MH@H Book Reviews

Book Review: Battered, Tattered, But Not Shattered

Book review: Battered, Tattered, but Not Shattered

Battered, Tattered, But Not Shattered: Finding The Strength In What Remains is a memoir by Marie Abanga.  This is part of a series of memoir accounts, and focuses on her abusive marriage and how she rebuilt her life afterwards.

I always enjoy Marie’s unique way with words, like this gem: “I know I have the guts to write about this, especially as an African brought up in the culture of ‘learning to wash dirty linen in your bowels’.”

The book explores Marie’s marriage, which she describes as a sham and likens to a Cold War, her eventual decision to leave him, and her journey of building her life back up again.  She explains that in Cameroonian society, it’s considered acceptable for men to ignore their wives to teach them proper submissiveness.  What began as emotional abuse escalated to physical as well as financial abuse and forced sexual intercourse.

Once she made the difficult decision to leave her husband and leave her children behind, she fled to the wilderness, which she defines as “any place where there is simply no ‘sunshine’ or hope for a near good ending.”  She made her way to Dubai, then on to Tanzania where she worked with the International Criminal Court for Rwanda, and then on to Belgium to pursue further education.

She describes the culture shock of moving to Belgium, and refers to herself as a Mary Just Come.  However, she “Dared 2 Dare” and, with the support of a Super Superhero, took advantage of the opportunities that became available to her.  The book follows her transition from a Mary Just Come to a Mary Knows Plenty.

She shares a list of 36 lessons she had learned over 36 years of life, concluding with: “Baring myself in my memoir was the most dreadful thing l did to my family, the most therapeutic thing l did for myself, and an amazing thing l did for my community.”

She also writes about losing her day-old daughter, and concludes the book with a touching letter to her.

What was perhaps most interesting for me with this book was the insight it gave into Cameroonian culture and attitudes towards marriage and family.  It was also interesting to read about Marie’s experience of culture shock adjusting from living in Africa to living in Europe.  And of course as always, Marie’s personality is very much infused into her writing.  A fascinating read.

Battered, Tattered, But Not Shattered is available on Amazon.

The author’s blog is Marie Abanga’s Blog.

You can find my other book reviews here.

A Beginner's Guide to Self-Publishing from Mental Health @ Home

A Beginner’s Guide to Self-Publishing is a mini e-book containing all the knowledge and tricks that I’ve picked up from self-publishing two books.  It’s available from the MH@H Download Centre.

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9 thoughts on “Book Review: Battered, Tattered, But Not Shattered”

    1. Thank you so much, I write from the inside out and imagine myself as the reader lol. I therefore try to be authentic, vulnerable and realistic not only in my writing but above all in my living hahaha. I am sure you’ll appreciate the read especially as spring draws near.

  1. Dear Ashley,

    Oh my. What an honour. Here I am still struggling with your 1st book and you have already devoured and reviewed 3 of mine. The good news is, I finished writing my 7th book yesterday and can now focus on reading your book which was marked as the only book I am reading in March. 7 more days to go therefore hahaha. Thank you once more so much dearest Ashley, I really appreciate and wish you all the best.

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