Precious Moments in Hell

Christian - Non-Fiction
228 Pages
Reviewed on 10/12/2020
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Lesley Jones for Readers' Favorite

By the time Charli reached four years of age, she had become accustomed to the neglect, violence, and abuse at home. Raised to steal food for survival and to rob their prostitute mother's clients, or locked in a cupboard for days, for Charli and her younger brothers, Little Leroy and Chief, this became their horrifying existence. When the signs of abuse were discovered by authorities, they were sent to a foster home run by Mrs. H and her husband. Sadly their torment and abuse continued for another seven years at their hands. All through this ordeal, a nun's passing comment changed Charli's life and she knew that God was leading her towards her true purpose. Throughout her life, she has suffered extreme lows and painful obstacles, the grief of losing family members, the kidnapping of her daughter Songbird and learning to forgive those that harmed her. In Precious Moments in Hell by Charli, discover how she was able to face her abusers with love and forgiveness with the support and constant guidance of her Father.

There are many sections of Precious Moments in Hell by Charli that are quite upsetting and shocking to read, especially the cruel, relentless abuse by the hands that were supposed to protect Charli and her little siblings. Charli has written her life experiences with so much dignity and humility, but also in a way that it is easy for us to digest the horrific contents. The visions and dreams she experienced were incredible; it seems that God is always there leading you towards the path that is right for you. Charli's incredible outlook towards dreadful situations is inspirational. Her faith has helped her see beyond the problem and look for a deeper meaning in every situation. This is truly a story of survival and how you can overcome suffering and thrive in the face of adversity. This memoir is filled with life-changing lessons that we can all benefit from and which will help us see the sun shining through the darkest of clouds. Discover how God is always sending subtle signs that are for your benefit, to help you grow, learn, and become the finest version of yourself. I loved the sentence regarding regrets: 'How can a man plough a field when he is looking backward?' This line in the book, however, completely sums up the powerful message in Charli's memoir: 'Look for His provisions of precious moments amidst your storms and see how God can, through your experiences, teach you to forgive and love others.'

Jamie Michele

Precious Moments in Hell by Charli is a non-fiction Christian memoir chronicling the author's life, which has been paved with a series of hardships that she equates to her own personal journey carrying the cross. Charli's life and that of her two brothers are fraught with early memories that no child should have. Her mother, an alcoholic, used her children to steal from the men she would bring home and turned them into decoys when lifting in public. As a result, the trio is put into an unregulated foster care system where for years they suffer abuse and degradation at the hands of Mrs. H. When the abuses are discovered Charli, now a teenager, is separated from her brothers, a precursor of the years she finds herself alone as a single mother who continues to be taken advantage of. Through it all and with the benefit of hindsight, Charli believes that her moments in earthly hell and the moments of joy woven through were a path she was not walking alone and that her life and experiences had real purpose.

In Precious Moments in Hell, Charli is able to paint a picture wherein her suffering is put to good use, even when confronted directly once more with those who sought to hurt her. Her foster mother is an example that is frequently raised and even there she has a degree of grace that most others would not be able to manage. She uses scripture throughout and one verse I found to be particularly profound was when Charli quoted the New King James Version Bible, 1 John 4:4: “He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.” When balancing Charli's experiences against her faith it becomes clear that her rock, her lodestar, is where her strength is drawn from, particularly as she ministers to and prays for others in whom she struggles to see good. Her work in the prison system was most interesting to me but with any other author, I'm not sure that would be the case. Witnessing a child who had been trapped in her own hellish prison turn around and pray for those who have themselves done hellish things is remarkable. As far as memoirs go, this is an exceptional one.

Jose Cornelio

Precious Moments in Hell by Charli is a non-fiction, inspirational book that inspires faith and strength, especially in difficult times, times the author uses the biblical metaphor of walking through “valleys of the shadow of death" to describe. Charli has gone through a lot of pain. As a child, she experienced abuse by her father who eventually abandoned them, and her mother wasn’t always there for her. She had the painful experience of the foster system, the murder of her mother, the sexual abuse and abduction of her daughter, and the abuse in her marriage. She has had a lot of pain to sink her into despair. But why does she keep standing?

This is a story that is poignantly narrated and filled with pathos. But what is so interesting is the moral strength, the psychological stamina, and the resilience of the author. In spite of what Charli has been through, she doesn’t give in to despair. And in this book, she shares her secret weapon with readers: Her unshakeable belief that God is always with her. This is a story of one woman’s faith and unflinching trust in God while traversing the vicissitudes of life. I admired the honesty of the author and the courage to unveil her life before the readers. It is written in beautiful language and the positive energy that flows through the writing is remarkable and I was surprised to notice that someone who has been through so much pain can keep a positive outlook on life. Precious Moments in Hell is gripping, uplifting, and insightful. There are so many lessons to learn from this book.

Michelle C.

"Precious Moments in Hell," by Charli, is a heart-wrenching story of great tragedies, triumphs, hope, faith, love. And forgiveness. From a young girl to adulthood, Charli suffered tremendously. Abuse, neglect, loss, and later in life, the kidnapping of her daughter. Through it all, Charli's faith grew. There were also a countless number of life-learned lessons. Instead of blaming God - she trusted Him. Charli's adversities and tests - became testimonies. God is much bigger than any adversity in life. He will bring you through! The great song, "If It Had Not Been For the Lord ..." comes to mind. Highly-recommend!