Thursday, November 22, 2012

Sister of Silence Book Review

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When Sister of Silence first came out, I immediately bought a copy.  The author, Daleen Berry,  used to work at our local newspaper in Preston County West Virginia, and I’m always interested in any non-fiction book with regional ties.  I very much enjoyed reading about people I knew and even knowing as I read the book that my father was one of the people the author interviewed at the sheriff's office for her job. 

Sister of Silence is much more than just a book for those who live in our area.  The story is riveting. It is a hard memoir to read. When she was only thirteen and Eddie is twenty when he begins having sex with her.  She doesn’t realize this is rape so she tells no one.  This continues off and on for years until she gets pregnant.  She believes she will no longer be desired by anyone because she is “used” and so she and Eddie marry.  By the time she is twenty-two she has four small children.

Eddie becomes physically abusive, at one point dragging her down stairs and causing a huge gash in her leg.  She tells no one -- thus the title “Sister of Silence”.  Once he loses his job, she has to find a job and is hired by the local paper.  As she starts reporting domestic violence stories she realizes that is exactly what is happening to her. 

This is not light reading.  It is about childhood and marital sexual abuse, domestic violence, postpartum depression, and thoughts of suicide.  It’s a riveting book, but can also help others know they are not alone in their situation and give them hope for escape.

The one thing I would have changed about the book is the ending.  She goes into great detail about the things she survived, but I wanted to also hear about what happened after.  (This has since been published as Shattering the Silence!)  But I couldn't put this book down.  I give it a five star rating and I recommend it for anyone who wants to learn more about domestic violence.  It would also make a great gift to someone you think is going through a similar situation and don't know how to approach her and ask her if you can do anything to help.

Watch the book trailer here:


Read a preview:

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Book Review: Rebounders

Rebounders: How Winners Pivot from Setback to SuccessRebounders: How Winners Pivot from Setback to Success by Rick Newman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book was both disappointing and a great read. The disappointment came because I expected it to be comprised of what was in the last chapter -- characteristics of "Rebounders". I expected a book filled with ideas of how to overcome setbacks and to be giving advice on how to make the best from a bad situation. So I was more than a little surprised that only a few pages were dedicated to this, almost as an after thought.

However, the book was a great read. Instead of learning how to turn your failures into successes, it was filled with examples of those who did just that. Before reading this book, I had only ever heard of Thomas Edison. However, I would love to read more about Tammy Duckworth. The chapter on her felt too short, and unlike some of the others profiled, I was left wanting to read more about her. In fact, I likely would have only given this book a three star rating if it wasn't for the chapter about her.

If you're wanting a how-to book, this isn't it. If you are looking for a book to sit down and read about those who have overcome adversity, this is your book.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Blizzard from Hurricane Sandy

Where I live, we were hit by a blizzard from Hurricane Sandy.  We lost power on Monday and regained it on Wednesday.  For some it will be ten days until their power is restored.  Here's some photos I took: