Sunday, May 3, 2009

BOOK REVIEW: "Beyond the Tears: A True Survivor's Story"

Beyond the Tears: A True Survivor’s Story
By Lynn C. Tolson
1st Books Library Publishers
Copyright 2002, 2003
Biographical Memoir

This is the memoir of Lynn Tolson. Her journey begins with the reliving of a terrifying suicide attempt. And why? Why would this young woman want to end her life? That is the question. And so Lynn carries you through her story, from the molestation she endured as a child, the emotional abuse in her household, the mental illness of a parent, a teenage rape she suffered, the adults around her that didn’t believe her, and the mind-numbing drug use that she experienced in the years leading up to this attempt to end it all.

This story is one of survival. As you read through the things she has experienced, the reader begins to understand why Lynn tried to kill herself, why she didn’t think life was worth living. Lynn endured unimaginable suffering in her life and in her own mind. The book relives her feelings of inadequacy and fear. You learn, through the course of the story, that Lynn escaped the pain she was suffering by turning to drugs. The drugs, in turn, took away her will to live. It was a vicious cycle of pain.

Then one day, everything changed. Lynn met a woman who changed her life. A therapist who told her it was going to be okay. Who told her she was worth it. Who told her she could do something more with her life. And then, slowly, slowly Lynn finds her way out of the hole she’s been in for so, so long. A victory against her childhood. A victory against those that assaulted her. A victory to champion hope for anyone else who has ever suffered in the way that she suffered.

This book was emotionally difficult to read at times. You just wanted to reach into the pages and hug this young woman and tell her it was going to be okay. But it is an important book because it brings to light things that happen to young women all the time. And if we talk about it, maybe the next young woman this happens to will find an advocate, someone who will believe her story and help her find safety before she sinks into a place where she feels the only option is death.

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