By Mary M. Cushnie-Mansour
· ASIN : B09B1TYLSH
· Publisher : Independently published (July 23, 2021)
· Language : English
· Paperback : 278 pages
· ISBN-13 : 979-8526717519
About the Author:
Mary M. Cushnie-Mansour resides in Brantford, ON, Canada. She is the award-winning author of the popular “Night’s Vampire” series. Mary has a freelance journalism certificate from Waterloo University, and in the past, she wrote a short story column and feature articles for the Brantford Expositor. She has also published poetry and short-story collections, youth novels, bilingual children’s books, English children’s storybooks, and a biography.
Mary has always encouraged people’s imaginations and spent several years running the “Just Imagine” program for the local school board. She has also been heavily involved in the local writing community, inspiring adults to follow their dreams. Mary is available for speaking engagements and writing workshops for children and adults. You can contact Mary through her website http://www.writerontherun.ca.
About the book:
Hope’s Merry-Go-Round is the latest addition to Mary M. Cushnie-Mansour’s collection of incredible stories told. The idea for the story mooted when she read an article in the newspaper about sexual abuse by a sibling, something she felt was an abuse seldom talked about.
Here is the tragic story of Hope, a quiet child, often ignored by her mother and two sisters throughout her growing up years. She was the “unwanted” accident in her family, the child her mother was afraid to have due to pregnancy complications. Her sisters, Faith, and Charity were much more advanced in age, while her brother, Jeremiah, was five years older.
Jeremiah’s mean streak began from the time she was born since he detested his parents having another baby. He would soon traumatize and hurt Hope even as a young toddler.
Her mother would brush away his bullying tactics by saying that it would teach her not to be a cry baby, whenever Hope cried at his antics or threw a tantrum.
The only consoling factor was that her dad doted on her, which made up for some of the hurts she experienced. She was somewhat comforted by the warmth and affection he showered on her, although he often turned a blind eye to his wife’s careless dismissal of Jeremiah’s taunts and bullying.
At eleven, Jeremiah began to sexually abuse Hope, which lasted till she turned thirteen. Hope couldn’t understand how as a sibling he behaved in such an indecent manner and was helpless during the assaults.
She kept the abuse a secret in order not to hurt her parents. Anyway, she wasn’t sure if her mother who doted on her brother and who could see no wrong in him, would believe her if she confided in her.
She withdraws into her shell.
She turns to a life of promiscuity as an adult, teaching during the day, and turning the nights into a sexual haunt.
She meets and befriends Cooper, a gay, who turns out to be her best friend and confidante. He had his problems but was there for her in every way as a good friend.
When she and Cooper were insulted by Jeremiah at a family Christmas dinner, Hope, embarrassed and disgusted, attempts suicide – her third try but is saved in the nick of time by Cooper who rushes her to the hospital. Cooper had saved her life once before.
At the hospital, she is assigned to a medical counselor by the name of Dr. Laurie Hudson. Laurie too had been abused by family members during her growing up years and had run away from home at the age of sixteen. She could relate to Hope’s suffering and wanted to help her overcome the trauma of a painful past.
They become good friends.
With Laurie’s guidance and counsel, Hope begins to heal as she slowly opens up about the mental anguish she had undergone as a child and the trauma of being a victim of sexual abuse.
Jeremiah dies, and a hateful past is buried with him.
The story ends on a positive note with Hope beginning a new chapter, a changed woman, more oriented to finding happiness and love as opposed to the sadness, fear, and shame that had hounded her all through her life. She finally makes peace with her family members.
I would recommend Hope’s Merry-Go-Round to anyone as an enlightening and informative read. Often, as Mary says in her book, sexual abuse by siblings is seldom highlighted.
The story will take the reader into the depths of hidden hurts and trauma of children at the hands of people closest to them, who turn out to be their worst nightmare.
The story also highlights how parents of abused children often don’t notice the warning signs of bullies and tormentors among their children. Turning a blind eye to the predicament of abused children will draw a wedge between the relationship of a parent and a child, as is the case of Hope, who was bullied and sexually abused by her brother from the age of eleven.
This heartwrenching story will take you through the trauma of an abused mind and in the end, liberate you by the concerted touch of care and at the hands of gentle healing. In this regard, Dr. Laurie Hudson, and Hope’s best friend, Cooper turn out to be her saving grace.
Mary M. Cushnie-Mansour has written a remarkable, touching story about the realities of sexual abuse and, lifelong effects on the victims.
Published on Shobana’s Review Service Blog on 08/10/2021 – https://reviewservicebyshobana.blogspot.com/2021/10/book-review-hopes-merry-go-round-by.html