I spent the day working with my Pinterest boards in preparation for writing a post about how I use this media for writing. While I waited for my computer to reboot (more than once) I also finished reading A Cry for Independence written by Joy K. Massenburge. Now you all know that writing book reviews is not a favorite activity of mine and I may have mentioned I only write reviews on books that I can give 5 stars. A Cry for Independence is a special story and today it upstages Pinterest.
I met Joy online several years ago through the Scribes critique group with ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers). At first I stumbled over some of the terminology of her project and she graciously worked through chapters of my ms. Mine was Rylie’s story and involved horses. Joy’s was not A Cry for Independence, but another story that I look forward to seeing in print. We connected in that Jason in my story drove a Ford F 450 and so did members of Joy’s family.
I learned a lot about the critique process from Joy, one of the biggest lessons being that even though I had strong opinions she would say “Author knows best” when she sent a critique on my painfully needy project. Joys gracious gentle spirit came through with her critiques and it also comes through in her story A Cry for Independence.
The heroine in the story, Tammie, has been seriously wounded by an abuser but she also has wounds from being deserted by people she loves. Her dad threw her out when she got pregnant outside of marriage because he couldn’t lose face in front of the church, and the baby’s father deserted her through foolish choices that landed him in jail. Tammie’s situation is shared by so many women in real life. Abuse knows no racial boundaries, neither does desertion. In a sense, abuse is a form of desertion for the abused.
Just like Tammie in A Cry for Independence, survivors of abuse have to—have a need to—stand on their own two feet because they believe the only person they can trust is themselves. Healing takes far longer than the visible scars.
I love the realistic and sensitive way Joy handled the comparison between different church attitudes in general. And she shows the reader the anger a person can feel toward God when the only way they know Him is as a taker. Redemption in this story occurs on several layers.
Can you tell I loved this book? It had little rays of sunshine between some pretty dark clouds and brought tears to my eyes more than once. Joy is a good story teller. And even the cover is beautiful.
If you’re interested in reading A Cry for Independence just follow the link to Amazon. It’s the same place I bought my copy. I’d love to read what you have to say about Joy’s story.
Barbara Ellin Fox
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