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Reviewed by Gisela Dixon for Readers' Favorite
Survivalist to Thrivalist: One Woman's Journey by Deborah Kinisky is part two of a trilogy that is a memoir about Deborah’s life and how she found purpose and meaning in her life to be able to thrive in the world in spite of difficult beginnings and challenging circumstances. In this book, Deborah mainly focuses on describing her life events after she left home at the age of 20 to the age of almost 40. That being said, she has summarized the early years of her childhood, with her mother, her father with his pedophilic tendencies who showed inappropriate and sexualized behavior, her brother, her dysfunctional family, and basically her past of abuse and neglect. The book then describes how she left home with the help of a friend, her experiences with men and relationships, marriage and divorce, her children, working multiple jobs to maintain her family, and mainly how she overcame her early childhood experiences to not only find a way to survive in this world but to thrive and succeed in it.
I liked reading Survivalist to Thrivalist a lot and felt that Deborah has written in a direct, straight-from-the-heart style that is easy to read and relatable. Although this book is one of a trilogy, it can be read as a standalone book since there is enough background information provided for the new reader to pick up the story. Another thing I really liked was Deborah’s obvious love and concern for her own children and how she is able to make sure that the trauma and dysfunction from her own parents do not pass down to the next generation. This is hard to do and I appreciated Deborah sharing this journey with us. Overall, this is an excellent book to read, especially for women for whom unfortunately sexual abuse in society or from within the family is all too common and who may find inspiration or hope from Deborah’s story.