Ramblin Hamlin

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Category Archives: Non-Fiction

If You Tell Review

Title: If You Tell
Author: Gregg Olsen
Type: True Crime, Non-Fiction
Pages: 428
Rating: 4/5

**Trigger Warning
This story contains emotional, physical, verbal abuse as well as murder.

This was a pretty fast read for me. I can’t remember the last non-fiction book I read and I found this one to be hard to put down. The chapters were super short which is always a plus for me. The delivery of the story was pretty good, considering the content. The story is a collection of memories involving Shelly and her daughters Nikki, Sami and Tori. Shelly is sadistic and abusive. She pretty much abuses anyone she comes into contact with. She is a master manipulator and gas-lighter. Often times, Nikki, Sami and Tori struggled with what they were experiencing and seeing and what to do about it. If you can not stomach emotional, physical and verbal abuse then this probably isn’t the story for you. She got away with a lot and it’s sickening. At times, I wondered how something like this could happen and go on for as long as it did.

While the story is sad, it’s also about survival and sisterhood bonds. It is a heartbreaking read that shows how easy an abuser can manipulate, gaslight and abuse its victims. Shelly’s children were not the only victims of abuse. A few adults suffered abuse at the hands of Shelly too. I think that showcases how real Stockholm Syndrome is. I had never heard about this story and I found myself wanting to look more into the case when I finished the book.

Category Archives: Non-Fiction

Before and After: The Incredible Real-Life Stories of Orphans Who Survived the Tennessee Children’s Home Society Review

Title: Before and After: Real-Life Stories of Orphans Who Survived the Tennessee Children’s Home Society Review
Author: Judy Christie and Lisa Wingate
Type: Non-Fiction, History
Pages: 320
Rating: 4/5

When I read Before We Were Yours while incredibly sad, I loved it. When I make the recommendation that people should read it, I’m often met with “I can’t read anything where children are harmed.” I understand. I struggle with this too. Many people told me that Before We Were Yours broke them. As mother, it certainly made me hug my children extra tight.

In regards to Before We Were Yours, I often say, “Yeah, this story this sad and this story is hard to read but this happened and these children deserve to have their story told”

I was excited to read this novel because it went deeper. I was able to read about real stories as a result of Georgia Tann and TCHS. Many people read Wingate’s novel and were survives of TCHS. They related to the story and wanted to share how TCHS and Georgia Tann impacted their lives. If it wasn’t survivors of TCHS then it was the children of those survives, who wanted to know family history. I painful reminder of how the decisions of Georgia Tann will impact generations to come.

I enjoyed reading about their stories, oftentimes, the adoptees felt sad about missing out on relationships with siblings or half siblings but grateful for the life they did live. I highly recommend this one if you have read Before We Were Yours.

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