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Reviewed by Romuald Dzemo for Readers' Favorite
Who Am I by J. R. Penna is a novel that engages readers in a serious conversation with themselves and their choices and that explores strong and realistic themes. Rita is a thirty-four-year-old single woman with no children, pursuing her dream to be successful and wealthy. She had known since she was a little girl that she wanted to be wealthy and the quest began the moment she received her real estate license. But life is not always the way we plan it. Pregnancy, financial challenges, and trauma hinder her and she has to make difficult choices. She is raped and, to her utter dismay, she discovers she is pregnant. Not only does she suffer the violation of her body and her freedom, but she also has to deal with an unwanted pregnancy, all alone, and with no family to help her. She considers the only option left for her: abortion. But what are the moral and psychological repercussions?
This is a deftly plotted and intelligently written story that discusses controversial issues like abortion and faith, sexual abuse and trauma. The protagonist is a character who will win the sympathy of any reader. A well-developed character who faces some of the challenges that many women live through in silence. The story has spiritual depth, bringing in religious themes and the limitations of conventional Christianity. The story is told in a first-person voice that is captivating. I enjoyed the crisp writing, the dialogues that articulate the themes and the author's exploration of womanhood, unwanted pregnancy, and religion. This book is an eye-opener and it had me questioning some of my hard-held beliefs. J. R. Penna doesn't just entertain readers but makes them think; a great storyteller.