“Scars” Cheryl Rainfield

2010. WestSide Books. 248 pp. (Includes “Author’s Note,” and “Resource Guide for Readers.”)

ScarsFifteen-year-old Kendra’s memories and cutting episodes have been getting worse. Sexually abused from the age of 2 until she was 12 years old , and unable to cope with the trauma, she’s resorted to cutting herself. Cutting frees her mind from the pain, as blood gushing from her arm is tension releasing itself from her soul. Working with her therapist Caroline, and painting tortured canvasses under the tutelage of her art teacher have helped release some of her emotions, but her cutting gets worse when her attacker starts to stalk her.

He had promised to kill her if she told anyone, so his notes and messages for her to keep quiet leave Kendra terrified of remembering. She feels her world coming apart at the seams until she meets Meghan, who helps calm her and who understands her pain. Meghan promises to love and stand by her, so Kendra feels herself grow stronger even in the midst of her uncertainty. Unfortunately her attacker knows where she lives…

“Scars” doesn’t pull any punches, as it shares the details of a young girl traumatized sexually, mentally, emotionally and physically who learns to reach beyond herself for help. Readers aged 14 and older will find an audience in her message.

PS – In her Dedication, Rainfield wrote she wanted to reach “every abuse survivor and every person who’s ever hurt themselves to cope.” I, too, hope these survivors will see their faces in Kendra’s story and get the help they desperately need before it’s too late.

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