Monday, November 20, 2023

The Complicated Heart: Loving Even When It Hurts by Sarah Mae ~ Book Review

"People always ask me how I forgave my mother.  

How do you forgive someone who wounded you so deeply, who carelessly brushed aside your pain, who caused such destruction?  And even more specifically, how do you forgive them when your wounds are still  open, when they show no remorse, when you are so dang tangled up with them you're not sure how on earth to get untangled?"

                                           Sarah Mae:  The Complicated Heart  
pg xiii

Sarah grew up with a very complicated childhood.  Her parents divorced when she was young and she went to live with her father.  But when she was 14 she decided she wanted to be with her mother.  But her relationship with her mom was very toxic.  Her mother was an alcoholic, drinking from sun up to sun down, going from husband to husband, and was verbally and emotionally very abusive.  I thought this was more of a non-fiction 'teaching" type of book when I first got it but it actually is more memoir with wisdom inserted throughout.   This is Sarah's story of not just sorrow and hardship brought about by not only her mother but also of all her wrong choices made out her desperate attempts at trying find acceptance in any way through her skewed understanding of love even as she worked trying to win her mother's love, but it is also a story of redemption that only God can bring about in a person's life.  It is not an easy read and Sarah does give trigger warnings in the beginning for many areas of trauma and cautions the reader to use discernment when reading, listing a few actions to take as you work your way through her book.  Her journey was not an easy one, very heartbreaking in every respect,  but such a very powerful story of redemption that it needs to be heard.  I found the book very insightful not just from her perspective but because she inserts entries from her mother's journal at the end of each chapter,  you also hear her mother's voice.  You get a glimpse of the mindset of an alcoholic and what got her mother there and the internal struggles she had while Sarah was growing up.  The reader gains understanding into so many areas of how addiction works and why grace is so important.  This book is for those who feel they and their situation are beyond hope, it extends hope to those buried in their toxic mother/daughter relationships, buried in pain and trauma, buried in the results of wrong decisions made from rejection and addiction. It's for all the hurt daughters who don't think their hearts will ever heal.  The last chapters deal with steps the reader can take on their own journey to find light and hope in the deepest darkness.

"Dysfunction does not have to be your legacy.  You may have been born into it, married into it, or created it yourself, but it does not have to be your destiny or your identity.  Victory is always on the table!"

Sarah Mae:  The Complicated Heart
pg  xv

Thank you to Sarah Mae for sending me this book.  It opened my heart and mind in so many ways.  If you want to check it out her blog it is here.  She sent me the book no strings attached a while ago and I think I read it in perfect timing.  She did not ask for a review or a link to her sight but I'm doing it because I think her story is important to a hurting women..  

Rating:  9.5/10

2023 Reading Goals Met:  Non-fiction November,  Read Your Shelf challenge


Faith said...

Memoirs seem to be all the rage currently!! This sounds like an important book for a woman recovering from an abusive parent(s) or trauma from an alcoholic parent. Thanks for sharing!!

Karen said...

I'd like to work up the courage to read this. My daughter continues to struggle with addiction, and perhaps it would help me understand her. I also feel like I'm finally in a good place, and just don't want to dig through it all again.