Brown provides a debut memoir about her tumultuous life and lasting faith in God.
“For the most part, I lived a normal life as a child,” the author states at the outset, with two siblings and both parents. It wasn’t until her teenage years that things went horribly awry. While living with her sister, a college student who “spent a lot of time with her friends coming and going to and from parties,” an unwelcome figure forced his way into the house and sexually assaulted her. The brutal rape, she says, left her with a lack of interest in “friendships, hobbies, and people and just about everything in life.” The years that followed included the births of her children, her own suicide attempts, and constant battles involving relationships and finances. The author explains a particularly bad experience with an abusive boyfriend by stating that “I lived a lifetime in the sum of seven years.” In the end, though, her reliance on God wound up pulling her through, she says. Even in the worst of times, she writes, “God had a plan. A plan that would continue to unfold.” This brief memoir effectively tells an earnest story of her life and of her belief in a higher power, no matter how rocky the road. But although her account of a difficult family trip to Sea World is particularly heartbreaking (“The next few days would be so far from a vacation, and closer to a short prison sentence within a sentence”), other portions might have benefited from greater detail. This is also true of her depictions of other people in her life; for example, readers may wonder how they felt during such periods of uncertainty, and whether they also found comfort in the concept of God’s plan. But even though these aspects remain a mystery, the author’s message of faith through adversity remains intact.
An emotional, if condensed, self-portrait of one woman’s trials and redemption.