Official Review: I Had A Secret For Seventeen Years

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Cecilia_L
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Official Review: I Had A Secret For Seventeen Years

Post by Cecilia_L »

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "I Had A Secret For Seventeen Years" by Tori Shaw.]
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4 out of 4 stars
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"God is in the business of completely rearranging the makeup of our mistakes. What we consider shameful, He uses for His glory."

Tori Shaw shares how she found healing from years of suffering guilt, addiction, anxiety, and depression after a traumatic abortion in I Had A Secret For Seventeen Years. With heartfelt honesty, she reveals a childhood characterized by rejection, feelings of abandonment, and a desperate need for approval from others that contributed to becoming pregnant at sixteen. She recounts her experiences before and after the abortion, including observations about the clinic and other patients, the painful procedure performed by an insensitive female doctor, and her journey to recovery. Shaw also details how God used her story to help others by starting "Not Forgotten Ministries."

Shaw writes from a place of compassion and empathy. While she describes post-abortive women as the missing key to the pro-life movement, she stresses the need for all women to be treated compassionately, whether they are considering abortion or have had one in the past. Shaw poignantly expresses the guilt and shame she felt and her need to shroud her abortion in secrecy for years. The fact that she and her husband didn't discuss their aborted baby for 13 years illustrates how deeply she buried her pain. Shaw remembers feeling a weight lifted after their conversation. However, despite being a blogger and a magazine contributor, it would be several more years before she felt secure enough to share her experience publicly. Shaw was elated when she received an outpouring of support from readers with similar experiences.

I especially like Shaw's sensitivity as she shares her story. She transparently reveals her abortion experience without any hint of condemnation or judgment. Although Shaw writes from a Christian perspective, her story is relatable on a level that transcends religious beliefs and partisanship. I know women who have experienced similar post-abortive experiences; readers do not necessarily need to be pro-life to take away healing words from Shaw's redemptive story.

Likewise, photographs from the "After the Abortion" series by Angela Forker powerfully convey Shaw's story visually. To clarify, these are not explicit photographs related to the abortion procedure. Instead, Forker captures Shaw in a series of conceptual images wearing a hospital gown in the actual building that once housed the clinic where her abortion was performed.

The only thing I disliked was that the PDF I received contained visible marked-out corrections throughout the book. However, this appears to be a formatting issue; the the blue markings were visible on one of my devices but not the other nor the Amazon sample. Despite this minor inconsistency, I noted only a handful of grammatical errors.

Overall, Shaw presents an evocative and well-written narrative, and I rate I Had a Secret for Seventeen Years 4 out of 4 stars. I recommend this story of redemption to Christian readers and those with similar experiences. As I stated previously, Shaw compassionately addresses a hot-button issue, which may appeal to readers of various faiths and political beliefs. However, sensitive readers should note that Shaw includes detailed memories of her abortion procedure.

******
I Had A Secret For Seventeen Years
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Nqobile771
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Post by Nqobile771 »

I cannot begin to imagine how heavy it must be to carry a secret for so long! God is Love, and in love there is no condemnation. I'm glad she healed and continues to heal others. Thanks for the review, the book sounds like a gift we all deserve.
Documented history is a gift from the past to the future! - NqobileM

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Stephanie Elizabeth
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Post by Stephanie Elizabeth »

This sounds like a heart-wrenching read; it must have been quite the cathartic experience for the author to finally reveal her story. Imagine carrying a secret for that many years. Thanks for the delightful review!
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precchristopher
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Post by precchristopher »

The pain she must have carried in heart , not only because of the things she condemned as wrong but also the things God condemned as wrong. This book is inspiring and I hope readers enjoy her story.

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Saint Bruno
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Post by Saint Bruno »

Shame helps no one! I must commend the author for finding the courage to write this book. Thanks a lot for your recommendation.

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AnnOgochukwu
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Post by AnnOgochukwu »

This book bothers on sensitive topics I can relate to. I think a major contributor to the author's sadness a burden was her not talking about the sad experience with her spouse. It's good to know that she's past that stage and now has a platform to help other women.
I enjoyed reading your review. Nice work.
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Post by Vidhi Vadhar »

It sound like a heartbreaking story, as she had been carrying that secret for seventeen years. Your review suggests that the author has done a great job expressing what she feels like to have an abortion, lose her child and not tell anyone about it. Thanks for your recommendation, would like to give it a read.

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Luluwa79
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Post by Luluwa79 »

Not many people would share their experience in details the way Shaw shared her and keeping it all bottled up weighs us down.
A great book for uplifting of the soul.
Nice review.

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Post by Tabbi+20 »

I commend the author for gathering the courage to write such a book. Past condemnation there's redemption. Thanks for the detailed review.

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Post by Tabbi+20 »

I commend the author for gathering the courage to write such a book. Past condemnation there's redemption. Thanks for the detailed review.

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