The Hands That Held Me

Non-Fiction - Memoir
282 Pages
Reviewed on 12/14/2019
Buy on Amazon

This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Book Review Exchange Program, which is open to all authors and is completely free. Simply put, you agree to provide an honest review an author's book in exchange for the author doing the same for you. What sites your reviews are posted on (B&N, Amazon, etc.) and whether you send digital (eBook, PDF, Word, etc.) or hard copies of your books to each other for review is up to you. To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email, and be sure to describe your book or include a link to your Readers' Favorite review page or Amazon page.

This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Book Donation Program, which was created to help nonprofit and charitable organizations (schools, libraries, convalescent homes, soldier donation programs, etc.) by providing them with free books and to help authors garner more exposure for their work. This author is willing to donate free copies of their book in exchange for reviews (if circumstances allow) and the knowledge that their book is being read and enjoyed. To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email. Be sure to tell the author who you are, what organization you are with, how many books you need, how they will be used, and the number of reviews, if any, you would be able to provide.

Author Biography

The Hands That Held Me is Lisa Jo Symonds' personal journey through childhood trauma - of abuse, child trafficking, addiction, overdose, and ultimately victory over all that meant to destroy her. She describes in shocking and honest details - the various types of physical, emotional, and sexual abuse she encountered while growing up. At 15 years old, she became pregnant and ran away, surviving among drug and prostitution-filled streets, doing what she had to in order to survive.
She survived a traumatic childhood, endured the challenges of being a single parent, overcame abusive relationships, and broke free from a lifetime of multiple addictions.

Lisa Jo Symonds began sharing her story through a series of powerful posts on Facebook in May of 2018 that extended over a 2-month period. Some of the actual posts are incorporated into The Hands That Held Me. As she exposed the horrific memories of her own childhood and publicly admitted to her addictions, other survivors, inspired by her story, began to tell their own story started their own journey of healing and recovery.. Learn more about the author on her website at

    Book Review

Reviewed by Christian Sia for Readers' Favorite

The Hands That Held Me by Lisa Jo Symonds is a poignant memoir that follows the journey of the protagonist through her hurt and brokenness towards healing and empowerment. Lisa’s journey is that of trauma, abuse, and addiction. Growing up in an addicted household, Lisa experienced physical and sexual abuse, becoming pregnant at the age of fifteen when she escapes home to live in the streets filled with prostitutes and addicts. She shares her story of her sister’s overdose and her attempted suicide. But all along with her struggle for survival, someone has cared so deeply for her and loved her even more than she might have imagined. Her realization that she is loved unconditionally by God became the path to a new life.

The Hands That Held Me by Lisa Jo Symonds is a story of pain and redemption, a story filled with hope and love and faith. From the very start, readers understand the depth of the darkness into which the protagonist was plunged. “I am struggling. Struggling to breathe, struggling to think, struggling to fight the fog that seems to be closing in on my mind." This is the story of a woman who survived abuse and addiction and went on to earn a Master’s Degree and became one of the positive influences in the lives of others. It is told in a voice that is clear and engaging. At times Lisa Jo Symonds’ voice comes across as ruthlessly honest. It is easy to feel connected to the protagonist as one reads about her pain and misery. The Hands That Held Me is an inspiring story that shows readers that they can always rise up, no matter how low they have fallen. Written in prose that is fluid and in a voice that is strong and consistent, this memoir is compelling and inspiring.

Mary sondrini

This is a must read. Everyone who struggles in life with addiction can relate. I was always a religious person until I got myself in the drug life. It ruined me but I look to good still every day. Lisa Jo symonds that was one hell of an awesome book. You inspired me. I could relate a lot your book helped me see the light again and for that thank you. The hands that held me is truly inspiring and heartbreaking at the same time. Anyone who can should read this book. I'm sharing my copy for people to read. Hopefully it will inspired done of them to come see the light. I loved this book. Keep writing more please