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Reviewed by Lorraine Cobcroft for Readers' Favorite
Five stories. Five amazing and enlightening stories about various means of suppression of women. These stories are told in the first person by women who have been forced into marriage as children, raped, or had their bodies mutilated by procedures that are customary in some cultures. Sad stories, beautifully told. The first letter of a relevant quotation at the start of each story spells the word 'woman'. V.P. Evans says he had doubts, "as an unknown writer" about his ability to "slip into the diversity and complexity of a woman’s world". He need not have feared. This is an author with an impressive depth of perception and great empathy. He clearly researched his topics thoroughly. His descriptions were original and vivid. Some of the prose was magnificently poetic, and a joy to read over and over, just for the music the words made.
The stunning cover design warns you: this is not light reading. The stories will most likely make you angry. The writing is evocative. The author compels you to walk for a while in the shoes of someone who suffered due to unspeakable wrongs, and you feel the pain. But if you appreciate writers who take you into other worlds and make you truly experience and understand the life challenges faced by others... if you appreciate writers whose writing 'nudges the world a little', driving reflection and possibly - hopefully - motivating some readers, somewhere, to take action to make the world a better place - this is a must-read.
The preface ends with the words: "Millions of voices sunk behind closed doors, far away or next-doors. But still, in a whirl of violation of their rights, every single one of those women shares a common feature: a heart with boundless strength. This book belongs to them." V.P. Evans has given abused women a voice - a voice that can be heard clearly and that speaks right from the depths of their hearts. That's a remarkable feat for a male writer. It's a short read: less than 60 pages. But I'll read it again, and maybe again. And I'll certainly look for more of V.P. Evans' writings. I love his work! This was just magnificent writing, and the professional formatting and cover design more than did it justice.