Letting Go into Perfect Love
Discovering the Extraordinary after Abuse
by Gwendolyn M. Plano
This title was previously available on NetGalley and is now archived.
Pub Date 03 Jun 2014 | Archive Date 06 May 2014
Inspiring and unforgettable, Letting Go into Perfect Love is a riveting account of a journey through the terror of domestic violence to a faith that transforms all. As a college administrator, Gwendolyn M. Plano lived her professional life in a highly visible and accountable space—but as a wife and mother, behind closed doors, she and her family experienced unpredictable threat. The statistics are staggering—every 9 seconds in the United States, a woman is assaulted or beaten—but to Gwen, this was her secret; it was her shame. When her husband eventually turned his brutality on her son, she knew she could no longer remain silent. Alternately heart-wrenching and joyful, this is a story of triumph over adversity--one woman's uplifting account of learning how to forgive the unforgiveable, recover her sense of self, bring healing into her family, and honor the journey home. Accompanied by glimpses of celestial beings, Gwen charts a path through sorrow to joy—and ultimately, writes of the one perfect love we all seek. The story that unfolds is not a blow-by-blow account of savagery hidden within a twenty-five-year marriage; rather, it is a walk through innocent dreams betrayed—to courage found. “Tragedy spares no one;” Gwen points out, “it just courts each of us differently. One way or another, it finds a path into our hearts, and there we do battle with the intruder.” As a survivor who came out of her unhealthy relationship determined to start over, Gwen artfully depicts the challenges of balancing the obligations of motherhood and career with her family's healing process, while offering hope to anyone facing monumental challenges. Integral to Gwen’s journey is her faith. Because of her Catholic upbringing, she struggles with the scandal of divorce, but finally makes her peace. When her daughter reveals her molestation by clergy, however, her fragile sense of serenity dissolves. We walk with Gwen as she tries to make sense of this horror. The agony experienced by the entire family is devastatingly palpable. Against all odds, Gwen emerges confident of her faith and begins to see the threads of meaning in even the darkest moments. The San Francisco Book Review gave Letting Go into Perfect Love a five-star rating and called it a “redemptive memoir.” Publishers Weekly Review stated that the book is a “gripping memoir of surviving domestic violence and coping with the sexual abuse of her daughter...Ultimately life affirming, her journey will ring true to readers familiar with domestic violence and anyone who feels trapped and crippled by shame and self-blame.” And Stanley Stefancic of the Hoffman Institute wrote, “It is said that the difference between ‘try’ and ‘triumph’ is a lot of ‘umph’. Through Plano’s many trials and challenges, she applied a lot of ‘umph’ and charted a heroic path. There is much to be learned from this beautifully written story.” This is a book for all. But, for those who have been in a destructive relationship, Gwen’s story will be heartbreakingly familiar. For those who have been spared such diminishment, it will provide insight into the often misunderstood phenomenon of domestic violence. Since one in every four women will experience such threat in her lifetime, understanding that murky world may provide the reader with the skills needed to help his or her sister or friend or neighbor. Whether victim or friend, though, readers will be inspired by the author’s courage and ultimate resolution of her predicament. And, you may see your own challenges a little differently.
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