Malice Intent

Is Love Worth Dying For?

Non-Fiction - Drama
239 Pages
Reviewed on 06/06/2016
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

A native of Spain, Alba Castillo currently resides in the United States. Over the years she worked as a legal assistant and later owned a private investigative agency. Castillo is a single parent of three and a walking, talking miracle. Stricken with breast cancer, Castillo’s health battles were prolonged, painful and demoralizing. After beating breast cancer, Castillo learned that it had metastasized into her bones, resulting in several spinal tumors. The disease, coupled with a life of constant domestic abuse and the loss of her youngest child, forced Castillo to develop a resilience and strength she never thought possible. Malice Intent is the chronicle of Castillo’s struggles for survival. Her will to live and determination to overcome so many painful obstacles are what make this book so inspiring to millions.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Hilary Hawkes for Readers' Favorite

Malice Intent: Is Love Worth Dying For? is Alba Castillo’s true account of her life and harrowing experiences of successive involvements with abusive partners. Alba’s father treated her mother badly and this experience became the root cause of her later unconscious tendency to choose men who turned out to be manipulative, belittling and cruel. Always capable and independent, Alba rejected her mother’s wishes for her to marry locally and devote herself to being a wife and mother. Determined to find her own way and make her own decisions, Alba moved away and worked hard to support herself – particularly once she became a mother to three children by three different fathers. The strain of enduring the abuse led her to alcoholism and drug addiction at one point. Her husband’s lies led to the court order that removed their daughter from her care. But Alba’s love and concern for the safety of her children and her determination to beat the cancer that tormented her physically and mentally drives her onwards with faith, a remarkable resourcefulness and willingness to overcome the chains of her past.

Alba Castillo’s story is an admirably brave and honest account that draws attention to the plight of the abused and the incredibly difficult task they may have in breaking patterns of behavior that unconsciously draw them to yet more abusive relationships. Malice Intent is an eye-opener for many as it reveals the pain and frustration that accompanies the author’s reflections and regrets. Castillo states that she has written this book in order to help other victims to help themselves, and to realize that staying in an abusive relationship will harm and pass on effects to children with the danger that the cycle will be repeated again. The story shows that developing self-insight is so often not enough to escape such relationships; the author describes the co-dependency so well.

Malice Intent is a well-written book that moves with detail, but at the same time a good pace, through the author’s life to date. People and situations are described with clarity - I began to feel I knew the various real life characters mentioned - and readers will be rooting for Alba and her children from the start. More than autobiographical, this book has an honesty, courage, empathy and vulnerability that make it an enlightenment and inspiration to others. Alba Castillo eventually learns to put herself and her loved ones first, to forgive herself for her mistakes and to never give up on making life better.

Arya Fomonyuy

Malice Intent: Is Love Worth Dying For by Alba Castillo is a heartbreaking, inspirational memoir of her journey toward inner peace and happiness, the tale of a life punctuated by suffering and wonderful lessons. Born and raised in a typical Spanish family in the outskirts of Madrid, Alba dreams about traveling to England to study the English language. Her dream comes true as she moves to England and finally to the US, but by then life has already dealt her some of its unforgiving blows, including pregnancy at a young age and having to raise her daughter alone. Her moving narrative chronicles abuse from an addictive lover and the suffering caused to her and her three children by a selfish husband. Alba could have given up hope when, in the midst of harrowing vicissitudes, she is diagnosed with breast cancer, but even then, she finds the strength to live by redefining her purpose and embracing her path with equanimity.

Malice Intent: Is Love Worth Dying For is a story that will appeal to many readers, one that is laced with many life lessons and powerful insights. Alba Castillo’s unwavering courage, her resilience, and her ability to transform her suffering into a life giving and enriching experience is, in itself, a powerful message of hope to her readers. Everyone has suffered in life, and the thought of imminent death can be challenging and frightening. But the author states that she doesn’t fear death. Perhaps she has been in the school of life and has learned that life is a long preparation for death. Her style is simple and ruthlessly honest. It takes a lot of courage to open one’s soul to the world, and Alba has more than that courage. In telling her story, she offers insights and lessons that will help millions of people.

Rabia Tanveer

Malice Intent: Is Love Worth Dying For? by Alba Castillo is the story of a woman who left her village for a better life, only to realize that life is often not what you want it to be. Alba left her family and village to move to England. After learning English, she soon moved to America and started a phase of her life that she never could have imagined in her wildest dreams. She met two men who changed her life drastically. One man introduced her to the world of alcoholism/drugs and the other introduced her to a world of pain and disappointments. It was all she could do to keep her family intact, but a new bomb was dropped on her. She was diagnosed with breast cancer. However, she is a warrior so she fought through several rounds of treatment, while at the same time working hard to keep her family intact.

This is the story of a strong woman who had faith in herself and was tough enough to fight the world. This is a great read. It is truly inspiring how Alba was able to get up every day and not curl into a fetal position. She is a fighter and a strong writer. She did her story justice by writing it in such a powerful manner. You can feel the despair, emotions, and her happiness in her words. There is nothing you can find at fault here. She is a true heroine, and she happens to be a very talented writer. I seriously admire her.

Gisela Dixon

Malice Intent: Is Love Worth Dying For? by Alba Castillo is an autobiography by Alba on her life from her childhood to present. In Malice Intent, Alba details her early years in the small town of Santa Ynez in Spain where everyone knew everyone and her family life there, her move out of town to study English, her life working various jobs in England and elsewhere, her marriages and children, her relationships with men which included abusive relationships, her long relationship and marriage with Peter and how it affected and caused family dysfunction, her long battle with cancer including a mastectomy, ongoing chemotherapy, radiation therapy, etc. and all of the financial hardships associated with this. Alba also writes about her experiences in court and the custody and upbringing of her children.

Although Malice Intent is definitely a story of struggle and strife, Alba writes very candidly and openly about her life, and provides a voice of hope and resilience throughout it all. At times, she is not afraid to admit her own failings or mistakes. The part about her relationships with men has been portrayed in a very real and authentic manner, and it seems as real and believable as if she were sitting across the room and telling it. One thing that comes across is how Alba always put her children as high priority and made sure they were as well taken care of as possible even during all of this. I appreciated this and feel it is so important for others in similar situations to at least make sure the children are protected from harm, sexual abuse or anything of that kind. This is well worth a read!