3 out of 4 stars
Share This Review
"Hate the sin, but love the sinner is what God's word tells us to do". This is Maggie Miller's overall outlook in her autobiography Lords Hill: A Place Only God Could Save Me From. Ms. Miller continually tries to find love for her tormenters. Her sharp-tongued, dutiful grandmother "Nana" loves fiercely and punishes just as fiercely. Her alcoholic, schizophrenic Uncle Henry terrorizes her and her siblings. Her beloved Aunt Charlotte makes her an unwilling witness to adulterous liaisons. In spite of the horrors she endures, Ms. Miller narrates her story with an accepting tone and the belief that the abusive people in her life are simply fallible human beings, not two-dimensional villains.
Most of the perpetrators in Ms. Miller's world are family members. The small town locals of Lords Hill, New Hampshire also make her life difficult. With a well-known family history of poverty, abuse and mental illness, Ms. Miller is an easy target for bullies. As she grows into adolescence she engages in self-destructive behaviors that lead her down the same path as most of her relatives. She starts using drugs and alcohol, and enabling her tormenters. A series of several disturbing events leads her to believe that her life could never amount to anything good. But for her faith in Jesus Christ, this would have been true.
Lords Hill: A Place Only God Could Save Me From is a compelling story. Ms. Miller recounts one instance after another of the emotional and physical abuse she experienced. I don't get the feeling that she is seeking pity from the reader, though. She gives credit to God for helping her forgive others for their abuse and neglect, and for helping her to forgive herself for ruinous choices.
Readers looking for an engrossing autobiography will appreciate this story. As with any tale of long-term abuse and neglect, you will experience sadness, anger and disbelief. Ms. Miller is far from passive, however, and hope will be added to the list of emotions as you read about her learning to advocate for herself. People with a history similar o Ms. Miller's may not enjoy reading this story, as it may trigger unpleasant memories from their past. They may also feel that she forgives too easily, or does not assign enough blame for the damage done.
I rate this book 3 out of 4 stars. It is an honest, compelling true story that touches the reader from the first page to the last. It is in need of further editing, however, as there are several grammatical errors throughout the work. Kudos to Ms. Miller for having the courage and the strength to share such a difficult story with the world.
View: on Bookshelves | on Barnes and Noble
Like e-tasana-williams's review? Post a comment saying so!