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Startling Beauty: My Journey from Rape to Restoration
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Startling Beauty: My Journey from Rape to Restoration

4.24  ·  Rating Details ·  95 Ratings  ·  20 Reviews
A gripping true life story, is undeniable proof that God can bring blessings out of the worst situations in our lives.
Hardcover, 225 pages
Published October 5th 2004 by Life Journey (first published February 1st 2004)
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Mar 09, 2017 Melanie marked it as read-excerpts
Don't read this without also reading Heather's follow-up essay from 2016, "Unpinned."

"Ten years ago I wrote a memoir about being raped. “Rape takes too much,” I admitted in my book Startling Beauty, “but I, for one, have gained more than I have lost. I have been startled by beauty in places it doesn’t belong. I see it on the face of the man who keeps his vows to me, and fear releases its grip. I see it in the graceful dance of a child who was so unwanted, and hope revives its song.

And you close
Feb 02, 2008 Elissa rated it liked it
This book is a very quick read, and captivated my attention.
Heather Gemmen is a great writer and uses so many vivid pictures to describe things.
My only disappointment with the book was reading the advice given to her by friends including her pastor on taking the "morning after" pill. Of course, I can't put myself in her situation- what a horrific experience, but as a Calvinistic, Reformed Christian we filter every thing that happens to us through God's Sovereignty. And even if pregnancy would oc
Sandra Lassiter
Dec 04, 2012 Sandra Lassiter rated it it was amazing
I bought a stack of books from a book store that was going out of business, and this book was in it. I knew I had to read it. "Only God could turn a woman's worst nightmare into something of startling beauty." While Heather's husband was at church in a meeting and her kids were asleep down the hall, a man came into her house and raped her. After struggling with the issue, she ends up taking a pill to keep her from getting pregnant. It doesn't work and she ends up pregnant anyway. What makes that ...more
Lisa Carlson Martin
Feb 03, 2013 Lisa Carlson Martin rated it it was amazing
I heard of this book in passing while listening to a local Christian radio show and decided to order it...I read it from front to back without moving from my chair on the day I got it in the mail. Startling Beauty was an amazing story of looking past the tragedy and finding the beauty in what could have been a horrible situation. It also helped me to answer the "what would I do" for me personally. Excellent book, excellent.
Mar 03, 2008 Jaime rated it it was amazing
I went to a fundraising banquet for the local Pregnancy Care Center the other day and Heather Gemmen-Wilson was the guest speaker. Heather's story is a very touching one. I know I wasn't the only one brought to tears. Her FAITH in GOD is apparent. Heather spoke of being a member of a secret club you never wanted to join, and that at some point in everyone's life they may have felt that way about some isssue and could relate. An excellent speaker as well as a good read!!!
Sharon Siepel
Jul 19, 2008 Sharon Siepel rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone
Heather is raped in her own home while her children are sleeping in the next room. Married and devout Christians, Heather and her husband struggle with the basic tenants of their faith when they discover Heather is pregnant with the rapist's child.

This true story will challenge your faith and prejudices. Heather Gemmen writes with such an honest heart that you are compelled to feel ever emotion with her. An amazing story.
Stacey Suarez
Dec 31, 2007 Stacey Suarez rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Christian readers and anyone recovering from a major life event
Not what I had expected. Surprised myself by buying this book. Very good self help book for any person (mostly women) who have experienced a wide range of emotions from any major unexpected or unprovocated life event. The author's courage in telling her story and also how she worked through tells a beautiful story of hope, and how God can create enormous beauty in the midst of a nightmare.
Lizzy B
Sep 15, 2010 Lizzy B rated it it was amazing
Shelves: biography
An open honest account of one womans journey through a horrific experience and back again into a place of forgiveness and healing. Emotive, simply yet effectively written and covers every aspect of life.
Meirav Berale
This is a challenging and inspiring true story.

Heather Gemmen was raped and found herself pregnant. She had a choice. This is the story of the awful rape, and of the child that was the good, positive, life-giving fruit of that rape.
Jan 24, 2013 Chantel rated it really liked it
Recommended to me by a friend who knows the author personally, I found the story intriguing. I found myself asking: "What would I have done in similar circumstances?" Could I have been as brave as Heather Gemmen Wilson?
Oct 18, 2008 Cammy rated it liked it
A true story of a woman's rape (in her home by an intruder) and her subsequent recovery which included a pregnancy as a result of the rape. Interesting and well told. Very compelling look at forgiveness.
Feb 26, 2009 Angela rated it really liked it
Awesome testamony
Dec 03, 2014 Karishma rated it really liked it
The story line is gripping from gloom to developing happiness despite the dark spot. To be read for those who think they can live adventurously despite the unwritten norms of the society.
Aug 16, 2012 Rose added it
amazing and inspirational account. C'dn't have retold it any other way
Shera rated it really liked it
Mar 31, 2008
Lynn Mosher
Lynn Mosher rated it it was amazing
Mar 28, 2009
Bernie rated it really liked it
Jul 14, 2012
Crazy, but inspiring story.
Ayana rated it it was amazing
Sep 23, 2013
Sarah Dennis atkinson
Sarah Dennis atkinson rated it it was amazing
Aug 02, 2013
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Sep 30, 2015
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Jan 25, 2009
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Apr 16, 2011
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Jun 21, 2014
Leanna Makortoff
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Apr 11, 2014
Claudette rated it liked it
Jan 26, 2012
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May 09, 2014
Linda rated it it was amazing
Jul 18, 2012
Rachel Rae
Rachel Rae rated it it was amazing
Jul 28, 2012
Mar 26, 2010 Jo rated it liked it
This was a good story about how God works all things, even ugly and painful, together for good.
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European-Canadian woman who got raped by a Afro-Canadian man and got pregnant and decided to keep the baby.

She is now a spokesperson for pro-life.

She wrote her biography as well as a couple of Christian young adult literature.
More about Heather Gemmen...

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