Looking for stories that will move you and leave you with an aftertaste of complex emotions and tears? Then these vulnerable memoirs from remarkable women will make you want to take a trip to a bookstore immediately.
Know My Name by Chanel Miller
Sexual assault is a triggering topic for a number of women and this book might not be for everyone. Chanel Miller was sexually assaulted on Stanford’s campus by Brock Turner. He had been sentenced to six months in the county jail because the judge didn’t want to ruin the young man’s life.
In the memoir, Chanel tells what happened between the assault and the verdict. She digs deep into her mental and physical state during that time and shows the way the system operates when you’re a victim. She had to start her life all over again. To deal with the trauma, Chanel expressed what was going on inside her mind by writing this book. She doesn’t only talk about her pain, but she also shares warm memories about her family whom she loves dearly.
If you’re still not sure whether to read the book or not, you can read Chanel’s statement to Brock Turner which was published on BuzzFeed. Here’s a quote from it:
‘I stood there examining my body beneath the stream of water and decided: I don’t want my body anymore. I was terrified of it, I didn’t know what had been in it, if it had been contaminated, who had touched it. I wanted to take off my body like a jacket and leave it at the hospital with everything else.’
I’m Glad My Mom Died by Jennette McCurdy
People assume that celebrities have easier, wealthier, and happier lives. But it’s not always the case. Jennette McCurdy, in her memoir, shows how the entertainment industry and her mother shaped her.
Jennette was a child actor, a regular on the TV show ‘iCarly’, and a kid who could cry on cue. But behind the success of the show, the money, and slim figure, was a narcissistic mother who was constantly expecting more from her daughter. Jennette’s mother once wanted to be an actress but it didn’t happen for her. So she made sure that her child would act and become successful in that area. She taught Jennette how to restrict calories and become anorexic while having a good career on TV.
Despite the title of the book, Jennette didn’t hate her mother, quite the opposite – she adored her mother and always wanted to please her. Jennette became her own person only after her mom died and here’s what she wrote while standing at her mother’s grave:
‘I had her (mom) up on a pedestal, and I know how detrimental that pedestal was to my well-being and life. That pedestal kept me stuck, emotionally stunted, living in fear, dependent, in a near constant state of emotional pain and without the tools to even identify that pain let alone deal with it.’
The Time In Between: A memoir of hunger and hope by Nancy Tucker
What happens in the mind of a person struggling with an eating disorder? Nancy Tucker answers that question by sharing 12 years of her life of dealing with anorexia and its aftermath.
She doesn’t shy away from the ugly truth. She shows what was going on inside her head and how it affected her body. She also shares creative ways to mask anorexia so that even parents and friends won’t notice that she hardly eats any meals.
Nancy calls her anorexia: the ‘Voice’, which illustrates how the brain can turn up against the person. At some point, the ‘Voice’ is put up against the right therapist who shows compassion and understanding and helps Nancy find her way to recovery.
This book will give hope to anyone struggling with an eating disorder, or anyone who knows someone with an eating disorder. Sure, it’s a hard and complicated process toward recovery, but it’s possible.
Even though these books are hard to read, they don’t leave you with only heavy emotions, they also give you hope. If those women went through something so traumatic and survived, then anyone can do it.