Official Review: Clearer Vision by Traci Chevell Adkins

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maggi3
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Official Review: Clearer Vision by Traci Chevell Adkins

Post by maggi3 »

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "Clearer Vision" by Traci Chevell Adkins.]
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3 out of 4 stars
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Clearer Vision is a sober and often heartbreaking collection of four short stories centering around abused women. Rape, other forms of physical abuse, child grooming, and stalking are all explored within this collection. “Betrayed” follows the story of Terri, a lesbian whose so-called “friend” has set her up on a date with a man in hopes of making her straight. The next short story is called “Frenemy” and is about a woman who falls in love with a singer at her church when he stares at her during his songs. “The Alliance” is about two women, Asia and Tara, who are pregnant with the same man’s child. Finally, “Nobody’s Favorite” is about a pregnant child and the abuse that led to her pregnancy.

I admire Traci Chevell Adkins and her willingness to tackle such dark subjects in her writing. This is a powerful collection, and one that I can’t imagine was at all easy to write. Her dedication to bringing the stories of women who have faced abuse out of the shadows is truly inspiring. My favorite part of this book is the theme of women coming together in the face of abuse. This theme is especially clear in “The Alliance,” as Tara, whose husband has been cheating on her with Asia, realizes that Asia is not the enemy. She instead becomes a source of comfort and support for Asia, who has few others to reach out to. These stories serve as an important reminder that connecting with fellow survivors can be a crucial part of healing for those who have faced abuse.

As much as I love this collection, I do think there is some room for growth. One issue I had in the first three stories was that the narrators felt a bit one-dimensional. I couldn’t fully connect to them because I didn’t know who they were outside of the plot. I got some glimpses into their personalities and motivations, but I would like to see more dimensionality given to these characters. For example, what do they like and dislike? What makes them happy? All of these women are very strong in the face of abuse, so who or where did they learn that from? Even though these are short stories, I think there is room to explore these characters further and give them complexities and personalities that will bring them to life even more. As the book is currently written, the first three narrators are so similar that it was difficult for me to distinguish between them.

Another issue I had was that I felt like Adkins wasn’t allowing herself enough space to tell some of these stories. I felt this way especially in “Frenemy.” The narrator goes on an interesting journey of self-love and setting boundaries with toxic people at her church, but these years of work are summed up in two somewhat vague pages. She says that she learns “that every day requires a conscious choice to be the best version of myself possible,” which is an incredible quote, but the process she took to get there is not described. This seems to be a crucial part of her story, and I was disappointed that it was not explored in more depth. Perhaps the book would benefit from sticking to a shorter time frame within these stories instead of trying to describe years worth of knowledge and experience in these few pages.

Although there is room for improvement, the issues I mentioned did not heavily detract from my enjoyment of the stories. Because of this, I am giving Clearer Vision by Traci Chevell Adkins 3 out of 4 stars. I noticed very few errors within the book, and each short story was powerful and beautifully written. Abuse is a difficult topic to write about, but Adkins does so movingly, focusing on the strength of survivors at the same time as she brings light to the trauma they have faced. I was even moved to tears at points, especially while reading “Nobody’s Favorite,” by the terrible things done to these women and the hope they found in their dark situations.

I would recommend Clearer Vision to anyone who wants insight into the stories of women who have been abused. The entire collection is around 80 pages, so it is a very short read. The abuse is not depicted graphically, but I would recommend those who might be triggered by mentions of rape, violent homophobia, stalking, childhood sexual abuse and grooming, and other forms of abuse to avoid this book. Overall, this was a difficult but compelling and honest read, and I am excited to read future works by Adkins.

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Kavita Shah
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Post by Kavita Shah »

A good narration helps a lot when reading. And, these topics are relatable and if a reader can connect to them it would be good.
Thank you for a clear review!
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Post by jasim Muhammad »

Very good book helpful reading and those topic amazing great
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Post by Shrashti_04 »

This is a short book of approximately 80 pages but it have talked so many issues like about rape, lesbian and many more. This is the specialty of this book as what I felt.
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Post by maggi3 »

Kavita Shah wrote: 10 Jun 2021, 11:36 A good narration helps a lot when reading. And, these topics are relatable and if a reader can connect to them it would be good.
Thank you for a clear review!
I agree. The author’s purpose seems to be to reach out to other survivors and let them know that they aren’t alone, and I believe she is successful at doing so. Thanks for commenting!
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Post by maggi3 »

jasim Muhammad wrote: 10 Jun 2021, 12:09 Very good book helpful reading and those topic amazing great
Thanks for stopping by and commenting!
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Post by maggi3 »

Shrashti_04 wrote: 10 Jun 2021, 22:14 This is a short book of approximately 80 pages but it have talked so many issues like about rape, lesbian and many more. This is the specialty of this book as what I felt.
It’s definitely an incredible feat to be able to fit so much content into 80 pages. Thanks for commenting!
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Post by Dzejn_Crvena »

Wow! I love the contents of this book based on the first paragraph alone.
This book contains a lot of heavy themes that most women faced.
Thank you for the review!
Lovely cover, by the way.
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Post by maggi3 »

Dzejn_Crvena wrote: 12 Jun 2021, 23:07 Wow! I love the contents of this book based on the first paragraph alone.
This book contains a lot of heavy themes that most women faced.
Thank you for the review!
Lovely cover, by the way.
I agree, both about the cover and the themes. I hope you enjoy the book if you end up reading it. Thanks for stopping by and commenting!
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Post by MarianaFigueira »

It always amazes me how people take on the incredible task of bringing this out of the shadows, as you put it. Incredible review, really. I don't think I have the stomach to read this, so I also applaud you for doing so.
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Post by maggi3 »

MarianaFigueira wrote: 13 Jun 2021, 13:43 It always amazes me how people take on the incredible task of bringing this out of the shadows, as you put it. Incredible review, really. I don't think I have the stomach to read this, so I also applaud you for doing so.
I agree. “Nobody’s Favorite” was really hard to get through for me, so I can definitely see why people wouldn’t have the stomach to read it. Thank you for your kind comment!
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Post by NetMassimo »

This collection addresses some really tough issues! Judging from what you wrote about the characters, it can offer hope to women who found themselves in those terrible situations for real. Thank you for your great review!
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Post by kandscreeley »

It's definitely hard to discuss such a long time frame in such a short span. Still, these are important topics. I don't think it's for me; the topics are too dark. Thanks.
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Post by maggi3 »

NetMassimo wrote: 14 Jun 2021, 08:13 This collection addresses some really tough issues! Judging from what you wrote about the characters, it can offer hope to women who found themselves in those terrible situations for real. Thank you for your great review!
I agree. Thanks for stopping by and commenting!
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Post by maggi3 »

kandscreeley wrote: 14 Jun 2021, 08:19 It's definitely hard to discuss such a long time frame in such a short span. Still, these are important topics. I don't think it's for me; the topics are too dark. Thanks.
I agree, and I totally understand why this book might be too dark for many. Thanks for stopping by and commenting!
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