Tuesday, 17 March 2020

Review: I Choose Elena by Lucia Osborne-Crowley

It had never occurred to me that my physical ailments, all appearing in the same part of me, at the same time, could have a common cause. ~ I Choose Elena, page 30

At age fifteen, Lucia Osborne-Crowley faced many women's worst nightmare--she was violently raped at knifepoint by a complete stranger in a public toilet on a night out. Afterward, she told no one what had happened, and tried to push the incident to the back of her mind. Her body had other ideas, and she suffered through many years of pain, and with little useful help from the medical profession. Eventually, though, she began to find comfort in books--thanks to authors like Elena Ferrante--and was finally able to tell her story and to find resilience in the face of trauma. 

There is no doubt about it. This is a harrowing story and may trigger many readers. It is also an important one--of a young woman who was on track for huge career as a gymnast, only to have that cruelly snatched away. It is also the story of the aftermath, of how the body remembers trauma and how the credibility of women is often questioned by the medical profession. It is also the story of the healing power of books, and the importance of one's own story.

Heartbreaking, but important.

Recommended

This book was read as part of the Aussie Author Challenge 2020