First up, I’m reviewing The Favor by Nora Murphy. I felt super lucky to be gifted a copy from Minotaur Books and it made for the perfect weekend–it made me think, it made my heart speed up and had me skipping down the page to try to figure out what happened next, and it left me with a lot of gratitude for exactly where I am. Trigger warning for: abuse (physical, emotional, and financial), violence, and murder.
This book isn’t just a story of two women living parallel lives in abusive relationships.
This story is my story. This story is very possibly your story or your neighbors or the woman sitting next to you on the bus.
This is a story about hiding in plain sight. I was abused for the majority of my marriage: sexually, physically, financially, and, to me the most debilitating way, emotionally.
I was called more nasty names than I can count. I was told I’d never be believed. I am still taking ownership of my life a few years later. Luckily, I got away. And, yet. I got into another incredibly abusive relationship. This time it was pure emotional hell. Reading this book, I remembered the times I would sit trying to convince myself what was happening wasn’t happening then trying to convince myself that I wasn’t really who she was telling me I was.
Tonight, my sweet, loving, incredibly kind girlfriend told me this: in order to take back ownership of what happened in the past, I need to look for things I hadn’t seen before.
Think of the flower growing through the cracked pavement—the beauty among the ordinary. Abuse isn’t beautiful in any shape or form and it needs to be talked about WAY more, but taking ownership of my life again looks like revisiting the places that once were markers of the hardest moments and looking for what I hadn’t noticed before, remembering the love I do have in my life, and, most importantly, knowing I survived because of God and because I am a lot stronger than I think I am. We all are.
The next book I’m reviewing is Colleen Hoover’s, Reminders of Him! I feel like everyone has their opinions of her books, but this one was SO good. I highly recommend it if you love a heartbreaking, but amazing love story. I really felt for all of the characters in it as I was reading.
This is easily one of the best books I’ve read in a really really long time. I’m so glad I read this book. Hoover is just a master at what she does and this book is no exception. I really hadn’t had a heart-tug-moment-auto-buy with a book I’ve read in…well, years. And, though I’m gay and don’t have a daughter of my own this story felt relatable to me in lots of ways.
I’ve lost. I’ve felt pain.
I’ve experienced life (seemingly) withholding, but then in turn granting magical moments that feel completely unbelievable and altogether wonderfully real at once.
Also, I loved CH’s acknowledgements page where she writes, “No matter how whole our neighbors appear on the outside, we have no idea how many broken pieces they’re made up of on the inside.”