A Journey to Forgiveness: Disowning 3 Generations of Violence
Sanovia Haleemah Muhammad, Dawn James, Memoir/Biography/Autobiography
A Journey to Forgiveness is “a story about love, violence, forgiveness and the incredibly turbulent journey of a grandmother, mother, and daughter.” An apt description based on the emotional opening epigraph. This book would certainly be better served by adding a trigger warning. The torrent of traumatic experiences pile on: from Grandma Pearl being convicted of murder for a crime she didn’t commit to being raped continuously by the warden, giving birth in prison, and dying possibly by her own hand. The child that was born was the author’s mother, Dr. Vergie, who also later suffered her own trauma of rape. Enduring years of abuse at the hands of her husband and eventually dying by his hands, the author grew up not having a positive relationship with her mother because she reminded her mom of her rape. Her refusing her stepfather’s sexual advances caused her to have to leave home and created further disconnect from her mom.
Readers with these kinds of deeply traumatic experiences will likely identify with the author’s story. In particular, the cycles and patterns that can be repeated as the result of transgenerational trauma. The book, while heavy, does eventually focus on triumph, resiliency, breaking generational strongholds, and transformation. The women in this story, including the author, possess strength and courage. This book will offer the reader a rollercoaster ride of emotions that they should be prepared for, but is a demonstration of one woman’s journey of healing. It outlines the importance of embracing your past but not letting it be the determining factor for your future.
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