3 out of 4 stars
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Healing the Wounds of the Soul, by Elizabeth Campos is a true story of one woman’s survival. Ithan was abandoned as a baby; her mother felt she could not care for a child alone. Although Ithan experienced love from the man who raised her early in life, Ithan endured many hardships. After the death of her father figure, Ithan experienced abuse, both physical and sexual, and she was forced into sex work at a young age. As Ithan ages, life does not get any easier. Multiple pregnancies, medical issues, and continued abuse plague her life for years.
This book focuses on the incredible resilience of one woman. Ithan’s story is tragic, but the author relays the narrative through a positive lens. Although Ithan experiences unbearable hardships, she perseveres and ultimately becomes proud of her life. Ithan experiences cruelty many of us have never, and will never, endure. Her experiences with motherhood, working, relationships, family, and coming of age are all difficult to read about, which makes Ithan’s story all the more eye opening. Elizabeth Campos sharply brings to light issues regarding the child sex trade and the political atmosphere in Mexico.
Although Ithan’s story is incredibly important and one that should be read by many, Healing the Wounds of the Soul needs additional work to do the story justice. The narrative reads like a first draft: there are many grammatical errors, the writing is not polished, and the story is flimsy. Significantly more details about Ithan are needed for readers to truly connect to this incredible woman. The author focuses too much on the bad events of Ithan’s life and fails to show readers a well-drawn persona, which hinders the author's message that we should be defined by more than just the bad things that happen to us. Similarly, aspects of the story felt rushed and not fully fleshed out, which made parts of the story difficult to follow.
Moreover, the book contains a few short stories after the initial narrative as well as an epilogue. The short stories did not add much to Ithan’s story and felt more like an afterthought. Additionally, the epilogue was confusing; it seemed as though the author unveiled herself as Ithan, though this was never made completely clear. I struggled to determine the author’s relationship to Ithan throughout the narrative, and this confusion hindered the general flow of the story.
Reading Healing the Wounds of the Soul was difficult. The majority of the book focuses on sexual abuse, physical abuse, and child abuse. However, Ithan’s story is one that is incredibly important because it sheds light on issues that most of us would rather not think about. Elizabeth Campos’ work is successful in so many ways; however, significantly more editing is required for Ithan’s story to be as impactful as it deserves. Due to the editorial issues, I rate this book 3 out of 4 stars. I did not choose a lower rating because I was so impacted by this book, despite the editorial problems. Readers who are interested in non-fiction books that detail different perspectives and shed light on difficult subjects should definitely read this book; however, readers should be warned that there are many mentions of various types of abuse in Campos' narrative.
Healing Wounds of the Soul
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