An inspiring David-and-Goliath story with a strong Christian tone.

WHAT IS A GIRL WORTH?

MY STORY OF BREAKING THE SILENCE AND EXPOSING THE TRUTH ABOUT LARRY NASSAR AND USA GYMNASTICS

The first former gymnast to go public with accusations against convicted sexual predator Larry Nassar refracts her story through the lens of her Christian faith.

Attorney and advocate Denhollander kept hearing two questions after people learned she had been molested by a team doctor for USA Gymnastics and Michigan State University: “How could this happen?” and “Why didn’t you say something sooner?” She answers both in a debut that blends memoir with a true-crime story and blistering critique of how powerful institutions deny, cover up, or mishandle sexual abuse. After suffering an injury at age 15, the author sought help from Nassar, who—without gloves or consent—vaginally penetrated her with his fingers, hiding the assault from her mother (who was in the exam room) by reaching under her baggy shorts or positioning himself strategically between parent and child. Deeply religious, Denhollander knew that the clergy often counseled abuse victims to “forgive and forget.” As she saw it, however, seeking justice “would demonstrate the love of Christ much better.” So she grieved privately until, nearly 16 years later, the Indianapolis Star exposed rampant abuse by gymnastics coaches, which led her to email the paper about Nassar. The floodgates opened after a story on her molestation appeared: Other gymnasts spoke up, the police got involved, and investigators found evidence of years of coverups by USA Gymnastics and MSU. Denhollander’s tone can be overly saccharine—she refers frequently to the “precious” abuse victims—but this is a story of true moral courage that becomes as gripping as a legal thriller in a climactic courtroom scene that has 156 abuse victims testifying against Nassar at his sentencing hearing. Spectators wept as pictures of the witnesses as young gymnasts flashed on a screen; by the end of this book, even the most cynical readers may be reaching for their own tissues.

An inspiring David-and-Goliath story with a strong Christian tone.

Pub Date: Sept. 10, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-4964-4133-1

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Tyndale Momentum

Review Posted Online: Nov. 25, 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 48 LAWS OF POWER

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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The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the...

NIGHT

Elie Wiesel spent his early years in a small Transylvanian town as one of four children. 

He was the only one of the family to survive what Francois Maurois, in his introduction, calls the "human holocaust" of the persecution of the Jews, which began with the restrictions, the singularization of the yellow star, the enclosure within the ghetto, and went on to the mass deportations to the ovens of Auschwitz and Buchenwald. There are unforgettable and horrifying scenes here in this spare and sombre memoir of this experience of the hanging of a child, of his first farewell with his father who leaves him an inheritance of a knife and a spoon, and of his last goodbye at Buchenwald his father's corpse is already cold let alone the long months of survival under unconscionable conditions. 

The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the sphere of suffering shared, and in this case extended to the death march itself, there is no spiritual or emotional legacy here to offset any reader reluctance.

Pub Date: Jan. 16, 2006

ISBN: 0374500010

Page Count: 120

Publisher: Hill & Wang

Review Posted Online: Oct. 7, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2006

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