In her debut memoir, Walber, founding pastor of the Ministry of the Living Stones, details her prior descent into the seedy world of stripping, prostitution and drugs.
Walber’s parents were chronic drunks who abused their three oldest children. In her adolescence, Walber also faced molestation and rape several times. The deep emotional, psychological scar would later push her into the sex-selling business. In this early part of the memoir—a startling reminder of the horrors that some children face—readers will feel incensed at the girl’s abusers upon reading the sickening details, and they will sympathize with her even through her lowest moments. At age 15, Walber heads out on her own and crosses paths with Celeste, a friend whom she loves like a sister. Tired of being victims, the two become strippers in the hopes of gaining the upper hand in the sexual power-play between men and women. Their talent brings them wealth and success. Unfortunately, however, it does not end the abuse or heal the pain. Suffering at the hands of an abusive husband and a boss who takes advantage of her, Walber sinks further into a world of darkness and begins her own self-abuse involving drugs, alcohol and prostitution. As painful as it can be to read, this memoir successfully puts a face to human suffering, prompting one to pause and consider the pain experienced by those unfortunate to be cast in such a shadow. Walber, with writing assistance from Crawford (Yukon Deception, 2012, etc.), provides tremendous insight while triggering a genuine sense of compassion. The telling falls short, however, as an inspirational story. Hope remains scant, and the author reveals her turning point at the end of the book, when the narrative stops. Without concrete evidence, readers can only trust Walber when she claims that her life improved.
Smooth, fluid writing and emotional complexity help detail a painful life in the underworld, with only brief hopeful assurances.