In a memoir hailed for its searing candor and wit, Alice Sebold (The Lovely Bones) reveals how her life was utterly transformed when, as an 18-year-old college freshman, she was brutally raped and beaten in a park near campus. What propels this chronicle of her recovery is Sebold's indomitable spirit - as she struggles for understanding; as her dazed family and friends sometimes bungle their efforts to provide comfort and support; and as, ultimately, she triumphs, managing through grit and coincidence to help secure her attacker's arrest and conviction.
In a narrative by turns disturbing, thrilling, and inspiring, Alice Sebold illuminates the experience of a trauma victim even as she imparts wisdom profoundly hard won: "You save yourself or you remain unsaved".
Alice Sebold spares few details of her rape while in college and the subsequent impact on her life. Be forewarned: this is at times gruesome, painful storytelling. But it is also compelling, because, with rare exceptions, we don't usually hear much about the lifelong impact of rape on the victim, the victim's friends and family (a fascinating story in itself), and even on the perpetrator. The courtroom experience is a real shock. Alice had incredible support throughout her ordeal, but even now you sense the ordeal, even for such a centered person, is never over. (John B.)
"A rueful, razor-sharp memoir...funnier than you'd think was possible...Sebold tells what it's like to go through a particular kind of nightmare in order to tell what it's like - slowly, boldly, triumphantly - to heal." (
"Sebold's wit is as powerful as her searing candor." ( Publishers Weekly)
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