Readers Write: On Violence

We are complex products of our past

“I finished your book yesterday and I found it to be of value … reminding us that change happens continuously and we are complex products of our past. Not every trauma has a happy ending, and there was a lot of growth with Brenda and her family and friends after her “accident.” Everyone became closer, more “real.” I commend you for writing about this hostile event to this woman. You also included another invasive event … those men who broke into her home. That was also realistic. I liked the portraits of her friends, the women and Charlie. You also dealt with child abuse, a sadly common problem in our country, that needs more discussion. Bad things don’t just happen in Afghanistan!”  — Cassie Tzur


How grateful I am for my recovery

“Having grown up in an abusive home, I could relate so well to Brenda. Her lack of trust in and intimacy with family and friends reminded me of my life before recovery in Adult Children of Alcoholics. And her decision to not fight for rehabilitation rang true to me. The vision that came to me was a tall, apparently vibrant tree that was compromised internally so that when a windstorm arrived, it could no longer stand. Brenda’s family and friends saw the solid outside and only gradually came to accept her frail core that caused her to say “enough.” Your book reminded me how grateful I am for my recovery which included coming to believe in God and trusting Him to see me through tough times. And, I can be open and vulnerable, asking for help from loved ones, partly because I have addressed my past. Of course Brenda was more complex than just a victim, coming to terms with events in her life during her final months.”


 An experience that terrifies all women

“A great read—such a sensitive and valiant portrait of a woman who has to contend with an experience that terrifies all women … Having been through sexual violence myself, I know what that is like … Brenda’s courage is certainly a balm. Thanks for writing this story.”