4 out of 4 stars
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The Serpent Bearer by Kara Ford follows the story of Danica Torress and her struggle to be better and live past a terrible mistake she made.
Danica was a starting midfielder on the lacrosse team in school. She was already in her final year in a pre-med school. Mistakes from her past inspired her desire to study medicine. Her dad wouldn't talk to her anymore, and her mom saw her as a girl that made terrible decisions after terrible decisions. All her parents were good at was reprimanding her over little things to make sure she didn't mess up again.
Her eidetic memory enhanced the severity of her flashbacks. It made her relive her worst memories in excruciating, accurate details, and her med was seemingly the only way to cure her pain. She stopped taking the med for PTSD because she felt she was hiding under it like a coward. Her past was a hell of a secret to hide.
What is this terrible mistake she made? Will she be able to forgive herself for it and deal with the guilt and self-hatred that come with it?
I'll like to begin this review by applauding the author for the characterization of this book. One of the most endearing characters is Dustin Mottley. He is so selfless a person that even when deep in grief, he puts others before him. His services in the hospital during the Covid-19 era are worthy of emulation. Dustin is the confirmation of the truth Danica fails to see time and time again. He shows her in no uncertain terms that she is worthy of love and has so much value. His contributions form the foundation for Danica's journey to overcoming PTSD. Beyond this great attribute, his flaws and weaknesses are not hidden from the reader, making him more relatable.
This book depicted how seemingly unimportant attributes like forgiveness could help our mental health. Danica forgiving her friend Haley was one of her small steps on the road to forgiving herself. Her father had suffered the same guilt as she did. The highlight of their father-daughter relationship came after they started considering forgiving themselves. In all truth, the book is perfect in that it touches topics with many good morals and values.
Another big plus to this book was the National Sexual Abuse hotline and resources that would help victims of sexual abuse. The author did an excellent job of describing the adverse effects sexual abuse would have on victims and the relatives of the offenders. The inclusion of events that marked the pandemic year of 2020, like racism, especially to Asians and Blacks, social injustice, and PTSD, made the story very relatable. The narrative style that the author deployed in telling the story, using the characters' experiences, was fascinating.
I'm rating this book four out of four stars because there was nothing to dislike about it. It is well edited, as it contains minimal errors. I recommend this book to victims of sexual abuse and anyone who still lives in the shadow of any form of trauma.
The Serpent Bearer
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