3 out of 4 stars
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Through the Eyes of a Child by Gloria Wynter Christ with Ronald Ellyson and Dr. Curt Wagner is not just another childhood abuse memoir. It is the author's autobiography detailing her life from childhood through the present. One of seventeen children Christ reveals the terror she and her siblings suffered at the hand of their mother throughout childhood, and the effects it has had on her adult life. The author's father would come to visit once a year, bringing new clothes, shoes, and toys. When he left, her mother took all of the new things away, and the children were left wearing their old, tattered clothes. They rarely had enough food to go around, so they fought each other over what little they had. Their mother would have parties and allow her guests to have sex with her children for money. The process of the adults choosing which child they wanted for the night was beyond degrading. Christ and her siblings were beaten by their mother regularly. Christ was targeted by her mother frequently, and the basement seemed to be her torture chamber. She feared her mother would one day kill her. However, when the author was fifteen, her mother sold her to a man for $500. Unfortunately, that was not the end of her struggles.
Gloria Wynter Christ narrates her story candidly in her own words, with vivid and explicit details of the abuse she endured during childhood that carried over into her adult relationships as well. She was so traumatized by the violent abuse she has had a life-long battle trying to suppress the anger within. Her early adult life consisted of hanging out in bars, drinking, and dancing, not knowing how to turn her life around. Christ's story is so intense I clamped my hand over my mouth in horror several times while reading it. She was protective over her children and ready to fight anyone who might hurt them, yet there were times she beat them herself. She would challenge anyone who got in the way of what she wanted to do, even if she had to use violence.
What I liked most about this book were the people the author met along her journey through life who showed her unconditional love and acceptance. She introduces the reader to those who have touched her life in positive ways as she has struggled to put the memories of abuse, and her early out-of-control behavior as an adult to rest. After a tragic childhood and an out-of-control adult life of drinking and partying, she needed love and guidance from someone who genuinely cared about her. The one she sought love and advice from most of all was God. (The author refers to God by his Hebrew name Yah'uah Elohim and Jesus as Yah'shua, the Messiah).
What I disliked most was the book cover. It did not appeal to me, although I understand why the author chose it. Christ began to focus on serving God and helping others. However, that path has been fraught with detours as well. She does not try to force her religious views on anyone; however, she is not shy about speaking out about salvation and including scripture from the Bible into her narrative. While this is not a book about religion, the author does explain the way to salvation to her readers.
Sadly, I found multiple errors in the book. There were spelling and punctuation errors, which were somewhat distracting as I read. The book would benefit significantly from professional editing, which I hope the author will consider. Due to the multiple errors, I cannot give this book a perfect rating. Therefore, I rate Through the Eyes of a Child by Gloria Wynter Christ with Ronald Ellyson and Dr. Curt Wagner 3 out of 4 stars. This book is worth reading. I recommend it to those who are struggling with severe life issues, and to Christians of every faith. Those who might be offended by the religious aspect of the book may not want to read this one.
Through the Eyes of a Child
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