Ten Times Guilty
Reviewed by Ashley Merrill
As amazing as her most current book, Beyond the Quiet, Brenda Hill continues to awe and inspire her readers. Her heroic female characters are impossible not to fall head over heels in love with.
Tracy, a single mother with a baby boy, is trying her best at the game of life. She is providing just barely for her son by working as many hours at work as she can so they can hopefully someday eat better than spaghetti, rice and beans that seem to always be on their plates. Trying to find the time to attend college classes so she can better herself, Tracy speaks to her boss at the museum where she works about getting more hours. This is where she meets Karr. He is the new security guard. Seeing red flags when it comes to this man, Tracy decides to avoid him at all costs. Karr realizes she is doing this and starts to put the pressure on. He asks her on dates and doesn’t seem to like taking no for an answer. He even starts to make inappropriate sexual comments and advances.
Karr takes his advances to a whole new level when he follows her out of the museum one night, ignoring her requests for him to leave her alone. As Tracy continues to tell Karr to get lost, he becomes more and more angry, finally reaching his boiling point. He grabs her and brutally rapes and beats her, leaving her for almost dead, but not before threatening the life of her child if she ever tells.
Tracy is scared into silence. Thinking only of keeping her son safe, Tracy lies to the authorities about who did it and acts as though she did not see her attacker. She is put into the hospital for a few days to recover from her attack and decide what her next step is. Thinking that the worst is finally over couldn’t be further from the truth for Tracy. She finds she needs to pull all of her strength together, most of which she never even knew she possessed, to get through this trauma. With the help of some professionals in the field Tracy finds herself on a whirlwind of emotional ups and downs that prove to be the hardest test she will ever have to endure; one that will test not only her sense of security but also her own self worth.
Brenda Hill has a knack for creating vivid characters that touch her readers to their very souls. As much as I loved reading this courageous story, a part of me couldn’t help but wish it would end just so that Tracy’s pain would end. I don’t think I have ever hoped for a happy ending as much as I did with this book.
Not only could the characters be portrayed in real life, but Brenda Hill creates real life situations that can or have happened to women. As a survivor of sexual assault, I found this story refreshingly honest regarding the actual emotions that women go through when they are violated. This tells me that Brenda did her research. This book reiterated the fact that women can find strength from places they never knew existed both within themselves and from the outside world. This is a great reading tool for women to help keep their spirits alive when they feel like giving up the fight and letting their perpetrators win.
recommend this book to any woman who isn’t afraid to laugh, cry, and
the joys and sorrows of Brenda Hill's’ characters as they fight to
lives and seek justice.