional donations received and new homes for more books in the future. Both books are beautiful examples of Rebekah’s incredible talent — her family’s story is one that needs to be told and shared.”

On the distribution process, Rebekah said, “These locations were chosen because a child leaving traumatic circumstances with a parent would experience and benefit from these services and touchpoints along the way to recovery. Leaving abuse is overwhelming. You go from isolation to being helped from many organizations and services. The help is necessary, but also intense.”

In each book, there is a bookplate that reads, This book is part of the Leksi & Ariah Collection – Made possible by generous donations from the Board of Trustees at McArthur Library 2022-2023.

Lowell designed the bookplates with an image of a Cedar Waxwing bird and a fiddlehead fern, both of which she painted. Lowell’s childhood was filled with wonder and wildflowers, and nature has always found a way into her work. The collection is named for Lowell‘s two daughters.

Lowell‘s work and more about her story can be found at