Overall Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
“Most of us wait until we feel as if we are drowning in desperation and hopelessness before we consider changing our lives and seeking answers”
My first non-fiction book review has been an incredible learning curve! This book really opened my eyes to what is happening to so many people around the world and to understand the fear some of us are living in, day in, day out. After reading, I’ve found myself feeling super lucky to be in a good place and to have grown up with the best people around me. I admit that I have been a bit ignorant, and I’ve not truly understood how much abuse is happening across the world until now. We really need to fix this, and fast.
Finding Your Voice by Mannette Morgan is a comprehensive guide for survivors of abuse. Written by an author who has walked this difficult path for over three decades, readers can find support and encouragement as they join others on the difficult road to recovery. Mannette uses personal anecdotes, accumulated knowledge and expert techniques to get her message across and to help her readers navigate a new path.
The book starts like a story, painting the picture of Mannette’s life before she settled down with her husband. Starting the book in this way instantly creates an important connection between the author and reader, and I for one felt as though I could trust her – even getting to know her well through her words. I think anyone suffering from abuse may find it hard to trust someone, especially someone they’ve never met. Gaining the reader’s trust is such an important part of getting your message across with a book of this nature, and Mannette has done this perfectly and very effectively.
Mannette mentions that she hid from her father to prevent abuse in her younger days, and this was very sad to read. It’s something I can’t even begin to imagine, seeing as I was lucky enough to have a wonderful father who has taught me so much and supported me right from day one. It opened my eyes to other people’s suffering, and the author has done a great job of placing you in her own shoes, making you feel how she felt at her lowest. As painful as this is to read, I think it is necessary for the reader to understand what her position was back then, to really appreciate how far she has come on her journey to recovery. Some readers may even be able to relate to this on a more personal level.
Throughout the book, Mannette has made it easy for her readers to spot the signs of abuse and to identify whether they’re suffering from it. After reading up on a range of definitions, it shocked me to hear how many different ways people suffer, and just how many people can appear okay on the outside, when they’re crumbling inside. A few years ago, I suffered from verbal and emotional abuse myself through an incredibly toxic relationship, and reading some of these signs was all too familiar! It’s so important for not only those being abused to recognise it, but for everyone to know the signs too. Knowing when to step in and help someone at the right time can be a lifeline to those in need.
“Despite my extroverted, optimistic and free-spirited nature, the real me slowly faded away.”
I really liked how the author has made it easy for the reader to feel included, and straight away, she helps them to begin their path to recovery in a number of ways. For example, the reader is gently encouraged to answer questions about their life and situation, helping them to look at the wider picture and make them think about their suffering in ways they may not have thought about before. It’s also worth mentioning at this point that there is a Finding Your Voice Workbook available, which can be used alongside the reading of the book to document your answers to questions, track your progress and to see how far you have come in your own road to recovery.
The author goes through a number of strategies for how to cope with the recovery period of abuse. The book details just how important it is to try different things to work out what is best suited to your own individual recovery plan. I for one believe you should never keep anything bottled up, but at the same time, spend that much needed time alone if you need to. I really loved how the author understands how different each person is, and that we all deal with things differently, making the book perfectly matched to a variety of people suffering from the same pain and loneliness.
Mannette continues to craft her expertly developed knowledge with personal stories, creating a safe haven for those looking for help. The text is easy to read and digest for readers of all abilities, and it’s perfectly structured to ensure that, keen reader or not, you’ll be able to read as much or as little as you wish at a time, without losing your way. At different points in the book, Mannette includes facts and figures about abuse to help you put things into perspective. I thought this was a great addition to the book to help people feel like they are not alone, and to understand that others have suffered from the same or similar types of abuse.
There is a particular focus on ‘The Big 3‘ throughout the middle of the book; self-acceptance, unconditional love and self respect. These are the three recommended qualities you need for a successful recovery. Mannette goes through each of these with a fine tooth comb – she helps the reader identify new ways to improve the way they think and act by giving ‘homework’ style activities based on these three qualities. I loved how much this kept me engaged and made me feel even more determined. Readers suffering with the aftermath of abuse are sure to take up these activities and complete them in their own time, encouraging themselves to work hard to see progress.
“I had been a victim, and now it was time to be a survivor.”
I really enjoyed reading through Chapter 7 – Discover Happiness and Joy. I liked the metaphors Mannette used to get her points across and how she makes things so simple for her readers to understand. Discovering happiness after being so unhappy for so long was a big thing for the author, and is equally important for anyone suffering from abuse, no matter their journey so far. This chapter takes the reader on a new journey to find out what makes them happy and to identify the parts of life that can be changed in order to feel better about oneself. Mannette has done an incredible job of keeping the reader in the ‘save zone’ of her book, and I’m confident that what has been explored will save the lives of many.
Personal time is important as you work through the ending chapters of Finding Your Voice. The author goes from holding the reader’s hand each step of the way, to gently letting you go further afield on your own as you learn the right techniques to get you through your struggling. I thought it was great that the author has planned out the book this way, giving out bigger, more important workbook tasks to the reader towards the end of their journey, ensuring that they are capable of coming out of that shell and back into the real world at a good pace.
The ending of the book places some importance on the need for effective communication, which I strongly agree with. Basic communication, at the very least, is an essential step to recovery, and learning how to do this in the right way is so important in the recovery process. Mannette teaches the reader how to become more confident in how they communicate, allowing them to talk about how they feel and learn new ways to overcome their suffering.
I loved the way Mannette closes the book in the final chapter. She ends by giving one final anecdote – her final success story. It’s so heartwarming to see how far the author has come in her journey and how she now feels the confidence to speak about her experience and to help others on their own personal journeys. I’m confident that this book will continue to help many people, and Mannette seems like the ultimate role model!
“If you spend all your time worrying about the negative ‘What ifs’ of tomorrow, you aren’t focusing on what could be today.”
The book doesn’t leave anything uncovered, and ends in a way that enables the reader to put what they’ve learnt into practice, which is the main goal! I feel as though the author has completed her mission here and provided survivors of abuse with detailed information and guidance to help them get their lives back on track.
Finding Your Voice is an astounding book with a clear message – to help those suffering from abuse and to encourage those who have suffered to find their way in life. Mannette Morgan is a very talented writer, and it is clear that she has developed the best proven techniques along with real life experience to share with those in need. The book is written in a very clear and concise manner, and contains invaluable information for the right people to keep with them for a lifetime.
On behalf of everyone suffering, or those that have suffered from some kind of abuse, thank you, Mannette, for bringing hope and a new future to so many people! You can purchase your own copy of Finding Your Voice on Amazon UK or US, available on Kindle, Audiobook, paperback or hardback. Follow Mannette over on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram for more updates!