9781502381255, $12.99 Paper, $2.99 Kindle
Reviewed by Diane Donovan originally for Midwest Review
Joan Eastman is put on bed rest for the length of her uncertain pregnancy and buys a diary to occupy her time and Breaking the Silence is what she reveals in her diary: a saga of growing up repressing psychological and sexual cruelty and falling into substance abuse as one reflection of the self-hatred she feels.
Plenty of fiction and nonfiction sagas stop here, chronicling that abuse and its lasting impact; but the strength of Breaking the Silence lies in its ability to proceed past the pain to the other side, using the forthcoming birth of Eastman's child and her diary to foster the process of moving beyond past injustices into healing.
Any who have struggled with past abuse, wondering how to shake its shackles and move into a future unencumbered by past tragedy, will relish the first-person diary entries in Breaking the Silence, which follows a way out of the maze. It's a powerful saga of a woman determined to undertake the work that will truly release her from self-destructive patterns and reactions that pass between generations.
Juxtaposing the progression of pregnancy with life lessons learned from her experiences, Joan's story is a haunting survey of life, death, and everything in between, and a powerful saga not for those who would lead the unexamined life; but especially recommended for readers struggling with their own dark pasts and its implications for the future.
Plenty of stories capture the experience. Too few chart the course between devastation and destruction to spiritual and emotional rebirth. Breaking the Silence is one such gem - and is a top revelation especially recommended for spirituality readers who want an account of finding not just a way out, but God.
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