A stirringly confidential memoir teeming with inspiration.




After a lifetime of abuse and illness, a woman finds peace and renewal in prayer. 

Debut author Rose once endured a “difficult, dark, and depressing” life that shattered her sense of self-worth. Her father was mercurially volatile, “addicted to anger,” a “monster” who subjected her to brutal physical and emotional abuse. Her mother was a passive accomplice, unable or unwilling to stand up to him. As a result, Rose was a “timid and introverted young girl” addled with anxiety and tormented by her peers at school: “Fear, shame, and humiliation were the emotions I knew best.” After a friend commented on her weight, she became obsessed with limiting her food intake, at one point somehow subsisting on a mere 200 to 400 calories a day. She tried therapy and mind-numbing medications, and her parents had her hospitalized against her will more than once. When she was 18, according to the author, a boy she met at her grandmother’s funeral—and for whom she cared deeply—savagely raped her, a violation for which he showed no remorse. Her mother’s only response when told was a cold command: Don’t tell your father. Rose’s principal solace throughout her life was her spirituality. Jesus was both her “imaginary friend” and “guide.” After a series of visions, including “angelic dreams” and a visitation from her now dead father offering love, she was able to muster both forgiveness and a measure of happiness through prayer. The author’s remembrance is remarkably forthcoming—she recounts in unalloyed detail her most intimate mortifications. And while much of her memoir is morbidly unpleasant—and conveyed in granular detail—her ultimate message is one of hope, expressed in an admirably optimistic tone. Rose’s prose is forthright and unadorned by literary flourish, and she tells her story in a casual, albeit confessional style. Her account of her ultimate triumph over personal demons won’t likely appeal to those unmoved by religious faith—the author credits her success, first and foremost, to God, and to the relationship she established with him through prayer. 

A stirringly confidential memoir teeming with inspiration. 

Pub Date: Aug. 11, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-9988401-1-6

Page Count: 478

Publisher: BookBaby

Review Posted Online: March 18, 2019

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If the authors are serious, this is a silly, distasteful book. If they are not, it’s a brilliant satire.


The authors have created a sort of anti-Book of Virtues in this encyclopedic compendium of the ways and means of power.

Everyone wants power and everyone is in a constant duplicitous game to gain more power at the expense of others, according to Greene, a screenwriter and former editor at Esquire (Elffers, a book packager, designed the volume, with its attractive marginalia). We live today as courtiers once did in royal courts: we must appear civil while attempting to crush all those around us. This power game can be played well or poorly, and in these 48 laws culled from the history and wisdom of the world’s greatest power players are the rules that must be followed to win. These laws boil down to being as ruthless, selfish, manipulative, and deceitful as possible. Each law, however, gets its own chapter: “Conceal Your Intentions,” “Always Say Less Than Necessary,” “Pose as a Friend, Work as a Spy,” and so on. Each chapter is conveniently broken down into sections on what happened to those who transgressed or observed the particular law, the key elements in this law, and ways to defensively reverse this law when it’s used against you. Quotations in the margins amplify the lesson being taught. While compelling in the way an auto accident might be, the book is simply nonsense. Rules often contradict each other. We are told, for instance, to “be conspicuous at all cost,” then told to “behave like others.” More seriously, Greene never really defines “power,” and he merely asserts, rather than offers evidence for, the Hobbesian world of all against all in which he insists we live. The world may be like this at times, but often it isn’t. To ask why this is so would be a far more useful project.

If the authors are serious, this is a silly, distasteful book. If they are not, it’s a brilliant satire.

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 1998

ISBN: 0-670-88146-5

Page Count: 430

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 1998

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This a book of earlier, philosophical essays concerned with the essential "absurdity" of life and the concept that- to overcome the strong tendency to suicide in every thoughtful man-one must accept life on its own terms with its values of revolt, liberty and passion. A dreary thesis- derived from and distorting the beliefs of the founders of existentialism, Jaspers, Heldegger and Kierkegaard, etc., the point of view seems peculiarly outmoded. It is based on the experience of war and the resistance, liberally laced with Andre Gide's excessive intellectualism. The younger existentialists such as Sartre and Camus, with their gift for the terse novel or intense drama, seem to have omitted from their philosophy all the deep religiosity which permeates the work of the great existentialist thinkers. This contributes to a basic lack of vitality in themselves, in these essays, and ten years after the war Camus seems unaware that the life force has healed old wounds... Largely for avant garde aesthetes and his special coterie.

Pub Date: Sept. 26, 1955

ISBN: 0679733736

Page Count: 228

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: Sept. 19, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1955

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