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!)
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.
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!