I Met Her Before

Fiction - Womens
235 Pages
Reviewed on 01/15/2022
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Chandra Moyer is a speaker, author, life coach, and decorated former Army officer. For three decades, she has empowered women through coaching, conferences, and healing retreats. She is the recipient of the FBI Director’s Community Leadership Award for her child trafficking prevention work. Chandra is the author of the novel I Met Her Before and the memoir Tragically Taken. A wanderlust at heart, Chandra has traveled broadly to over 40 states and 20 nations. A mother of three adult children, she loves spending time with her growing family and grandbabies. Chandra lives in Suffolk, VA with her husband TP and fur baby Nyla.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Jennifer Ibiam for Readers' Favorite

I Met Her Before by Chandra Moyer is a novel inspired by true events. Marcia had beautiful kids, a promising career, and a doting husband. The couple adopted two kids, Jenna and Drew, who made their lives complete. When Jenna showed signs of trauma from sexual abuse, Marcia and Tony wanted to help her. Unfortunately, social services pulled the children from the couple's home and buried the case instead of offering a solution. The children’s exit activated a chain of events that shook the foundation of Marcia's existence. Through dreams, memory flashes, and nightmares, Marcia discovered she was also a victim of sexual abuse by her family. But to what extent? Follow Marcia on her healing journey as she delves deep to unearth that little girl who overturned Pandora's box.

I Met Her Before by Chandra Moyer is an intense read based on facts. I had to brace for impact and threw expectations out the window in the fourth chapter because my emotions were raw. Chandra told a tragic yet hopeful tale in such a transparent way that I knew it took guts. It hurt that the ones who should have protected her were complicit in the abuse with their silence and denial. However, Marcia was a strong woman whose walk with God was steadfast. She was sensitive enough to hear God's words through every act, occurrence, environment, object, and more. Also, I always love a woman who is willing to fight the gender and racism war in her career instead of shrinking back for others to shine. This novel is emotional and a big helping hand for incest/sexual abuse survivors. Write more, Chandra!

Grant Leishman

I Met Her Before by Chandra Moyer is one of those books that burrow deep into your psyche without you even realizing it. Marcia Thompson was a high achiever living a life she felt extremely comfortable with. Her whole life had been built around the U.S. military: first, as an Air Force brat, moving from base to base around the world with her parents and later as a servicewoman herself, who only resigned from active service to have a family and support her husband, also in the military. She was used to moving with the job and when her husband Tony was posted to Hawaii, she was happy as Hawaii reminded her of her idyllic childhood when her father was stationed in the Philippines. When Marcia and her husband run afoul of the local bureaucracy after they have two adopted children taken away from them, she is devastated. This traumatic event opens the doors of her subconscious, bringing back horrific memories of things from her childhood that she had suppressed for so many years.

Stories of childhood sexual abuse can be a difficult read as the content is not only horrific for many, but it is something we would rather ignore and pretend doesn’t exist. I Met Her Before is challenging because author Chandra Moyer confronts the issue assertively and without pulling any punches. Although she makes no bones about the fact that this is a novel, much of Marcia’s narrative is, in fact, describing her own life. Knowing this certainly gives the entire story more gravity and more impact on the reader. The author does a superb job of sparing the reader the more gruesome details in describing the abuse that took place without limiting or downplaying the actuality of the evil perpetrated on an innocent and loving child. I particularly appreciated that although Marcia’s faith played an enormous part in her ability to work her way through the minefield of the memories that were surfacing, it never became the overarching theme of the novel. This story is a clear message to others who have experienced abuse that they are not alone, with the key theme: you didn’t do anything wrong to bring this abuse to you, and you are the innocent victim in all this.

Lisa McCombs

When Marcia and Tony agree to adopt two children from foster care, they are unaware of and discouraged in their investigation of Jenna’s troubled past. As she tries to convince child welfare that Jenna’s issues go much further than the suggested diagnosis of growing pains, Marcia realizes the enormity of the flawed system and is haunted by recurring memories of her own childhood nightmare. All her life she believed that it was her sister who was nearly kidnapped when they were children. Convinced that her memories might not be accurate, Marcia questions her mother to discover that she had it all wrong. Unspeakable actions were inflicted upon Marcia as a child. Actions that, once uncovered, grew to criminal accusations began to shake her otherwise solid life as a wife, mother, and soldier. Through counseling and a supportive family, Marcia learns to recognize the signs of child abuse and how that early life occurrence shaped her adulthood. “It’s like I’d worn a superwoman cape for so long, I didn’t know how to take it off.”

I Met Her Before by Chandra Moyer is a disturbing, yet honest picture of the reality of long-forgotten childhood abuse. Written as a novel, the nonfiction influences come through strong in vivid detail. I Met Her Before is an excellent tool for support group discussion and individual consideration. The silent existence of child abuse is more common in society than is given credit. I believe that Chandra Moyer’s novel is a necessary and valuable read for any reader. The included discussion questions and an extensive list of resources deem this an important volume of fiction as a nonfiction resource in itself.

Darold Hamlin

As a friend and fellow Military Brat, I found Chandra's novel compelling and inspiring. She has moved to the forefront of the issue of abuse and demonstrates that the effects can be overcome by faith. As a writer, she does an excellent job of putting the reader in the places she has the characters in. Although I know parts of the story, her book permitted me to go there again. This is quite a feat for a first-time writer. I commend her efforts and highly recommend the book to anyone who wants to understand life's challenges and the power of grace.