Monday, April 22, 2019

Book Review: 'Ordinary Girl' by Pamela Gossiaux

Ordinary Girl by Pamela Gossiaux

Exploring the world of sexual abuse

Michigan author and freelance writer Pamela Gossiaux is an inspirational Christian speaker and the author of ‘Why is There a Lemon in My Fruit Salad? How to Stay Sweet When Life Turns Sour’, ‘A Kid at Heart: Becoming a Child of our Heavenly Father’, ‘Six Steps to Successful Publication: Your Guide to Getting Published,’ proving her abilities as a humorist and a sensitive thinker. Her other books - ‘Good Enough’, ‘Mrs. Chartwell and the Cat Burglar’, ‘Trusting the Cat Burglar’, and ‘Romancing the Cat Burglar’ established her as an important contemporary author. And now she steps into the arena of social commentary while scribing this exceptional novel about human trafficking – ‘Ordinary Girl.’

Having proved her ability to write cogent adult romantic comedy, Pamela expands her purview in creating a well-crafted and involving story that places the tragic crime of sexual abuse before the reader in a novel that works on every level. The story is fiction but is based on Pamela’s investigation of the reports of true survivors of sexual abuse, making this a novel of tremendous impact.

Composing a seductive synopsis is a gift and here Pamela shines, too. ‘A harrowing tale of high school senior Heather who’s headed for college, but suddenly finds herself the victim of sex trafficking - Trafficked! I close my eyes and pretend I’m not me anymore. I try not to smell his stale breath on my face or feel what he’s doing to me. It’s over quickly, and this one doesn’t want to stay. He stands, zips his pants, and leaves. The shift seems harder than usual, and my skin crawls worse with each new man who enters my motel room. I want to leave, to run, but Tommy’s thug is standing guard out in the parking lot. And if he leaves, there’s always someone else. Always. There’s no chance of escape. Ever.’ Pamela describes the descent of Heather into the life of sexual abuse using the inner pain of the character instead of R rated graphic scene descriptions usually associated with stories of this genre. And that makes the emotional impact of her writing even stronger. 

The elegance of her prose is suggested by the opening passage: ‘I sit on the edge of the motel bed and swallow the pill that will help me relax. My shaking hand sloshes the water in the glass. I am scared all the time. Fear is constantly clawing at my stomach. Sometimes it’s quiet. Sometimes it shouts at me. The pills help quiet its voice. There’s a single knock on the door, and it opens. A man walks in and my stomach flip-flops. He is here early, and the pill hasn’t had time to take effect yet. The last one wore off already.’

Pamela Gossiaux has become a major player in the realm of writing. She deserves the rewards and attention that are bound to come her way! 

Editor's note: This review has been published with the permission of Grady Harp. Like what you read? Subscribe to the SFRB's free daily email notice so you can be up-to-date on our latest articles. Scroll up this page to the sign-up field on your right.

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