A writer and former high-school teacher shares her journal descriptions of her own rape and near-murder in a Seattle laundromat, and of the year of emotional chaos and the grueling courtroom trial that followed. A gripping and deeply moving account that should erase any lingering doubts about rape's damaging effects on the psyche. In her early 40s, Scherer lived contentedly on a boat in a Seattle marina, productively occupied with her architect husband, a circle of close friends, and a technical-writing career--until the morning of February 9, 1988, when she dropped by a local laundromat to wash some clothes, was accosted by a white man near her own age, and was raped at knife-point on the laundromat floor. In the process of trying to strangle Scherer, the assailant became frightened and ran away. Scherer was left nearly unconscious with sliced-up hands and a heart shape carved into her neck. Severely traumatized, she nevertheless struggled through the first steps in what would become an agonizing two-year journey back to ``normality''--calling her husband and the police, undergoing a postrape medical exam, submitting to interviews with detectives, and, nearly a year later, participating in the trial of her rapist, Seattle native Steven Slater--who was sentenced to 14 years in prison. While Scherer suffered severe anxiety during the months between her rape and the trial's end--unable, at first, to be alone for more than a few hours, tortured by nightmares and the fear that her rapist would return to kill her--she emphasizes her good fortune in encountering empathetic friends, caring professionals, and a legal system that worked. The intense pain Scherer evokes even in this supportive situation conveys much about the rape experience. A valuable contribution.