You were warned when I covered You Carried Me for this month’s Open Book linkup. Here’s a more in-depth review
What’s it about?
What happens when an abortion survivor finds her birth mother… …who never knew her daughter was alive?
Melissa Ohden is fourteen when she learns she is the survivor of a botched abortion. In this intimate memoir she details for the first time her search for her biological parents, and her own journey from anger and shame to faith and forgiveness.
This intensely personal story of love and redemption illumines the powerful bond between mother and child that can overcome all odds.
Startling details of Melissa Ohden’s story have never been shared publicly before. The book includes an account of her first meeting with her birth mother 38 years later. The compelling human interest story, and the sensitivity with which Ohden personalizes issues such as adoption and women’s rights, will appeal to readers regardless of their views. This is not a pro-life or pro-choice book, nor is it overtly religious: one family’s story highlights the complexity of the issue and will leave readers with more compassion for every woman impacted by abortion. For too long, discussion of abortion has been dominated by male politicians. It’s time for individual women impacted by abortion to have their voices heard. Melissa Ohden breaks the taboo that silences too many women, empowering others to share their own stories and reclaim the narrative.
My take on You Carried Me
This was a moving memoir of a complicated existence. Ohden told her story with compassion, intellect, honesty and courage. While there are few people alive today who can relate specifically to her experience of living a life that was supposed to have been snuffed out, countless numbers of us can take heart and healing in her message of forgiveness and hope for those of us who have been deeply hurt by the very people most meant to love us.
The most validating parts for me were where Ohden talks about the experience of being silenced. I’ve experienced it myself, being a survivor of something incredibly rare, so rare that people will do anything to convince themselves–and me–that it didn’t, doesn’t, simply could not have and can’t happen. Ohden’s story brought into sharp focus the reality that terrible guilt demands terrible silence, if not of the guilty then of those who speak that guilt’s name.
Giving a voice to the silenced is a powerful thing. Let those hear who have ears to hear.
You Carried Me honors the pain on all sides of the abortion debate and does so fearlessly. Thankfully, Ohden also does so with care and sensitivity, to the point that I feel comfortable letting even my young teens read the book once I finished with it. If you need a dose of compassion, healing and courage, you can get it in You Carried Me.
More You Carried Me goodies:
Click the image below for your chance to win your very own copy of You Carried Me: A Daughter’s Memoir. I believe you have to enter before February 15, 2017, so don’t delay and make with the clicky!
Brief disclaimer: I did receive a complimentary copy from the publisher. All opinions here are my own.
Okay, let’s hear from you. What did you think about the idea of being “silenced”? What does that look like to you? Have you ever found yourself silenced and why? Is there ever a place for silencing another person’s story?