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.