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Reviewed by Lesley Jones for Readers' Favorite
Behind The Pretty Doors by Michelle Hancock is a captivating mix of poems and personal memoirs encompassing the emotionally turbulent life of Michelle Hancock from childhood to adulthood. Born into a house filled with abuse, terror and uncertainty, Michelle reveals the brutal and painful truth of living under the control of an alcoholic father. The violence and constant abuse undermined the foundations of Michelle's self-worth. She believed that when she met her rock in her husband John and started a family, all her worries would disappear. Follow her journey through mental illness, grief, and addictions as she discovers the importance of following your own dreams and unique path when her walls of self-preservation finally crumble. Discover how Michelle finds the courage and strength to learn to love herself again and find the freedom she has always deserved.
Behind The Pretty Doors by Michelle Hancock is a very emotional collection of poetry and personal stories. The use of analogies really made the accounts of abuse quite disturbingly vivid. Michelle has a beautiful grasp of the English language and the emotions she felt during her childhood and her amazing battle to overcome years of torment are brought to life in her poetry. I thought the way the memoir was tied into the connecting poem was very effective. Pop! Golden Unexpected Trigger sums up the harsh reality of suffering at the hands of an abusive parent perfectly. There are some quite difficult accounts read, such as being stranded on the side of the road, the attitude of the authorities towards domestic violence victims and how alcoholism affects the children. I loved the poem about healing a broken heart in Inhale. My favorite poem was Fallen Angels: 'How do I accept warm hands to hold? When mine have been empty and cold.' I thought John, her husband, was amazing, and certainly Michelle's rock; their relationship was described beautifully. The scene where Michelle finally confronted her father was extremely powerful. I found Michelle's courageous journey to recovery quite inspiring. The poem Repair For Despair, when her wall of protection finally came tumbling down was heartbreaking. I loved the photography throughout and the life lessons shared were wonderful. A highly recommended read.