Review of Walking with Aletheia

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Jachike Samuelson
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Review of Walking with Aletheia

Post by Jachike Samuelson »

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "Walking with Aletheia" by Jean Hargadon Wehner.]
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4 out of 4 stars
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Jean was from a large family of ten. She was the first child, and as with most female firstborns, she had her future laid out before her. But her life didn't go as planned. Jean suffered intense sexual abuse at home and in high school from the age of three up until seventeen. Her abusers included an uncle, some clergymen, and other high-profile adults. To survive the trauma brought on by years of abuse, Jean repressed the memories and buried them deep within her subconscious. Things stayed that way until she turned twenty-seven, and the memories started to peek out from behind their mental graves. This is a deeply disturbing memoir about how Jean survived the terrors of child sexual abuse and the terrifying memories which began to resurface in her adult life.

Walking With Aletheia by Jean Hargadon Wehner is a story of uncovered and repressed abuse, forgotten due to the self-protective mechanism of dissociation. I was disgusted by the abuse she had to endure at the tender age of three. Even worse, this abuse was dished out by a family member—her uncle, Tom—and happened under her parents’ noses. It makes me wonder how warped her mind already was by the time she got to high school and had to endure abuse again but this time from clergymen and some adults who were supposed to be inspirational figures. I was incredibly pissed off by Fr. Maskell because of the significant role he played in Jean’s abuse, using hypnosis, drugs, and other brainwashing techniques to prime and control. The fact that this isn’t a fictional story makes it even worse. Thankfully, she eventually found a support system in some people she met in her adult life. These people played crucial roles in helping her confront her demons and start her healing journey. You’ll have to read this memoir yourself to find out the details and extent of Jean’s abuse, how deeply it affected and warped her mind and body, and the steps she had to take on her journey to healing and wholeness.

I liked the transition my mind made as I read this book. I started out seeing Jean as a helpless victim, but by the end of the book, she was an undisputed heroine in my mind. Her story is a testament to the resilience of the human spirit, something I believe will motivate and inspire others who have been in similar circumstances.

I was disheartened by the lax and nonchalant manner in which the Catholic Church approached the issue of sexual abuse by its priests. With cases as serious as this one, it immediately became apparent that there was a systematic method the church used to discredit such victims while hiding the culprits, essentially aiding and abetting sex offenders. This irked me to no end, and I hope that things change for the better in this regard.

The editing of this book was professional and well done. The author’s story was equally heartbreaking and inspirational. I also never felt lost at any point as her writing was clear and comprehensible even though her narration didn’t unfold chronologically. There was nothing to hate about this memoir. I rate it 4 out of 4 stars and recommend it to all victims of sexual abuse and those who love them.

******
Walking with Aletheia
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Mbenma Esther 080
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Post by Mbenma Esther 080 »

It is always a sad experience when one faces abuses. Thanks for the review
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TheGayOne12
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Post by TheGayOne12 »

Sounds like such an emotional and moving novel. Thank you for the review!
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Post by Rhodahams »

I am speechless after reading your review of this book. Jean must have gone through a lot. It is more heartbreaking that most of her abusers are people who should have protected her. I am glad she was able to put this book together.
Rhodahams
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Post by Rhodahams »

TheGayOne12 wrote: ↑05 Mar 2022, 03:04 Sounds like such an emotional and moving novel. Thank you for the review!
It really does sound very emotional!
Paul_
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Post by Paul_ »

I'm shocked to realize that this book is not fictional. Terrible things are really happening. I'm appalled to note some the abuse Jean had to endure was meted out by Catholic priests. I would love to know how she was able to redeem herself. Well-written review.
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Post by BLESS_ »

Just like Jean, many of us are born into families where our lives are already planned out before our birth. Interesting review.
cutemami
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Post by cutemami »

Jean seems like a very strong character that i would relate well to. I want to read the book and know more about her journey. Your review is great.
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Raymond N
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Post by Raymond N »

Sad to know that all these hurtful things are even true. I commend Jean's resilience.
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Post by GNerd »

This book is triggering. But I'm glad she was able to find her voice and tell her story.
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