Hope: A Memoir of Survival in Cleveland by Amanda Berry, Gina Dejesus
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Hardcover, 321 pages
Published April 27th 2015 by Viking
Source: Random House Canada
A book like this is tough to write about; one doesn't really review another person's personal tragedy. That said, this was a page-turner for me. A gut-wrenching read of how two young girls survived approx. 10 years being held captive as slaves to a perverted monster. The book is written in a firsthand journal account with a couple of inserts by the co-authors to bring the story of the perpetrator and the investigation. Amanda and Gina are different people with their own stories to tell and it is very interesting to see their stories side by side while their distrust for each other is apparent as their kidnapper kept the upper hand by keeping the girls from ever being sure of each other and playing psychological games with them. There is a third girl present, Michelle, who wrote her own book, and is included here without infringing upon telling her story. It is obvious the girls came out of this with a bond that ties them together but also in different groupings. Amanda and Gina are close now because of the similarities in their age and ethnic background plus their shared bond with Amanda's daughter, a product of the kidnapping. Gina appears to have a relationship with Michelle and this would seem to be because they were forced to share a room and were chained together for approx. six years. Things go much deeper than that, and I'm very interested in reading Michelle's book now (which I already own). All I can do is give kudos to how strong these girls are to have survived this torment, come out the other side and be able to tell about it. They had plenty of opportunities to kill themselves, but they had some sort of strength from their faith and commitment to life that can only be a testament to all who read their story. Powerful story of survival along with the twisted depravity one man is capable of.