As Mental Health Awareness Week draws to a close, I thought this would be a good time share Clipped Wings by Jennifer Gilmour with you. Filled to bursting with horrific recolletions of domestic abuse, but also true stories of survival. You won’t help but be inspired.
The silent chorus.
Just imagine you thought that you had met the man or woman of your dreams. This person was charming and you thought they were the one or perhaps that this was fate; it was just meant to be.
But as the months go by things start to change. Their behaviour towards you isn’t the same, they are more critical, more particular about your appearance, what you do, how you do it, who you see. Time goes by and you feel isolated from your friends and family because that behaviour has now changed to threats, maybe violence and you feel that your identity is all but gone. But still you stay. Where would you go? Who would help you? You are not worthy.
But you are.
A group of survivors have spoken about their own experiences. In their own words they show that survivors do have a voice and that it needs to be heard. They show that abuse isn’t unique or strange but that it is, unfortunately, a surprisingly common problem in today’s society.
CLIPPED WINGS – MY THOUGHTS
Where to start with this one.
First of all the the structure is a simple one. Each chapter has it’s own voice and it’s own style, as each chapter is one persons story. What is lacks in writing style though it makes up with an honest and raw recollection of the personal hell that each person contained with it’s pages went through. A difficult read at times, Clipped Wings show abusers at their worst but also survivors at their best as they find their inner strength to finally say no. Enough is enough. Unfortunately for some though, this takes years and in some cases, decades.
From reading the introduction you learn that Clipped Wings came about due the to response to Jennifer Gilmour’s debut novel Isolation Junction. A story of a young woman fighting to leave an abusive relationship, something that Jennifer drew on her own experiences to write. Jennifer wanted to give the people who reached out to her after its publication a voice. From there, Clipped Wings was born.
Be warned though. The accounts contained within it’s pages include physical, mental, emotional and sexual abuse with addictions and self harm woven in at times. This is not fiction though which makes it so much worse. This isn’t an account of events that happened in a writers imagination, but events that people lived through. These brave people have found the courage to tell their story and for no other reason than acknowledging their bravery, they deserve to be read.
With this in mind, the benefit to its structure is that as a reader the book is easy to pick up and put down. A very uncomfortable read at times, the distinctly different stories allows you to read one, perhaps walk away for a time before being ready to move onto the next. Regardless at the pace at which you are able to read it though, I do recommend that you do. If nothing else it makes you realise that domestic abuse can exist anywhere. Maybe your neighbour, your work colleague, maybe even your sister or brother.
This is a very real problem in our society and one that has stayed hidden behind closed doors for too long. It’s time that we all open our eyes and take a look around us. Simply noticing the signs and starting to ask questions could give someone you know the strength to finally find their voice and speak out.
Clipped Wings is currently available on Amazon for £4.99 (affiliate link). However, read on to learn how to be in with a chance to win your very own copy.
Jennifer has very kindly offered a hardcopy of Clipped Wings one lucky Tippytupps reader. Just enter via Rafflecopter using the link below and follow the usual social media accounts.
This giveaway is open to UK residents only, is powered by Rafflecopter and will close on Sunday 10th June 2018 at midnight. The winner will then be chosen at random using the tool. Please note that this giveaway is hosted by Tippytupps blog, but the prize will be sent directly from Jennifer. For full terms and conditions for the giveaway, please visit the Tippytupps terms and conditions page.
DISCLAIMER: I was provided with a copy of Clipped Wings for the purpose of this review. As always though, all thoughs and opinions are my own.