Tag Archive | sexual abuse

#All We Ever Wanted by Emily Giffin-Review-5 Stars-#Ballantine Bks #NetGalley

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Don’t Miss Emily Giffin’s Newest 5-Star Novel! All We Ever Wanted–Coming 6/26/18

 

All We Ever Wanted is a superbly written novel. Emily Giffin completely transported me into the story. I was so captivated that I stayed up reading late into the night just to finish it. I didn’t want to put it down. It’s an emotional book that tugged at my heart from the very first page. All We Ever Wanted also has a great message about girls and women standing up for themselves; and about abusers taking responsibility for their own actions.

Nina Browning’s life changed drastically when her husband, Kirk, sold his business. She found herself suddenly ridiculously wealthy. For the first time in her life, anything that money could buy was at her fingertips. She enjoyed expensive vacations, clothes, jewelry and the elite status that was reserved for the wealthy. Her son Finch grew up privileged and was able to attend private schools from the kindergarten up. But, Nina’s life wasn’t all bliss. She, unfortunately, discovered that the old cliche about money and happiness was actually true. Nina’s heart ached. She had reasons to seriously question her husband’s fidelity. They were growing apart, and he spent more time on the road or flying than at home.

But Nina’s heart didn’t truly break until it was her son, who was the one, in trouble. The mistake Finch would make would not only change his life but the entire family dynamic, forever.  

I thoroughly enjoyed All We Ever Wanted and highly recommend reading it. 

Thank you, Ballantine Books and NetGalley, for my advanced review copy. I loved it!

~5 out of 5 stars~ Review by Peg Glover

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Bio (from author’s page on Amazon)

Emily Giffin is a graduate of Wake Forest University and the University of Virginia School of Law. After practicing litigation at a Manhattan firm for several years, she moved to London to write full time. The author of seven New York Times bestselling novels, Something Borrowed, Something Blue, Baby Proof, Love The One You’re With, Heart of the Matter, Where We Belong, and The One & Only, she lives in Atlanta with her husband and three young children. Visit http://www.emilygiffin.com.

 

**Odin’s Shadow**by Erin S. Riley* 5-Stars

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Odin’s Shadow is a riveting, fast-paced and extraordinarily well-written historical fiction novel. It is also the first Viking novel that I’ve ever read, but it certainly won’t be my last. Looking for a brief diversion from my current project, I picked up this book. Wow, that was a mistake. I found myself tossing my project to the side and deciding to take a frightening, but all-engrossing Viking journey instead. Although I found the Viking’s behavior shocking and ruthless, I didn’t want to put the book down. My world faded away as the tale, Odin’s Shadow became my reality. It’s raw and violent, but true to the nature of the Viking culture. I found myself mesmerized. Although, I despised the behavior of the Vikings, I couldn’t stop reading about them.

Selia, an Irish young woman, was enchanted by the beautiful Viking War-Lord, Alrik. She never expected him to come to her home, though, and snatch her from her family. The Vikings raided the Irish twice a year, killing or taking them as slaves and stealing their goods. Alrik didn’t take Selia as a slave, though. He made her his wife. Alrik’s dark side was so twisted and black that even his brother feared for Selia’s life. Although petrified of Alrik’s rage, Selia eventually fell in love with him and was able to calm him by reaching his brokenness with her own.

The book is brilliantly written with several complex layers and subplots.  I found the characters, believable, fully developed and unique. I love finding new favorite authors, and Erin Riley is now one of them. I highly recommend giving this compelling story a read. Kudos to Ms. Riley.

~5 out of 5 stars~Review by Peg Glover

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

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 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.

*Betrayal* 5-Star Thriller by Sharon Brownlie

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Betrayal is a realistic and riveting character-driven novel.

Helen King, the protagonist, is a bitter and angry woman. She hates the hellhole existence that her so-called protectors had forced her into. She never had a normal childhood, one that was filled with magical carefree days. No, her innocence was stolen from her at the tender age of five. She was abused, rejected and abandoned, and by the time Helen reached fourteen years of age, she was a prostitute and a full-blown drug addict.

By age twenty, though, Helen had decided that she had had enough. She wasn’t going to play the victim role anymore. It was time for revenge.  Helen didn’t care how many people she manipulated, hurt or abused. She had a plan to tweak and a mission to accomplish.

The author does a fabulous job developing the characters in this book. They are all different and have their own unique traits and quirks. My favorite character was Toofy. Even though Toofy was a thief, he was endearing and had a naive innocence to him.

I found Betrayal to be suspenseful and compelling.  The book held me captive until the end.

I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys dark, gritty and engrossing thrillers.
~5 out of 5 stars~Review by Peg Glover

*Little Big Boy* by Max Power – A Fantastic 5-star Read

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Little Big Boy is a superbly written poignant tale, about a 5-year-old child who is forced to grow up before his time in Ireland during the 1970’s. He tells the story of his life from age five to eight.

His story begins when his sister takes his cherished spot as the baby in the family. When he had held that prized position, his Mam was always able to shield him from the evils that surrounded them. His father was a mean drunkard and an unrepentant gambler, so hunger, abuse, neglect and violence were the norm in his household. His Mam now had his baby sister to protect, so as much as he didn’t want to, he had to become the little big boy in the family.

I loved how Max Power was able to capture the essence of this five-year-old boy, his innocence, his fears and his unwavering love for his Mam.

Although the story is sad because of the rampant abuse and neglect that occurs in it, there is also a thread of unconditional love that is strong, moving and unbreakable.

I found Little Big Boy to be a compelling read, and difficult to put down. It’s a story that lingered with me long after I finished the last page. I loved it.

~5 out of 5 stars~Review by Peg Glover

*Lights in My Life* A solid 5-star Moving Memoir by Helen Drew

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Lights in My Life is a superbly written memoir, by Helen Drew. This courageous New Zealand woman bravely tells the world her poignant story with heartbreaking honesty. Helen Drew’s life story is one of survival and resilience. It gives the reader hope though, to know that healing from such atrocities as abuse, betrayal, and rape to name a few, is possible. In this book, the reader will witness Helen’s strength as she struggles to reach the blessed place called acceptance.

Helen’s three sons are the lights in her life. As she recalls the details of her family’s agonizing tragedies; the reader will feel their heart being squeezed. Helen’s raw pain is undeniably present in the words on each page of this book.

Helen Drew’s story is an inspiration and a reminder, to never lose hope because, nothing stays the same forever. I could almost hear her saying, “And this too shall pass” throughout the book. Some of the emotional pain from Helen’s hardships will never go away, but she does reassure the reader that the sharp edges do dull over time.

I found Lights in My Life to be a compelling story, meticulously written and sprinkled with humor. By the time I reached the last page, I felt as if I had just spent a day with a beloved friend; one who I hated to say goodbye to.

Thank you, Helen, for sharing your story.

I highly recommend reading this heartfelt and moving book.

~5 out of 5 stars~ Review by Peg Glover

*Finding Me* by Michelle Knight 5-star Memoir about her escape from Ariel Castro

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Finding Me is an unnerving and unforgettable memoir by Michelle Knight. In Finding Me, Michelle shares her childhood abuse, her homelessness, her kidnapping and her eventual escape from Ariel Castro.

Why are some people’s lives so difficult while others’ seem to be so easy? That was the question Michelle Knight asked herself and God over and over.

Michelle’s physical, emotional and sexual abuse started at the hands of her family when she was just a young child. As a teenager, Michelle ran away, choosing to live underneath a bridge in a box rather than at home. However, when Michelle became pregnant and had a son, she had no choice but to allow her mother to babysit while she searched for a job. It was when Joey was under her mother’s care that social services stepped in and removed Michelle’s son from their home. It broke Michelle’s heart to lose the only person she truly loved, and the only one who loved her unconditionally.

In Finding Me, Michelle Knight tells the story of how Ariel Castro kidnaped her. At the time of her kidnapping, Michelle was distraught and exhausted. She had been walking for a long time in the heat trying to reach the destination that was set up by social services to see her son. She began to panic when she realized that she wasn’t going to be able to make her appointment in time. Ariel Castro offered to drive her so that she wouldn’t miss seeing her son, and since he was the father of her friend, Michelle accepted. He asked Michelle if she thought Joey might like having a puppy. Michelle wanted to give her son a surprise, so she allowed Ariel Castro to coax her into his home. As soon as she entered his home, however, Michelle found herself being shoved into a locked room. It was with a heavy heart that Michelle realized that her being there had nothing to do with choosing a puppy. But what Michelle didn’t realize was that she was about to become a sex slave and tortured for eleven years, by a sadistic monster.

During Michelle’s captivity, two more girls were brought into Ariel Castro’s home and chained. Michelle tried to comfort them even though she, herself many times felt like just giving up and dying. It was the hope of possibly being able to see and hold her son again that gave her the strength and endurance to fight to stay alive.

I found Michelle’s story so disturbing that I had to put the book down several times. It was heartbreaking to read about a caring young woman who was made to suffer horrific abuse, just because a man thought it was his right to inflict harm upon her.

In 2013, all three girls were rescued. Michelle Knight realizes that she will never be able to forget her past, but she is determined not to allow the abuse that she had suffered to define her. Michelle feels that she has been saved to be a voice for those suffering in captivity and their grieving families. Her message is clear, keep looking, never give up, and don’t lose hope.

I highly recommend giving this memoir a read. Michelle’s message should not be taken lightly. Anyone can become a victim, no one is immune; so stay alert.

~5 out of 5 stars~ Review by Peg Glover