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Reviewed by Gobi Jane for Readers' Favorite
Soul Survivor by Philippa West is a memoir of the author’s journey through mental disorder, one only diagnosed after twenty-nine years of suffering. It wasn’t until after her training as a Mental Health First Aider that she began to identify her symptoms and unearthed a startling truth: she suffered from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). In this book and in a voice that is filled with honesty and compassion, she shares her story of emotional and sexual abuse, depression, guilt, and desperation. Starting with the image of the isolated cabin in the woods where she used to take her mental flights from reality, she shares her story, including deception in love, the quest for freedom and happiness, and the role of the characters in her life.
Philippa West has a unique style of writing. She asks questions that force the reader to think. Her writing is equally filled with insights on life, love, self-acceptance, and relationships. Readers with mental issues can easily relate to her story. The introspective journey she makes is filled with light and I was amazed at how her journey leads her home to herself, allowing her to accept who she really is. This story also articulates some brilliant points on what to expect from people with PTSD. The writing is clear and the prose beautiful. I was pulled in by the pensive style of writing and found it easy to connect emotionally to the protagonist. Soul Survivor is an honest account of a woman’s journey towards wholeness after going through the harrowing pain of PTSD for several years. It is both informative and inspiring.