Official Review: Saying Sorry Won't Stop the Pain

Please use this sub-forum to discuss any fiction books or series that do not fit into one of the other categories. If the fiction book fits into one the other categories, please use that category instead.
Forum rules
Authors and publishers are not able to post replies in the review topics.
Post Reply
User avatar
Brendan Donaghy
Previous Member of the Month
Posts: 927
Joined: 18 Jan 2019, 13:14
2019 Reading Goal: 20
2019 Reading Goal Completion: 175
Currently Reading: Small Great Things
Bookshelf Size: 73
Reviewer Page:
Latest Review: Unconventional Chaplain by Andy Meverden

Official Review: Saying Sorry Won't Stop the Pain

Post by Brendan Donaghy »

[Following is an official review of "Saying Sorry Won't Stop the Pain" by Artie Woodington.]
Book Cover
3 out of 4 stars
Share This Review

Saying Sorry Won’t Stop the Pain is a fictionalized memoir by Artie Woodington. Beginning in Texas in the 1940s, it tells the story of Chock (the name derives from ‘Chocolate fox’, a nickname given to her by her father) as she moves through childhood to adulthood. Her story is told in three parts. The first part tells the story of Chock’s early years. The second part details Chock’s life after the family is forced to leave Texas in about 1951 when Chock is ten. The third part of the book deals with Chock’s life after she marries at the age of just sixteen.

The story is dominated by dark themes. Through Chock, we experience violence, racism, sexism, abuse, and bullying. For her, it starts at home and at school. These were times when adults disciplined children with various forms of corporal punishment. Chock and her siblings get their fair share of this. Outside home and school, the threat of beatings, sexual assault, and even violent death are an ever-present reality. It is, in fact, a combination of these factors which sees the family having to move away from Texas. Removed from their own community and living an almost transient existence, the risks become even greater. It is at this point in her life that Chock is the victim of sexual abuse. The most powerful passages in the book, however, come in part three when Chock describes the treatment she receives at the hands of her husband. It is not so much the violence itself that is shocking, but rather the connivance of those around Chock – family, friends, police – to what is going on.

It would be understating the case simply to note that the book has not been professionally edited. It contains many, many grammatical and typographical errors. More significantly, perhaps, the writing frequently slips from a third-person narrative seen through Chock’s eyes, to the first-person, as the author almost inadvertently identifies herself as Chock. So, for example, we read on page 18: ‘Chock tried to be like my sisters whenever it suited her purpose.’ This happens regularly, and it happens with all the personal pronouns.

Having read those last two paragraphs, you could be forgiven for dismissing this book as another tale of misery, badly told. Surprisingly, that is not nearly the full picture. Despite the unpromising themes, despite its many flaws, I found this book to be engrossing. Chock’s story is a powerful one and the author tells it in a way that keeps the reader turning the pages. Her writing style is conversational. Above all, it is authentic. Whether she is describing a storm, a house, or a person, the author’s words make the situation come alive for the reader.

I give the book three out of four stars. I should probably give it only two, given the amount of editing it requires, but I enjoyed it far too much to give it less than three. I recommend it to those who like fictionalized memoirs or historical fiction. The themes are adult in nature and there is also some strong language, so the book is suitable only for mature readers not easily offended.

Saying Sorry Won't Stop the Pain
View: on Bookshelves

Posts: 437
Joined: 22 Jul 2019, 19:30
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 50
Reviewer Page:
Latest Review: Ruby by Cathy Coburn

Post by Miller56 »

Thanks for the review. The title really encompasses all types of relationships. The book sounds like it is very sad and that Chock has lived a difficult life.
Latest Review: Ruby by Cathy Coburn

User avatar
Posts: 215
Joined: 03 May 2019, 07:33
2019 Reading Goal: 20
2019 Reading Goal Completion: 95
Currently Reading: The Biography of Her
Bookshelf Size: 75
Reviewer Page:
Latest Review: Guardian of Deceit by William H. Coles

Post by Bhaskins »

Thank you for your review. This sounds like a powerful book. Too bad there are so many errors, but I love your honesty about the rating.
"I do believe something very magical can happen when you read a good book." -J.K. Rowling

User avatar
Special Discussion Leader
Posts: 10562
Joined: 31 Dec 2016, 20:31
2019 Reading Goal: 95
2019 Reading Goal Completion: 86
Currently Reading: Sunshine at the Academy
Bookshelf Size: 364
Reviewer Page:
Latest Review: Raven Book 1 : Birth Into Darkness by WJR Parks

Post by kandscreeley »

Wow. Chock had been through so much. I'm glad this was engrossing and that the author could tell her tale. I'm just not sure I could handle it at the moment. Thanks.
Good books, like good friends, are few and chosen; the more select, the more enjoyable.
-Louisa May Alcott

User avatar
Posts: 209
Joined: 19 Aug 2019, 11:16
2019 Reading Goal: 50
2019 Reading Goal Completion: 30
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 206
Reviewer Page:
Latest Review: Demon Heart by David Crane

Post by spluficvictory »

Memoirs are not my kind of genre. Even if it is, I'm not sure I could read this with lots of grammatical errors. I'm glad you found some positive things to write at least and it's a good thing you enjoyed it. Thanks for the honest review.
“Reading is escape, and the opposite of escape; it's a way to make contact with reality after a day of making things up, and it's a way of making contact with someone else's imagination after a day that's all too real.” :techie-studyingbrown:

User avatar
Previous Member of the Month
Posts: 4635
Joined: 08 Jun 2018, 22:16
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 399
Reviewer Page:
Latest Review: Life Behind Bars Vol. 1 by Julian Starks

Post by Cecilia_L »

This sounds like a heavy read, and the editing issues would distract me. Thanks for your interesting review.

Posts: 5571
Joined: 10 May 2017, 19:49
2019 Reading Goal: 100
2019 Reading Goal Completion: 125
2018 Reading Goal: 100
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 106
Currently Reading: Call of the Couch
Bookshelf Size: 450
Reviewer Page:
Latest Review: Victoria's War by Catherine A. Hamilton

Post by kdstrack »

Many memoirs are written to inspire readers to triumph over their difficult circumstances. This book has many dark themes. I am curious as to whether the author was able to give this fictional memoir a happy ending? I appreciate your honest comments about the change of personal pronouns and the editing issues. Great job!

User avatar
Posts: 560
Joined: 03 May 2020, 21:03
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 131
Reviewer Page:
Latest Review: How To Be Successful by M. Curtis McCoy

Post by jennydelacruz »

It sounds dark and depressing detailing all the terrible things a girl could ever experience in her life. I admire the courage of the author to write a story about her experience.

User avatar
keerti baranwal
Posts: 4
Joined: 20 Jun 2020, 23:50
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 0

Post by keerti baranwal »

thanks for your review... it sounds very depressing book... :techie-studyingbrown:

Post Reply

Return to “Other Fiction Forum”