Tuesday, September 6, 2011
Tolson 4 TEARS Reviews "After Silence"
Review of After Silence: Rape & My Journey Back by Nancy Venable Raine is a memoir that is well-written and emotionally charged. In the introduction, the author says that the police told her that she “was lucky not to have been murdered.” That is how horrible it is to be raped: it is a crime so heinous as to be associated with murder. However, the author did not feel lucky. She felt alone, especially since rape is shrouded in silence, shame, and stigma.
It’s the victim that carries those negative feelings, and Raine explains the emotional capacity of a rape victim in heart wrenching detail. Fear is the most obvious, superseding other feelings no matter the occasion. Fear and the fear of fear rises, taking up a permanent place in the psyche that did not exist before the rape. Raine develops a “before” identity and an “after” identity, and can never get back to the woman who had not been raped.
Raine digs deep into her psyche and the culture to explore both the individual and the society in the context of sexual violence. Throughout this thought-provoking book, Raine weaves commentary by using a variety of references, such as fiction and its treatment of rape scenes as well as literature from psychology. She writes about PTSD, quoting Judith Herman’s Trauma and Recovery extensively. Raine explains, “For traumatic experience, ‘forgetting’ is impossible, yet ‘remembering’ s the last thing you want to do.” Her exploration into her self is painful, yet anyone who reads this will benefit from her insight and intelligence.
Review completed by Lynn C. Tolson, author of Beyond the Tears: A True Survivor's Story