Book Review: The Children of Injustice by Ruth Auguste
These days, English class seems to be the only place teenagers read a book, and that is only because it is assigned to us. After reading, you put the book back on the shelf to let the cover collect dust, while the story drifts out of your mind as if you never really read it at all. Then there are the books that you can’t put down, the books that leave you mesmerised hoping that a sequel will soon come. These are the kind of books where the story stays in your head and plays over and over again in your thoughts, and you know no matter how many times you read it you will never get bored of it. “The Children of Injustice” by Ruth Auguste is one of those books.
This memoir, The Children of Injustice, follows young Ruth through her life growing up, her father denying her as his daughter, her mother’s abusive relationship and the constant abuse Ruth Auguste herself faced. She writes about how her grandfather abandoned her mother, and left her to stay with his friends promising to one day come back for her but never did, and because of that she and her mother faced constant ridicules from their neighbors. She writes about how her father denied her as his daughter and to this day still continues to disappoint her with empty promises.
The imagery in this book is so strong, it is as if you were in the book yourself. There were parts in the book that as I would read I could feel myself reacting to the situations. The time her stepfather took her to an abandoned house and raped her for the first time, I remember screaming “NO!” When the court granted custody to her stepfather, it was as if I could hear her screaming “Please let me go with my mommy”, both of us terrified as to what was to come next for her. There was one part though that hit me the most. I remember tears building up in my eyes as I read it, while clutching onto the book not wanting to stop reading. Her stepfather had kidnapped her mother and held her hostage for over a month, in which time the family had no idea if she was still alive or dead. I remember my hands trembling as I flipped the pages wanting to know if her mother was ok.
This book deals with serious and heavy issues like abuse, molestation, depression and abandonment. She is abandoned by her father, and as the years went on faces abuse from her stepfather, overcome with anger and depression. At a young age, Ruth has to grow up quickly to be able to take care of herself. Confused with why this is happening to her, yet motivated to figure it out, Ruth works hard to overcome her past. With every chapter, she moves closer and closer to freedom and understanding that what happened to her was not her fault.
If you like books that touch on heavy subject matter, then I suggest you give this book a try. This book is sort of a combination of the book Push by Sapphire and Dancing with the Devil by Amy Norman (both of which I love and would also recommend). It’s a story of struggle, tragedy, pain and ultimately, growing up and not giving up. Although her childhood wasn’t the greatest, she is now a confident, caring, loving mother. I am lucky enough to know Mrs. Auguste; I met her about two years ago, but I would have never thought that she had been through so much if I hadn’t read the book. With a smile on her face, and a need to help others achieve the best that they can be, she has come a long way from her horrendous childhood, and this book is just one of her many accomplishments, and is an extremely good read.