Author: Ruth Smith Meyer
Genre: Inspirational Fiction
Release Date: July 15, 2020
As a child, Benny Ribble bears the brunt of his parents' anger. Never good enough, he nonetheless tries to please them to hear some words of praise. When he finds himself on the receiving end of a girl's attention and affection, he thinks he's finally escaped the abuse he's suffered his whole life. Sadly, his marriage soon turns into another battlefield. Every time his wife, Alma, bursts his balloon of achievement with her put-downs, he sees himself once again failing to achieve his desire for approval.
Abuse is a fact, and children who are the victims of abuse often become abusers in adulthood or continue to be victims. Ben's and Alma's reactions to their childhood abuse take them in different directions and result in a dysfunctional family.
The path to change isn't a straight upward climb, but when Ben and Alma have an encounter that changes their lives, they find the courage to generate a gradual shift in behaviour.
Walk with Ben and Alma as they explore the intricate, twisting trek toward change, and be surprised with them by both rewards and challenges that occur along the way.
Reviewer: Abigail Thomas
Chains of Shame by Ruth Smith Meyer was an interesting read that focused on the power abuse can hold over a person if they never address it. I appreciated the fact that the author chose to focus on the effect abuse had on Benny, because often times, men are told to “man up” instead of working on the issue at hand. I also liked how she compared and contrasted Benny and his wife Alma, both victims, yet both choosing to deal with it in their own way.
When the book starts, the reader is shown the present day, with Alma yelling at Benny and contacting a counselor who she feels might knock some sense into him. But then it goes into the past and travels through the decades, showing us where the issues stemmed from, and the idiosyncrasies of life affected by their past. I found myself wrapped up in the story, waiting for the return to the present so I could see where that went. I feel this was a great choice for the author to choose to write, because it kept me reading.
I loved the way that God was present in this story, not with Benny and Alma, but with their kids, emulating 1 Timothy 4:12. And through this, an amazing change that could only be done by God’s hands was able to take place.
The only fault I really found with this novel was the writing style. I
felt it would have been a better read if it had been fine-tuned, especially when it came to Benny’s thoughts. I understood the idea, but the execution was lacking.
All in all, I thought this was a great read, and I read it fairly quickly. Benny was an adorable yet broken character who showed immense love for his family even if he failed at times. His struggles were real, and his choices were based upon what he knew. It’s a book I would recommend to anyone who gravitates toward reads that focus on the harder issues of life, yet long for the redemptive qualities at the end.
This book was provided courtesy of the author through Interviews & Reviews for my honest opinion.
Reviewer: Kevin Maltsberger
The book Chains of Shame, by Ruth Smith Meyer, is a gripping story on the little talked-about group of abused men. It is heartbreaking, touching, joyful, and this story deserves a voice. I highly recommend reading this book.
The author takes on a life that deals with abuse from the beginning to the end. We see life through the eyes of the abused and show how things can become normal, but that there is always hope. We get a view of what the protagonist thinks, what he feels, and his flaws that he faces every day.
I loved how we could see within the character's thoughts and how little is shared from this perspective. I was engrossed in the story, felt his pain, and yearned for the hope he had so much of. This book took the character's life from beginning through to the end, the ups and downs of his life, and the ultimate journey he faced with his family. The dialogue was natural, and the emotions we were able to feel through this book brought new feelings and opened my heart for those dealing with this issue. Giving a voice to a lost group of the abused tears at your heartstrings and was so intense to experience. I would definitely read another of this author's books.
This is the ultimate story of faith, the strength within a person, and how the cycle of abuse not only can be spread through generations but how it can be stopped. The desire for faith, redemption, and how people can fight the evil within themselves are strongly present. It paints a very strong picture of what the power of Jesus can do. I have learned so much reading this and look forward to more from this author.
A copy of this book was provided courtesy of the author through Interviews & Reviews, for my honest opinion.
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