Monday, June 6, 2011

Review" The River of Forgetting by Jane Rowan

The River of Forgetting: A Memoir of Healing from Sexual Abuse
"People don't make up things like that for fun."
That's what Jane Rowan's therapist tells her when Jane reports fragmentary memories from her childhood that hint at sexual abuse. A busy, successful scientist, Jane at first fights the implications, but when vivid body-memories sweep through her, she finally has to admit that something indeed happened.

As her mother is dying, Jane must decide whether to confront her. Meanwhile, bizarre harassment at work echoes the earlier trauma. Jane's talented and unconventional therapist provides a lifeline of love and guidance; the intimate unfolding of this relationship is a central through-story. Gradually Jane learns deep trust both for her therapist and her own intuitions. Using creative arts to access her strength and aliveness, Jane reconciles with both her parents' love and their betrayal.

This deeply personal memoir invites the reader behind the closed doors of the therapist's office and into the author's journal and her very body. Jane's tender story shows how we can use the challenges of painful childhood traumas to transform our lives with power and joy.- Summary taken from Goodreads

The River of Forgetting is a memoir written by a successful college professor of science. Soon after her father's death, while in her 50's Rowan begins having startling memories of childhood abuse. The book follows her as she goes down a path of remembrance and  healing. We see her go through many stages of the process from disbelief, to confusion, to anger and beyond. Luckily for Rowan, she had a truly gifted and caring therapist to help her through the process.

I can't imagine going through such a horrific ordeal but then to go through your entire life not remembering only to have your memories of it thrust upon you later in life? It's unimaginable. I is was incredibly interesting to see the multiple types of therapy that the author uses to deal with her memories from traditional therapy to art therapy, dance and movement, and poetry. The book has several of the author's poems dispersed throughout which give a great deal of insight into her frame of mind at those times. I found the whole thing to be an incredibly powerful story of healing and recovery.

*Disclaimer- I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review

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