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*Crossroads* by Christopher Conte

Crossroads

Crossroads is a fascinating collection of fifteen essays, written by accomplished Ugandan women; that shine a spotlight on different aspects of their culture. These amazing women share their stories of hardship and challenges, as well as how they live and survive in Uganda’s male-dominant society. I found each story compelling, thought-provoking but also very disturbing. All of the essays have a thread of oppression that runs through them, yet each one of them is unique and powerful.

Reading this book has opened my eyes to the severity of women’s suffering in Uganda. It has also rekindled my appreciation for the freedom that I experience every day in the United States.

I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

4 out of 5 stars~Review by Peg Glover

*Life is Beautiful*by Sarah M. Johnson*5-Stars

Life is Beautiful

Sarah Johnson’s memoir is both an uplifting and heart-wrenching story. Sarah bravely shares painful memories of her life from being a socially awkward teen and drinking alcoholically, to surviving a plane crash, where both her father, and brother died, and her mother nearly burned to death.

Although Sarah grew up in a home where religion was frowned upon, she always had a yearning to know God. Sarah believed that she was a constant disappointment to her parents and, therefore, suffered periods of depression. She cherished her younger brother, Zach. He was the only one who could truly calm her when her nerves were frayed. He was her confidant and best friend. When Zach died in the plane crash, a big part of her life died with him. Although her mother survived the crash, she blamed Sarah for her burned body and shunned Sarah because of it. Sarah truly felt alone in the world.

Life Is Beautiful is Sarah’s story. She doesn’t claim to be a perfect person or have a perfect life. Sarah tells of her experiences, disclosing mistakes as well as accomplishments. She also shares how she came to know God, even though it was through a person who was no good for her. She drives home the point that every person who comes into our lives is there for a reason whether they bring happiness or pain. It’s all part of life.

Thank you, Sarah, for sharing your incredible story.

I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

5 out of 5 stars~ Review by Peg Glover

*Fortney Road* by Jeff C. Stevenson* 5-Stars

Fortney Road

Fortney Road is a true and emotionally charged story depicting the horrific abuse that members of the Church of the Risen Christ, were forced to endure during the 1960’s and 70’s in Ohio. This poignant account of individual experiences while living and working on Larry Hill’s farm is both compelling and incredibly disturbing.

The founder of the Church of the Risen Christ, Larry Hill, claimed that he received messages and visions from God to prepare his followers for the Great War. Before potential followers could join Larry Hill’s church he carefully screened them. Once he accepted them, though, they became his chosen flock and trapped under his rule. Fear and intimidation kept his members from leaving the farm. Although Larry Hill preached fire and brimstone sermons against drinking, drugs and adultery, he carried around with him, his own supply of alcohol, and freely indulged in unlawful sexual activity.

Weekly meetings were held to announce member’s infractions and to dole out punishments. Mental, physical, and sexual abuse were the norm on Fortney Road farm.

This book clearly exposes the horrors of being trapped in a religious cult. I had to put the book down several times to ease the horrendous mental pictures that played in my head. But, it’s a story that needs to be told. Kudos to Jeff Stevenson for crafting such an extraordinarily well-written, and well-researched book. Warm thank you’s to everyone who bravely came forth and told their stories. Highly recommended.

I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

5 out of 5 stars~Review by Peg Glover

*Campervan Kama Sutra* by John Perrier

Campervan KamaSutra

Campervan Kama Sutra is a true story about the author and his family’s trip through Australia’s outback countryside. The book reads like an extended travel blog, of the events, mishaps and funny incidences that happened along the way. I enjoyed learning about Australia, road-trip style, as well as reading about the family’s wacky adventures.

I found this book well-written and humorous. If you enjoy reading about travel adventures, then Campervan Kama Sutra is the book for you.

I received this book free of charge in exchange for an honest review.

~4 out of 5 stars~Review by Peg Glover

*Tears of My Life* by Philip Gbormittah

Tears of My LIfe

Tears of My Life is a coming of age memoir about a young man growing up in Ghana. The story tells of Kofi’s poverty, both monetary and spiritual. The book describes Kofi’s disappointments in life, his loneliness, and his young loves. Tears of My Life is an interesting story about Kofi’s spiritual journey, the pitfalls in his life and his near brush with suicide.

I received this book free of charge in exchange for an honest review.

~4 out of 5 stars~Review by Peg Glover

*I’m Not Your “Baby” *by Joy Jennings-5-Stars

I'm not your Baby

 I’m Not Your “Baby”, is a well-written but heartbreaking memoir about a woman’s struggle, to rise above the pain of living a life poisoned by sexual abuse.  Joy Jennings courageously tells her story with brutal honesty, in the hope that she might be a voice for women who are unable to speak for themselves.  The author writes almost exclusively about the Australian culture, but the book relates to men in general who objectify women.  There is no sugar-coating in this memoir. It is raw and explicit, so be warned.

Joy Jennings shares with the reader how her low self-esteem affected her ability to think clearly and deal effectively with dominating and intimidating men. She would often end up in vulnerable positions and hurt because of it. Because Ms. Jennings had been a victim of a violent sexual crime, her fear of angry men paralyzed her. She would often switch jobs and residences just to avoid confrontation, but even then, she rarely felt safe.  No one should have to live this way. The book is not an easy one to read, but take heart; there is a happy ending. Ms. Jennings message is clear, though, women have a right not to be harassed and abused, and objectifying women does hurt them.

I love the fact that Ms. Jennings never gave up hope and that she lives a happy life today.

~5 out of 5 stars~Review by Peg Glover

I received this book free of charge in exchange for an honest review.

*Van Gogh in Peppers* by Christopher Scott Downing

Van Gogh in Peppers

Van Gogh in Peppers is an honest, poignant and raw account of a man’s descent into self-destructive behavior while battling a mental illness, Major Depression.

Christopher Downing courageously tells the story of how his self-loathing demeanor and his refusal to seek professional help cost him everything he held dear. Van Gogh in Peppers is not a book of recovery or a self-help book on depression. It’s a memoir of Christopher Downing’s struggle during a dark time of his life.

The author depicts for the reader how he started to fail at everything. He was not even able to do a job that he loved because depression had stripped him of his confidence. He was irritable, impatient and hungover most of the time, and had no idea how to change. It’s not an easy story to read. But the message is a good one. Men need help for depression too, not just women. Major Depression is not something you can fix on your own; professional counseling is usually needed.

~4 out of 5 stars~ Review by Peg Glover