As you will see, this is a particularly difficult book to read. It deals with the subject of rape, its consequences, and its aftermath. This is the kind of book most people would pass on reading, since we read to relax, to get away from our daily lives. We choose books to read that we will enjoy, that will entertain us.
What drew me to this book, finally, is the author’s attempt to make sense of the real world, by fictionalizing it. I must agree that dealing with a rape that never occurred is much more desirable than dealing with one that did occur. This notion, of making a distasteful topic a work of fiction, tipped the scales for me, and I decided to read this book, and then, write a thoughtful, fair, unbiased book review. My book review follows, and can be seen on line at Amazon. Maybe some of you will even download the book, since it is FREE today.
When dealing with serious fictional literature, there are a number of possible ways of “reading”. The options begin to narrow, however, once we are met with unique circumstances which show humanity at its worst. The willpower must be present to read with critical, yet non-judgmental eyes. The first time I tried to read this book, I was overwhelmed, and wanted nothing to do with the conflicts and drama present in this book. Today, I am here, eager to share what the reading of this book has been like for me. Here are my thoughts:
I feel nothing but pain, empathy, misery, sympathy for the protagonist, Ashley Ferguson. Her life is literally destroyed by circumstances beyond her control. Subsequently, her descent into the living hell in which she seeks refuge is predictable. The destruction of her soul, her self of self, is significant. Only a well-coordinated therapy, extending as soon as possible and lasting across the entire length, breadth, and width of her lifetime would have “saved her” from the emotional and mental aftermath of the rape that she suffered. Author John Meany has tackled this topic head-on, and is to be commended for his effort.
The crime (rape) is one that robs the victim of much more than your physical body, it is much more severe, as this book clearly demonstrates. In sum, this book is not, can not be, for entertainment. It is not escapist literature.
Though you may be willing to dispute anything in this book, there is something much larger at stake. Unless the public at large becomes more sensitised to uncomfortable topics like this one, the victims of violent crime will continue to suffer not only the crime itself, but its aftermath, as our protagonist does. How do we prevent this? I don’t know, but I think this book is a good contribution, in fact, a valuable contribution, as it is educational.
For me, a final reflection is evident when the author asks, quite simply: “Who will save her? Who will save Ashley from the drugs and alcohol that begin to control her life? Who will help her…?” That is a question that our society is called upon to answer…
Reviewed by Thomas Jerome Baker
Author of How to Coach A Debate Team