4 out of 4 stars
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The Secrets in My Eyes is a poignant memoir of the author, Harry James Hamilton.
Harry is adopted by a loving family. Happy and secured, he is proud of his family’s lineage until the truth about his adoption is disclosed as a consequence of a mindless outburst from his grandfather. Ignorant of his bloodline and doubtful of his adoptive father’s love, Harry starts to be plagued by insecurity and self-doubt. He resorts to rebellious behavior and seeks refuge in food which results to extreme obesity. These cause a rift in his relationship with his adoptive father.
As he grows older, he suffers prejudice primarily because of his size. He is bullied, laughed at, harassed and sexually abused. He is barraged with embarrassments, humiliations and failures. He deems himself a loser who does not know himself and where he is from. So, he starts to look for his biological family in order to understand himself.
The book began with a prologue on which the author expressed his thoughts about his being adopted: the shame, the pain, the confusion, the emptiness of not knowing where he came from, the traits he inherited from his biological parents and the answer to the ultimate question of why he was given away for adoption. The subsequent chapters were a chronological recount from his birth to adulthood which included backstories of both his birth and adoptive parents.
The ample backstories helped the readers understand and appreciate Harry’s predicament especially his insecurity because of his inability to accomplish anything and his shame for being a failure in the midst of a proud family. The book portrayed a child’s silent plea for help to find himself and a mother’s unconditional and perpetual love for his son, born to her or not. It showed that family did not necessarily mean the people related to you by blood, but those who loved you and stood by you no matter what.
This story depicted the unwavering love of the parents for their child and that when everything else failed and everyone else let him down, his parents will be there to catch him and set things right for him as best they could.
Moreover, the book shared valuable information about obesity and weight management program. It also gave brief descriptions of various procedures of bariatric surgery and imparted sound advice on health in general.
This is a moving, touching, inspiring and informative book not just about an adopted boy but about sexual, emotional and psychological abuse, prejudice, obesity and unconditional love. It is written in a casual tone making it easy to read and with vivid descriptions of events making it, at some points, funny, thus entertaining.
However, I found several irrelevant details that, I believe, only made the book longer than it should be which might discourage readers who prefer shorter reads. I also noticed minor errors which are thankfully very few.
I, therefore, give this book the rate of 4 out of 4 stars and I recommend it to readers who appreciate memoirs and books about health.
The Secrets in My Eyes
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