Author/photographer Jan Goff-LaFontaine tackles a subject many folks find taboo: abuse and how to heal from it. The women she interviews are an inspiration, and the accompanying black and white photos are well-chosen. There are poems written by the interviewees, and perhaps what makes this book better than average is that the author has chosen to relay the women’s’ stories in their own words and using their own images.
Sheila S. described when her healing first began as “when I saw clearly for the first time … I was seeing through a fog or veil, and then it suddenly cleared. I saw that I had a choice.”
Carmen relates, “When I think of healing, I think of my hands, because I always used them to protect my face when he beat me. And when I was raped, I made a fist when the guy was on top of me, and tried to hold him away from me. Now I can use my hands for good things.”
The women chosen for this uplifting short book represent a variety of generations, ethnic backgrounds, and are fighting alcohol, drugs, sexual abuse, domestic assault, rape, incest, and various varieties of separation.
This book spoke to me and is one that I’ll keep in my personal collection. It blends many experiences of healing so seamlessly as to make it easy for anyone to relate to its message and themes.