The Shadows in My Heart Book Review

The Shadows in My Heart Book Review

The Shadows in My Heart is a story that will be too familiar to some and unfamiliar to others, but will pull at the heartstrings of everyone.

The Shadows in My Heart Book Review

About The Shadows in My Heart

Big families cultivate chaos. Mary Havens knows this all too well. One of twelve children, she grew up on a picturesque Wisconsin dairy farm. Holidays, graduations, marriages, and newborns filled the farmhouse with the light of laughter and hugs. But for Mary, the unspoken eclipsed that light. Unresolved grief, abuse, religious dogma, and secrets left her in the shadows, lost and alone. Her profound story is one of determination, survival, and the ability to rise above the fray. It is a story that will be too familiar to some and unfamiliar to others, but will pull at the heartstrings of everyone.

My Thoughts

We have been blessed to live in a time where we are encouraged to talk about our emotions, where we are encouraged to talk about something that doesn’t feel right and where victims are believed and told to come forward. The focus is on healing, holding those responsible but also rehabilitating them. Gone are the days when things like sexual abuse and mental health were swept under the covers.

My Grandfather was a very quite man but I loved him for his quirks. He wouldn’t replace something because it was old and even if you bought him something new he would prefer and still wear his old clothes. He was a man of few words but it was in his actions that you knew he was proud of you and that he loved you (from hiding coins around his home to sitting at the head of the table on our weekly Sunday lunches). He grew up in the same time this book was based on and I wonder if he saw the same actions in houses of his friends and how this influenced him.

The Shadows in My Heart made my cry, laugh and understand. Society has come a long way in being open and discussing domestic and sexual abuse but we still can do more. The understanding of how many young girls and boys went through abuse and then suffered mental health consequences from this is shocking. This was the world that they lived in but no one wanted to talk about it. It drives home how important it is to talk about, to let both girls and boys that this is not the norm, this is not love and that they will always have someone to talk about it to.

This was an incredible and yet heartbreaking novel that all adults and even young adults should read. While the topic is sensitive, I feel it is so important for our young adults to read about and understand everything they can about abuse and mental health. Mary is an inspiration and a very typical individual in this type of situation. She endured years of abuse for her children but found the strength to fight back. Her opening up about the situation is what helped the healing process. This book serves as an inspiration for so many struggling with the same hurt in their own home who may not know where to look for help. This is a definite must read novel that you will not want to put down.

You can purchase a copy of this book on Amazon.

Rating: 5/5

About the Author

Mary A. Havens has appeared on numerous talk shows, discussing surviving domestic violence and sexual abuse, including The Oprah Winfrey Show, Minneapolis’ Twin Cities Live and The Mary Hanson Show. She was a Twitter contributor for Dr. Phil and The Doctors show. Mary volunteers with organizations for survivors of sexual abuse and domestic violence. She enjoys traveling and divides her time between the Midwest, Southwest, and Alaska.

Disclosure: I received a digital copy of this book in order to facilitate this review. All opinions expressed are my own.


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