Stronger Than You Know, by Jolene Perry (book review) – moving beyond abuse

book cover of Stronger Than You Know by Jolene Perry published by Walt Whitman TeenAway from her abusers at last,
trying to become normal…
but what is normal?

Held captive all her life by her own mother, cigarette burned and hurt by mom’s ‘friends’ – how can Joy suddenly go to high school, or feel safe with a man in the same room, or let anyone get close to her?

A powerful story that isn’t all ‘woe is me’ or suddenly happy forever, Joy relates her struggles with things most folks take for granted – learning to use a cellphone, going to a restaurant – as her aunt, uncle, and cousins help her as best they can.

**kmm

Book info: Stronger Than You Know / Jolene Perry.  Albert Whitman Teen, 2014.  [author site]  [publisher site]  Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.

My book talk: Rescued from a lifetime of abuse, fifteen year old Joy tries to move forward with her life with her aunt’s family, fighting the brokenness created by her own mother.

All the changes – from being locked in a California trailer for months at a time to having her own room in Seattle with a door that locks from the inside, from never going anywhere to attending a big high school, from having no one care about her to having family and friends who want Joy to be happy – even if they are good changes, it’s so difficult to forget the past, to get over the nightmares…

Perhaps today, Joy can stay in the room with her uncle, who wants to protect her.
Maybe soon, she’ll be able to hold hands with sweet Justin from history class.
Eventually, she might have to face her tormentors again…

A candid yet hopeful portrait of the shattering effects of abuse and the many adjustments large and small that can allow some measure of healing.  (One of 6,000 books recommended on www.abookandahug.com)

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