The Power of Courage by Charol Messenger

The Power of Courage

An Uplifting Saga of Moving Beyond Abuse
Email this review


This tale chronicles a challenging chapter in Messenger’s life, when she found herself trapped in and then emerging from a toxic relationship.

During the early days of her prolific writing career, Messenger (Walking With Angels, 2013), an incest survivor, was recovering from a breakup. In need of companionship, she lowered her defenses. Joseph sought out Messenger to help write his book about how a Colorado sheriff was actually a serial killer. The pair were drawn physically to each other, and they quickly became a couple. The two were polar opposites: Messenger was spiritual, optimistic, and nurturing; Joey was uncouth, negative, and narcissistic. Joey, says the author, was soon mooching off the financially strapped Messenger, then a temp office worker, to support his drinking and gambling. Still, despite the psychological abuse by the self-absorbed Joey, Messenger couldn’t end the relationship, in part because she could find the good in anybody. Instead, she vented about him when alone in her apartment: “No one has ever treated me as unkindly as you! You are completely unreliable!” Eventually she came to the realization that she needed to escape the self-destructive circumstances: “I must take care of myself, for a while shut out the world, forget Joey and all the pain that came with him.” Even after she kicked out Joey, she lived in fear that he would return to upset the life she was trying to rebuild. Throughout the book, Messenger smoothly weaves in the difficulties from her past via flashbacks to help readers understand how she ended up in this psychologically damaging pairing. It’s also evident how the author’s New-Age beliefs and her wide circle of friends sustained her through this trying, six-month ordeal. Messenger’s harrowing cautionary tale ably urges those in similar situations to heed warning signs.

An inspiring tale of how one woman’s beliefs enabled her to escape severe dysfunction.

ISBN: 978-1-5187-5016-8
Publisher: Messenger Publishing
Program: Kirkus Indie
Review Posted Online:


ChildrenKNOW ABOUT ABUSE by Margaret O. Hyde
by Margaret O. Hyde
NonfictionSUGGESTIONS OF ABUSE by Michael D. Yapko
by Michael D. Yapko
IndieTHE BOX OF DAUGHTER by Katherine Mayfield
by Katherine Mayfield