16 Jun 2018

You Carried Me by Melissa Ohden Review

Published UK Monarch Books, October 2017
USA Plough Publishing House, January 2017  
Print and Ebook 

What happens when an abortion survivor finds her birth mother, who never knew her daughter was alive?

Melissa Ohden is fourteen when she learns she is the survivor of a botched abortion. In this intimate memoir she details for the first time her search for her biological parents, and her own journey from anger and shame to faith and empowerment.

After a decade-long search Melissa finally locates her birth father and writes to extend forgiveness, only to learn that he has died without answering her burning questions. Melissa becomes a mother herself in the very hospital where she was aborted. This experience transforms her attitude toward women who have had abortions, as does the miscarriage of her only son and the birth of a second daughter with complex health issues. But could anything prepare her for the day she finally meets her birth mother and hears her side of their story?

This intensely personal story of love and redemption illumines the powerful bond between mother and child that can overcome all odds.

My Review: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

I don't often read biographies, but chose this one because it sounded so interesting. Indeed it was. The writing style might not always be according to everyone's taste, but Mrs Ohden's story is one that needs to be told.

Abortion is clearly one of the great taboos of our day: survivors who share their story should not be attacked and despised in the way Melissa has been.
Sadly, this will always happen as long as stories like hers prick the collective conscience. Especially when that involves highlighting the actions of the popular: such as the advert Melissa took part in making which revealed how Senator Barack Obama voted 'to deny basic constitutional rights to babies born alive after failed abortions' four times.

Yet her story also cannot fail to incite compassion, rather that judgement. Often, this whole subject is reduced to a simple matter of 'choice' by people on both sides of the ideological divide. In fact, many women and young girls are coerced or pressurized by those more powerful than them, including parents, or 'deceived' into thinking that 'the price of their happiness is the life of their child'. These women are also victims.
It makes you think that abortion is not simply an act of violence: it is the ultimate abuse of power over the powerless. Both women and their unborn children.

Above all, this is the story of a survivor, who not only survived, but learned to forgive, overcome and find what she most wanted in the end. It carries many important lessons to impart to the rest of us. Recommended.

Published in the UK by Monarch/Lion Hudson, from whom I requested the PDF on Netgalley. I was not required to write a positive one and all opinions expressed are my own.

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