Thursday, September 15, 2011
Tolson 4 TEARS Reviews "Telling: A Memoir of Rape..."
I first read Telling: A Memoir of Rape and Recovery by Patricia Weaver Francisco in 2001, when I thought, “How could anyone write about that?” A decade later, with a memoir of my own, I read Telling again to see what I missed. How courageous and generous the author was in sharing her story! It is difficult to revisit the horrible crime of rape and its devastating ramifications. However, as Francisco says, the crime frequently revisits the victim: “...triggered and triggered in exhausting rounds of shutting out thoughts only to have them arise again.”
Not only does Francisco write about her experience of rape, she also explains society’s myths, the consequences of these myths, and the changes that must be made. Ours is a culture that blames the victim, protects the perpetrator, and lacks in justice. But what makes this book compelling is the excellent writing that moves the reader through this personal story with a powerful reach toward hope. Francisco loses so much to this crime, physically, emotionally, and spiritually, yet gains in different measures in future time. She candidly shows the reader the losses and gains, and writes with eloquence.
While she attempts to embark on a journey of recovery, Francisco explores sexism and feminism. She writes about anger, action, love, loss, and labor. There are no cliches. She says that her “return to health was because of rather than in spite of other human beings.” If you or someone you know has experienced rape, this is a “must read” for understanding, compassion, and strength.