Wow- I'm still a little in shock here. I'm always a little anxious when I read a book by an author I don't know. Especially an author I meet on-line,Wow- I'm still a little in shock here. I'm always a little anxious when I read a book by an author I don't know. Especially an author I meet on-line, on a site like this, etc. Let's just say I was anxious for no reason with this one. While reading it questions kept popping into my head, stuff I just knew I was going to have to ask Mrs. Williamson, to pick her brain a little. Then the question would be answered within a page or two. I think that happens a half a dozen times. It was so nice not to be left with these questions you're just wanting to know so bad about. Mrs. Williamson is a very, very strong person and she has a beautiful family, which she shows to us all throughout this book. (A little side note- there are pictures throughout the book- not too many, just enought to get a feel for each person and just enough to let you be able to really picture the person during a certain situation- I loved that.) I'm not as open minded as Mrs. Williamson is. I could tell that pretty quickly. I kind of wish I was. I'm very skeptical when someone tells me they had an out of body experience or that they were visited from the other side. Maybe it's because it's never happened to me but that's just the way I am. So, the parts where the author mentioned her deceased father coming to her and actually speaking to her were difficult for me. I just don't see it. On the other hand, I hope to God it really happened- because then maybe someday, before I die, I'll be a little more reassured about the after-life. I'm working on faith alone right now and a little reassurance wouldn't hurt. Near the end of the book the author mentioned the 'gift' being passed onto her daughter- this was tough to swallow for me to. I hope to have one (or more) conversations with Mrs. Williamson about the whole thing. I'm interested in hearing more and who knows- maybe she'll make a believer out of me. :) That's about the only thing that made the book a little harder for me. I have a lot of praise for how she handled the religious aspect of the book. There are many people, me being one of them who DO NOT like being preached to- I never felt that with this. The author talked about her ralationship with God, her faith yet she didn't harp on it, she said what needed to be said and left it alone. She didn't come across as snooty or snobby, as her faith is better because of this or that, she didn't act like people should follow her lead and follow her to wherever religon-wise- this went very far with me and I know it will with others too.
Okay- the book tells about Debbie Williamson's life- it wasn't an easy one and she worked HARD to get through her problems. That deserves something there with so many people laying the blame for their own faults on someone else in these times. It was refreshing to read about someone having their faults, dealing with them in an incorrect way, realizing it, trying to fix it, and becoming a better person for it. I enjoyed learning about how the relationships between her and her family members changed and grew also- particularly her mother and kids.
I wouldn't suggest keeping this on the shelf for too long- it's one of those books where when you do finally grab it down to read you want to kick yourself for missing out for so long. One more thing- the way Mrs. Williamson writes is fantastic! The whole story just flowed and this being a first novel- that's a pretty cool feat, especially when talking about subjects as harsh as are dealt with here. I mentioned this to a friend and I'll mention it to the author as well, but I hope she's still writing. In my opinion she could go on writing, in many more different ways. One more thing again- I definitely think Stand can be of help to a lot of people, women specifically. ...more
**spoiler alert** This is an absolutely heartbreaking book. How Anya Peters overcame everything she was forced to go through I'll never know. I doubt**spoiler alert** This is an absolutely heartbreaking book. How Anya Peters overcame everything she was forced to go through I'll never know. I doubt I'd have been strong enough to deal with even a fraction. Anya grew up with an uncle and aunt because her biological parents had an affair no one could ever find out about. Her aunt, who she called Mummy, was the only person- and I do mean the ONLY person- in her young life to show her any love. She dealt with every kind of abuse imaginable from her uncle and "brothers" and "sisters". Peters finally was able to tell on her uncle when the abuse became sexual and he was arrested. Mummy took the uncle back eventually and Anya had already moved on by this time. All of the abuse, coupled with not knowing who her father is for her entire childhood did an immense amount of damage. Peters had problem after problem after moving out of her Mummy's house after the sexual abuse. She was in abusive relationships, couldn't find work, was homeless, etc. It takes a strong person to be able to honestly tell a life story like this and an even stronger one to live through it and overcome all the obstacles. Anya Peters is a woman to be admired...more
**spoiler alert** I think Stuart Howarth did a pretty good job here. I have to assume he's not a writer by trade and the fact that I stayed interested**spoiler alert** I think Stuart Howarth did a pretty good job here. I have to assume he's not a writer by trade and the fact that I stayed interested in his writing won me over. It's hard for me sometimes to read when someone has a different manner of speaking. Howarth's phrases like 'naughty boy' and 'are you me father?' threw me off and I don't like them. I would say them differently, as would everyone I know, and while I'm normally very tolerant and actually intrigued by different things like this, it bothers me with my reading. For some reason it bothers me especially with the mis-lit books out of the U.K. Maybe that's just me but hey, at least I'm honest right? Besides that I "liked" the book a lot. Howarth had a terrible, terrible childhood along with his siblings. They endured what NO child should ever catch a glimpse of. The saddest fact, to me, was that when his step-father was caught doing things to his sisters, no one stopped to think that maybe Howarth was abused also. He was young like the sisters but because he was a little boy, and the step-father and abuser was a man, no one, including his mother, thought to look into it. I think that would be the first thing I'd do if this ever came into my life. It seemed to me that the mother was a lot less at fault then the average mis-lit story but at the same time I still feel like she closed her eyes to a lot of things she didn't want to see. The ending to this is severely different from anything I've read in other mis-lit books also. Even the description on the back, which did hint at the end, didn't prepare me for the actual end. I was shocked. **I want to add something here. I've read a lot of mis-lit books. Most, if not all of them, are cases in where the author, most usually the abused, keeps the abuser's last name. Why is this? That would make me feel icky to say the least. Granted, it's not the hugest issue in the world I know but I would think at some time they would go to court and have it changed. I know I wouldn't want the last name of the person who abused me attached to me for life. I'm not trying to insinuate anything but it is a question I'd love to have answered someday. ...more
This is a very sad, sad story. It's told in the present tense which was a little odd for me in the beginning although I got used to it as it went on.This is a very sad, sad story. It's told in the present tense which was a little odd for me in the beginning although I got used to it as it went on. That's not something that usually bothers me at all but for some reason it did with this book. It's also a shorter book- all of 212 pages yet it took me awhile to get through it. It seemed like the first three quarters of the book were really drawn out and then the last quarter was where it started moving. That isn't to say the first parts were "bad" because they weren't- they give the reader a very detailed glimpse into what Shellduck's childhood was like. I liked how she didn't spell everything out and left things up to the reader to kind of assume. She told enough for you to make general assumtions and then hit back on them later. Some things she said just hit me as odd also. Her mother did a few things that to me are appalling and one HUGE thing that is damn near unforgivable in my eyes yet she never once mentioned how her mother was wrong for this. Yet she mentioned her father's misgivings. That struck me as odd. But then, I only know what I read in this book about the story so I can't really say too much. It's a decent read for memoir lovers definitely and it'd be even better if the reader doesn't find it as slow as I did. ...more
This author does a fantastic job of telling the world what she went through during the time she was a ward of the state. I can't begin to list all ofThis author does a fantastic job of telling the world what she went through during the time she was a ward of the state. I can't begin to list all of the ways that her family, her "professionals" that were on her side, and society in general, failed her. She does a great job of it herself in her book. This isn't the kind of book that can grab just certain kinds of people either and it isn't a "downer", despite what some may think. This woman has overcome odds that most of us have never even seen before. How she was left to fend for herself and put in known abusive homes is beyond me. There were a number of times in the book where I wanted to reach out and strangle someone. Lucky for the abusers they weren't in front of me at the time. It's hard to read something like this and then look over at your child, who really has the world right in front of her, and know that other little babies are suffering sooo bad out there. I can go on and on about this all day but I won't- not here anyway. This isn't just another memouir about a little girl who grew up with problems- it's a lot more than that. If anyone thinks that the kids in these homes and in foster care in general are "taken care of" because the state has paid people to look after them- think again. And then read this. Ashley's story, along with the others she mentions, show that isn't the case at all. I agree with Ashely on one thing- if the state had given her biological mother an ounce of help- so much might have been avoided. No one will ever know- but it is obvious- (it takes a lot for me to say this too) that her mother did care on some remote level. I have a better knowledge of drug abuse and what it does to you than some people and while some might only say that she picked drugs over her kids (she did- but there is SO MUCH more) it's obvious from Ashely's memories that the woman needed help. She may have been safer had they given her to her mother with NO help honestly. At least her mother didn't abuse her every chance she had. It's hard to believe there are little babies laying their heads down tonight scared to wake up in the morning. What the hell does THAT say about this world? ...more