Friday, June 10, 2011

Tolson 4 TEARS Reviews "Lucky"

Lucky by Alice Sebold was published in 1999 and has hundreds of editorial and reader reviews. It is a seminal memoir on the subject of rape, giving permission to other victims to break their silence. The book is so important, it merits opinion eleven years later.
The book begins with the terrifying experience of the author being raped. It’s graphic, it’s real, and it hurts to read. Alice was able to tell the events in a clear voice that could have gotten lost in the chaos of the long ordeal. A memoir about rape is a writing nightmare, yet Sebold creates enough connection between author and reader to generate compassion for the victim and rage at the perpetrator. Then, he apologized!
Alice had few friends to run to, and relied on acquaintances and strangers to help her in the aftermath, which is ugly, painful, and infinite. Within the story, the reader will find exactly how a rape victims feels: “damaged goods, ruined.” Or from a different planet.
Sebold examines her family dynamics as she tries to recover. It appears that each member of her family lives on a different planet, revolving around each other but never really making contact. Her mother has anxiety; her father is isolated; her sister is perfect. This sets Alice up for taking the journey alone while trying to maintain her sanity, a grade point average, and the court proceedings.
The transcripts of the court proceedings are long and arduous. One can only imagine what it must have been like for Alice to be the witness in her rape trial, being put on the spot, with soiled underwear sworn into evidence. You’ll find clever comments by Sebold that help the reader grasp intonations of sarcasm and scorn from the perpetrator’s attorneys. Sebold was strong enough to survive when others would have folded.
Alice admitted to a common result of sexual violence, which is using drugs to escape. She discovered that she has post-traumatic stress disorder. She does not sugar-coat the violence that is rape, the intimidation that is the criminal justice system, or the ironies of life that is stranger than any fiction.






Review completed by Lynn C. Tolson author of Beyond the Tears: A True Survivor's Story



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