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Reviewed by Erin Nicole Cochran for Readers' Favorite
David Giffen’s Redemptive Trauma: Confession of a Defrocked Priest is beyond words, beyond faith. It's human flesh put into pages. The number of passages in this book that spoke to me and resonated is many. Not because I’ve experienced them all, but because chaos is so fundamentally ingrained that it is as though we expect to come across it in our lives. We sense it outside of ourselves, a door we might stumble headlong through. That door may be created out of edible gingerbread or hanging off its jamb and can lead to great things or lead us through a maze from which we never find our way out.
Giffen’s Redemptive Trauma opens the reader up in ways that you don’t see often, if ever. On page 78: “But if I am to boast in my weakness and kneel at the cross, I must lay down my secrets bare.” This is a taste of what readers will get when experiencing Giffen’s writing. Redemptive Trauma is a journey first written from the perspective of the author as a man, who then later gives us this complete visual understanding of what his childhood years were like as he later grew into the man he became. The suffering and the transmittal of pain from generation to generation appear as a mirror lifted up to the reader’s face. David flings wide the curtain of family dysfunction, love, and religion and we see what he sees. And it’s a sight you want to see. A man who breaks, but heals.