TELLING by Patricia Weaver Francisco

TELLING

A Memoir of Rape and Recovery
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KIRKUS REVIEW

A poetic, searingly personal book about a subject much of society would prefer to ignore. Francisco was a happily married 20-something writer and assistant editor when a rapist entered her apartment while her husband was away and brutally raped her. The act itself only took moments (although he spent several hours mentally torturing her), but her recovery took years. Novelist Francisco (Cold Feet, 1988, etc.) chronicles that recovery here in a book that is personal and yet universal enough to offer hope to others who have faced similar trauma. Francisco has an enviable feel for language. Her prose is by turns subtle and shockingly direct, just as rape itself is simultaneously blunt and violent and an insidious spiritual attack whose wounds fester internally long after the actual act has been committed. Francisco chillingly chronicles the act itself and the various methods she used to cope. “My most deeply held belief about my experience of rape is that, by talking, I saved my life,” she writes. “I had a small chance and it arrived like an opening in traffic. I knew exactly what to do with it. Tell. Talk about yourself. Spill it.” Unafraid to bare her soul as a writer as well, Francisco walks the reader through the failure of her marriage (80 percent of marriages involving a rape victim fail, one counselor tells her) to her slow, painful reawakening to her self and life through a variety of therapies, including body treatments such as massage and energy work. “I’ve come to believe that the body’s memory is as deep and unacknowledged as our dreams. Both fall outside language, their messages carried in image and sensation.” Francisco is not afraid to tell. We all must be brave enough to listen. (Author tour)

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 1999
ISBN: 0-06-019291-7
Page count: 240pp
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1st, 1999




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