3 out of 4 stars
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Love is the Answer, God is the Cure: A Memoir is a heartbreaking but inspiring book by Aimee Cabo Nikolov.
Aimee is living in Section 8 Housing in a low economic area in Homestead, Florida when she and her sister, Nicole, are gifted with a honeymoon package to Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic. The gift is from their oldest sister, Michelle, whose husband is afraid of flying.
On the last night of their week-long vacation, Aimee meets Dr. Boris and immediately feels good around him. After spending a short time with him, Aimee realizes that she finally met the man for her and decides to tell him about her horrific past.
Aimee was fifteen years old when she filed a sexual abuse case against her stepfather. The media called it ‘The Case from Hell’. Since Aimee’s mother also abused her physically, she sided with Aimee’s stepfather. Those, however, were just the beginning of the series of abuse: physical, sexual, emotional, and psychological, that Aimee would receive from various people she would meet in her life.
The book has twenty-four chapters and begins with Aimee and Dr. Boris’s first meeting. It then goes back to when Aimee was only three years old and how her stepfather came to live with them. In a matter-of-fact and seemingly detached tone, Aimee describes the beating she received from her mother and the sexual abuse she endured not only from her stepfather but from other men as well.
The author depicts not only the pain of the abuse she suffered but also the devastating effects of the abuse to her self-esteem. Moreover, she illustrates how the lack of love and security in her life easily propelled her to take refuge in drugs and the temporary relief they offer. The book describes in painful detail how it feels to be sore, broke, alone, rejected, and abhorred, all at the same time. Similarly, the author shows how faith in God restored her again and again and helped her make it through everything life threw at her.
Apparently, this book is written to inspire and encourage readers especially those who are victims of abuse of any form. The most important part of the book, for me, is the portrayal of the author’s steadfastness, determination, and strong sense of survival. It conveys how a person who has something, or in this case someone, to live for will overcome any ordeal no matter how painful and humiliating.
Generally, this is a great book. However, it is not an easy read nor it is for the faint-hearted. The descriptions of the various abuses Aimee suffered, though somehow clinical, are painful to read, and despite the noble intentions of the author: to spread awareness, to encourage, and to inspire, the book is not something I could easily offer to everyone. Finally, and this is the part I like least, there are grammatical errors within the entire book (like did believed).
I, therefore, rate this book 3 out of 4 stars. It is poignant and inspiring. I recommend it to fans of memoir and stories about rising above adversity. Scenes of abuse and violence, however, may not be suitable for young readers.
Love is the Answer, God is the Cure
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