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By Beth Wareham
I do not review books. I studied them in school for 15 years, worked as a book publicist, editor and publisher and now write books myself. I’ve read so many of them the scenes run through my head like my own life sometimes. I even sell them to the movies. But none of that gives me the chops to review a book. I just don’t have that kind of ego. (You heard me, Michi.)
I wanted to write about Rachel, though. I met her on twitter first and in her hotel room next. I’m like that – one minute we’re chatting virtually and the next minute I’m pounding on your door wanting to snuggle. Rachel let me in and a conversation started that is not yet done. She is remarkable. She has also transcended great harm and hurt into a beautifully realized human being – intelligent, fiercely creative, supportive, and all with a sense of humor second-to-none.
Sexually abused by a neighbor when young, Rachel tells us of her halting conversations with parents who did not yet know what we know about sexual predators. She shows us what these attacks did to her young soul and, most importantly, what the attacks continue to do to her soul today. Stronger? Yes. Haunted? Still.
For that is what transpires when you steal something as precious as sexuality or youth or safety: You create a person with a space inside, a haunted place, and in that space the abuser, the untrustworthy predator, lives. It can rise at any time. The danger remains.
So people like Rachel shine brighter, work harder to reach out other haunted survivors who can’t find the voice, the way out of the terror.
Rachel stood up before the world and everybody and said this is what this is and this is what this feels like.
She is my hero still.