3 out of 4 stars
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How many times have suicidal thoughts crossed your mind? When did you feel as though there is nothing worth fighting for in this world? How many times did you rise only to fall again? Born To Survive by Kylie-Anne Evans is an emotional story of her painful past. I must admit that I have read several moving memories and autobiographies, yet none has ever moved me half as much as this one did. The catharsis that I almost always savour from people's highlights cannot be compared to the tension that characterized this book.
Kylie and her siblings were put under foster care before she turned eight years of age. This was after the authorities found her mother unfit to raise them. What followed was a series of adoption from one foster home to another, where they finally settled with Bob and Ruth. These surrogate parents were everything worse that a parent/guardian could be for kids. They physically assaulted her for any mistake that she made and even went ahead to punish her for those that she did not make. Bob and Ruth failed to support her, when she needed their love and encouragement until she decided to run away.
Kylie's cup of turmoil was not full as yet; she was physically molested and even raped on several occasions in her life. What is worse is that she had no one to entrust this information to. Everyone viewed her as not only a hypocrite but also a liar. She, therefore, bore her tribulations alone, gathered the courage to forge ahead and when it overwhelmed her, she almost resorted to suicide. Why could she not be happy even in marriage? Why did everyone die just when she was beginning to bond with them? What has made her tie a knot and hang on at the end of the tether?
Told from a first-person point of view, the author's narration presents major events that happened in every year of her traumatizing experiences. Every incident is recorded within a certain time span, which is generally one year; the author is currently 44 years of age. Her perspective allowed me to have a first impression of things as they turned out and hence, I was able to fully empathize with her when she considered ending her "useless" life if only to permanently end her woes.
What I really liked about this book is the realistic approach with which it has been written. The author did not waste time trying to paint a different picture about herself but went straight ahead to show us what she is really made of. Thus, I found her use of curse words and obscenities very appropriate and relevant. She justified the relevance of the book's title; I saw a fighter, survivor and victor in her spirits.
It is sad that this amazing book is filled with plenty of grammatical mistakes, which detracted from my reading experience. It is not edited professionally. There is also a random use of mixed case letters, which needs to be corrected. I, therefore, award this book three out of four stars. I recommend it to everyone who seeks solace in other people's stories. Patients of severe depression my also find this book as a useful therapeutic read.
Born To Survive
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