Author: Jane Hersey
First copyright date: 2013
Type of book: Poverty, food, deprivation, lack of love, child caretakers, Great Britain, mental illnesses, 1970s-1980s?, Judaism in Great Britain, abusive relationships, taking care of self, Jewish female/Goy Male, employment, cycle
General subject matter: Child caretakers, poverty, fear, attachment
Special features: N/A
Price: 7.99 pounds
My body shook with the first kick to my naked body.
His boots were heavy. First he kicked at my legs. Then my thighs. I curled in a ball to try to protect myself, his kicks penetrated me, the bones in my back and ribs felt like they were crumbling. I knew I was going to die...
Screams echoed around the room as I tried to reach up to the window so I could jump out.
Full Circle continues the life story of Jane Hersey which began with Breath in the Dark. It tells the harrowing true tale of a socially isolated young woman, who is neglected, physically and emotionally abused and living in poverty and deprivation. 'I was 16 years old when I left Manchester, struggling with emotional and related physical problems. Unable to hold down a job I found myself homeless. Coerced into a relationship I quickly became pregnant. Soon after my partner turned extremely violent. The emotional and physical abuse was relentless. After a life threatening beating I left in the middle of the night with my 18 month old baby. Refused help by the Homeless Families Department because I had lived out of Manchester for three years, I found myself homeless with a baby, at the mercy of unscrupulous people, forced into prostitution and sexually exploited.
Eventually I found an attic flat for myself and my son in a dilapidated, vermin infested house. Three years later the Jewish Social Services got involved and offered me a decent flat on condition that I brought my son up in the Jewish faith, I agreed. I was 25 when I returned to the Jewish community. The first book in this autobiographical series was featured in The Jewish Telegraph, Ireland's Big Issue and Jane appeared on a wide range of radio shows from Newstalk to the BBC. It's been reviewed by the Madness and Literature Network (University of Nottingham) and included on the reading list for mental health nurses and recommended as a key text for clinicians, students, carers and parents.
Author's Purpose: In the first book the reader witnesses Jane and her mother's relationship, as well as her mother's habits and behaviors, which Jane begins to emulate as she grows up. Personally I think she has written the sequel to show what happens to children who were in her situation as well as give hope and voice to those who have none.
a. Why did the author write on this subject rather than on some other subject?
I think it might be part of healing and of trying to come in terms of what has happened with her.
b. From what point of view is the work written?
This is written in first person narrative from Jane's point of view, from the time she became a teenager to the time she is in her mid 20s.
c. Was the author trying to give information, to explain something technical, to convince the reader of a belief’s validity by dramatizing it in action?
I think she was trying to give information as well as paint a vivid picture of what it was like for her after she graduated school to the time she is in a relationship and is trying to support herself.
d. What is the general field or genre, and how does the book fit into it? (Use outside sources to familiarize yourself with the field, if necessary.) Knowledge of the genre means understanding the art form. and how it functions.
The general field it would go into is psychology and partly historical because she gives details on what has happened to her and how vulnerable she was to exploitation as well as how it seems that no one really knew how to help her, or at least they weren't equipped properly to help her.
e. Who is the intended audience?
The intended audience could be anyone and everyone, although the main public would be people who specialize in children who come from similar background of abuse and neglect.
f. What is the author's style? Is it formal or informal? Evaluate the quality of the writing style by using some of the following standards: coherence, clarity, originality, forcefulness, correct use of technical words, conciseness, fullness of development, fluidity. Does it suit the intended audience?
The author's style is short and informal. She never tries to show off, but instead gives simple direct sentences that will send chills through one's bones.
g. Scan the Table of Contents, it can help understand how the book is organized and will aid in determining the author's main ideas and how they are developed - chronologically, topically, etc.
This is a much shorter book than Breath in the Dark. It's divided into twelve chapters along with a preface and an epilogue of what happened when she turned twenty eight.
g. How did the book affect you? Were any previous ideas you had on the subject changed, abandoned, or reinforced due to this book? How is the book related to your own course or personal agenda? What personal experiences you've had relate to the subject?
There were times when I sort of wanted to strangle people who have hurt Jane, or I wanted to yell at them that they were doing this incorrectly. In the book, it seemed as if all men wanted to, well take advantage of her. Jane perceived every man as taking advantage of her as the truth, but perhaps she was misreading body language or intentions. My heart was really breaking for her.
h. How well has the book achieved its goal?
I think the book has achieved the goal very well because for one it gives hope to those who have grown up like her, and for another she reminds public not to get complacent when it comes to children who grew up in similar situations.
i. Would you recommend this book or article to others? Why?
I really would recommend it to others because for one its a sequel to her original book, and I was really impressed with the added layers throughout the book, as well as how the core of her remained the same.
a. Theme: The theme is the subject or topic. It is not necessarily the title, and it is usually not expressed in a complete sentence. It expresses a specific phase of the general subject matter.
The cycle continues and children often end up like parents.
b. Thesis: The thesis is an author’s generalization about the theme, the author’s beliefs about something important, the book’s philosophical conclusion, or the proposition the author means to prove. Express it without metaphor or other figurative language, in one declarative sentence.
Its possible to survive and to thrive in spite of the circumstances later in life
Quick notes: I would like to thank the author for the opportunity to read and review the book.
5 out of 5
(0: Stay away unless a masochist 1: Good for insomnia 2: Horrible but readable; 3: Readable and quickly forgettable, 4: Good, enjoyable 5: Buy it, keep it and never let it go.)