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Reviewed by Viga Boland for Readers' Favorite
In this “me too” era, it’s good to see victims of sexual abuse like Megan, the narrator of Finding the Face of Evil, coming out at last and sharing their stories. For too many like Megan, it’s taken decades, even a lifetime, to find the courage to speak up. Megan was a happy 19-year-old when she went out to enjoy herself after work and woke up the next morning not knowing how she got home or what happened to her. All she had were flashes of memory, nothing concrete, not even a face she could recall. What had happened to her? Had she been roofied? All she knew for certain, after she showered and removed any signs of DNA, and once she discovered she was pregnant, was that she had been raped. With so little to go on, she never reported it. It took 19 years for the truth to come out and only then thanks to the diligence of her husband and his aunt.
Like so many of us who have experienced sexual abuse and kept quiet about it, her silence took a toll on Megan, mentally, physically and financially until her husband came into her life. When she was told by a female detective that the only way to get justice is to get a confession, the idea to write this memoir was born. Since Megan didn’t feel she could write the book, her husband’s aunt, Bernice Snell, took on the job of telling Megan’s story and together they experienced what we abuse victims know only too well: “Telling others gives you your power back and frees you of the emotions connected with the assault.”
Stylistically, this is an easy to read story that can be finished in one sitting. Like most memoirs, the author relies on simple narrative to tell Megan's story with little dialogue but somehow she manages beautifully to convey Megan's initial confusion over what happened and the identity of her rapist, followed by her 19 years of fear that her husband will learn the truth about her son's biological father...that he was a rapist! What set this story apart from others I've read about rape...and which surprised me most...is the fact that the identity of the rapist was uncovered by tracing the ancestry of Megan's son. Who would have thought that this current popular pastime of tracing your genealogy could narrow it down so well? That's impressive and offers victims a useful tool should they find themselves in a situation similar to Megan's. Megan and Bernice hope you will share Finding the Face of Evil with others to encourage other victims to rid themselves of shame and blame as Megan has done. There is such comfort and healing in knowing we are not alone.