After the Scars #bookreview

      6 Comments on After the Scars #bookreview

Kerri and I in front of the Be Happy painting at RMH

In October 2015, I had the pleasure of meeting Kerri Kijewski, a blind woman I interviewed in 2014.

Kerri is one of the contributors to After The Scars (A Second Chances Anthology)

Kerri gave me an autographed copy of this book, too! (Read about how I met her… and another writer!)

Me holding Kerri's book

Me holding Kerri’s book

Me showing Kerri's autograph

Me showing Kerri’s autograph

About After the Scars

After the Scars is a book with a message that needs sharing.

In fact, at the beginning of the book, it specifically says: “This collection of stories and poetry deal with themes of emotional and physical domestic abuse, but most importantly these stories are about hope, strength, survival and moving on.”

The message is clear: sufferers of abuse can move on with their lives.

I concur, as this is the same message I convey with Risky Issues.

After the Scars book cover

After the Scars book cover

My Book Review of After the Scars (also on Goodreads)

After the Scars, as a whole is a pretty good book.

I must say, however, that the printed version (which is the only version I have) contains a few formatting issues and is missing page numbers in its Table of Contents (TOC). Because I’m often referred to as “The Grammar Police” by my friends, I must also say that the whole book could benefit from another round of editing. I’m not sure who edited it, but the writers and publisher who assembled the book should’ve asked me to help!

That said, I’ll now focus on the content of After the Scars.

After the Scars is basically a collection of short stories interspersed with the occasional poem. The poetry, which I enjoyed reading, is quite good, and thought-provoking, as are many of the stories.

The stories, for the most part, captivated me from the get-go. I have to say that my favourite short story is When the Storm Breaks, which was written by Avery Hart. It was divided into chapters, and is about a woman who tragically lost her husband, and yet finds a way to move on with her life after grieving. It was emotion-packed, beautifully written, acurately depicted, and conveys the book’s message wonderfully.

Kerri Kijewski‘s story, One Last Kiss, depicts the story of Sarah, who once found love but was hurt deeply by the man she loved. Much of the story is about the inner workings of Sarah’s mind and thought processes, but contains descriptions and conversation, too. Without giving away too much, I have to say that I particularly loved the circular ending!

The Emergence of Julia Gray, writen by Katie M. John, a UK best-selling author famous for her Young Adult fairytale series called “The Knight Trilogy,” was a great story about rebirth, re-inventing yourself, and following your heart. It even included an air of mystery in it, which enhanced the overall plotline.

Quiz Night, by Francesca Baker, was easy to read. I liked the main setting of the story, a pub. This is where the main character meets a guy for their third date, a guy with whom she feels comfortable, much like a best friend.  Because it was such a short short story, I found myself actually wanting more once I came to the end!

Beaten Heart, by Hazel Robinson (Twitter: @hfrobinsonbooks), is another story that is divided into chapters. Beaten Heart is an excellent read, and epitomizes the book’s message. I really enjoyed reading this story about a woman who had help leaving her abusive husband, to move to a place where he’d never find her. Once there, she ends up working at a new job, obtains a dog, and meets a man who eventually helps her move on. Without revealing the entire plot, I will have to say that it also contains a neat twist at the end, and that I am sure you will enjoy this uplifting story.

Rebirth, by Eden Night (a pseudonym), who mainly writes erotica, stepped out of his/her comfort zone when writing this story. About a woman who moves to a shack on the beach to begin a new life for herself, she becomes a heroine when saves a surfer from an unseemly demise, and later begins a unique friendship with his friend… while struggling with familial issues regarding her mother. This story also epitomizes the book’s message of hope and survival, and is the last story in the book, which ends with the words “The End and The Beginning.” In my opinion, this is the perfect way to end such a book!

I have to highly recommend this book to any person, man OR woman, who has grappled with abuse and/or neglect, and who has made changes (or who wants to make changes) to move forward with hope and dignity. This book, despite its few formatting and editing issues, contains many stories and poems that depict its message in an uplifting way. Definitely give it a read!

Author: Lorraine Reguly

Lorraine Reguly, BA/BEd, is an author and an English teacher-turned-freelancer for hire who offers 4 different services on Wording Well: writing (including blogging and ghostwriting); editing; and mentoring. She also helps others become published authors! Check out her services and see what she can do for you to help you!

6 thoughts on “After the Scars #bookreview

    1. Lorraine Post author

      Kerry, I really enjoyed reading After the Scars, but I enjoyed meeting you more! 😀

      I’m so glad your mom took the time to drive you to Toronto to meet me! Thank her again for me, will ya?

      Reply
    1. Lorraine Post author

      Kerry, you’re welcome!

      Thank you for linking to it in your most recent post! 😉

      I’m so glad I met you.

      By the way, my mom is reading the book now!

      Reply
  1. Ryan Biddulph

    I love this Kerry and Lorraine. I feel so many folks suffer abuse as kids, and teens, but fear sharing their trauma. You both help people see it is OK and important to share your scars as a freeing, cathartic purge.

    Ryan

    Reply
    1. Lorraine Reguly Post author

      Ryan, it’s hard to talk about some stuff sometimes. I am getting better at it. It’s a form of healing.
      Then again, so is painting. 😉 That’s my latest hobby and I find it relaxing.
      I also know Kerry has started playing the violin. I am not sure if it is a form of healing for her, but I have to give her props for trying it. Add in her blindness, and I bet it’s really tough to try such a task!

      However, we all still write. Writing is one of the best forms of therapy, if you ask me.

      Thanks for coming by and commenting. 🙂

      Reply

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