What exactly is it which helps people to persevere through dark and challenging times? When the world seems as if it is upside down and filled with absolute anguish and grief. This situation will drive many people to their knees, with no hope of ever getting back up again. However, there are others who will not only rise- but actually grow stronger. With all the odds stacked against them, they still manage to survive and thrive. Instead of succumbing and capitulating to the heartbreaking circumstances, they do the exact opposite. In her book Love is the Answer, God is the Cure, Aimee Cabo Nikolov provides a virtual case study for just such a scenario. For those readers who may be seeking an inspirational read which explores the power of love and faith… this could very well be the book for you!
The main body of the memoir is focused upon the trials and tribulations of the author, Aimee Cabo Nikolov. She shares the main events of her life in a frank, open and very intense fashion. It is a graphic and raw account of her life which is seen through her own eyes.
The memoir opens on a highly-spirited note as Aimee meets her eventual husband while on a holiday. He is the epitome of everything which the other significant males in her life have not been to this point…kind, understanding and respectful. This loving relationship is juxtaposed with the dark and horrific reality of her past. Having experienced childhood sexual abuse at the hands of her stepfather and the other various men in her life, Aimee finds herself fighting her parents in a highly publicized court battle. Denying all culpability, her parents try everything they can to depict Aimee as troubled and unstable. This is truly the nightmare of any abuse survivor as Aimee is virtually forced to relive her tortuous experiences.
Nevertheless, her difficulties do not end there. She also had to manage poverty, drug addiction, abuse and a very nasty custody battle over her daughter with an estranged ex-husband. Add to all of this the fact that Aimee had to work as an escort to survive, and almost saw her daughter murdered by a tenant, and you are able to perceive the true depth and appalling nature of the obstacles she has struggled to overcome. The question which then arises is how can one person possibly hope to survive such struggles and persevere through what appear to be insurmountable odds? In truth, that is really what this memoir is all about.
Throughout all of the turmoil which Aimee had to endure, it has been her faith in God which has seen her through. That has been the great equalizer. As an illustration of the true depth of her belief, each chapter in the book begins with a prayer. This certainly helps the reader understand how someone can undergo such a tragic and excruciatingly painful experience and still be able to see the positive and beauty in life. This is a very powerful message which will certainly resonate with the vast majority of readers.
The writing in the book is also quite crisp and clear. Apart from the actual subject matter, it is a relatively easy read as the ideas flow into one another quite well. There is also a great balance of despair and faith. As readers, we are able to feel Aimee’s pain along with her- but also get to experience her new sense of hope and joy. This balance works exceedingly well and helps to keep the reader glued to the pages.
Since this book is written in the first-person, we get to know the various characters through Aimee’s eyes. This in turn means that our understanding and view of many different individuals is pretty much in line with the author’s perspective. It could certainly be argued that this in turn generates somewhat flat and unreliable characters. However, the nature of a personal memoir is to get into the author’s mind in order to better understand their motivations, perceptions, thoughts and emotions. I believe this to be exceptionally well done in this book as it all appears to be authentic, genuine and quite raw. Aimee Cabo Nikolov did not hold anything back in this book!
Overall I enjoyed this memoir immensely. I found it to be heart-wrenching… yet very inspirational. My hope is that it provides further healing to a very strong woman, and also hope to many others who may be suffering under similar circumstances. I highly recommend this book to adult audiences only as there are some very graphic scenes.
5 out of 5 Inspirational Stars for this one!