Category Archives: sexual abuse survivors

Review: “Unforgiving: Memoir of an Asperger Teen”.

Recently at the Surrey International Writer’s Conference, I had the privilege of spending some quality time with a writer who has greatly influenced the development of my writing.

Vanessa Grant writes romance novels, but the concepts she talked about years ago at a VPL event helped me in developing every relationship in my book.

I am proud to call her a friend as well as a mentor.  Here is the review she posted after reading my memoir: Unforgiving.

Published by Vanessa Grant on

Write it forward – the best gift

 November 12, 2012 | 3 Responses

Last month when I met Margaret Jean Adam at the Surrey International Writer’s Conference (SIWC), I had no idea that she was going to give me a treasure.  When I first spotted her, she was standing behind the BC Federation of Writers’ booth at the conference. We chatted for a few minutes before she mentioned that she’d attended a workshop I gave a few years ago.

“I learned something very important from you,” she said suddenly. “You taught me that characters must experience personal growth from their relationships.”

I learned most of what I know about writing from other authors – either reading their books, or listening to them speak about writing. I love talking about storytelling, and giving the occasional workshop, so it’s a pleasure to learn that I passed on something useful, a truth I didn’t fully learn until I’d written a several books.

The next day she gave me an autographed copy of her most recent memoir: M. J. Adam’s Unforgiving – the Memoir of an Asperger Teen

I’ve  just finished reading Unforgiving, and I can tell you, M. J. Adam is one hell of a writer.

Unforgiving – the Memoir of an Asperger Teen is one of the most beautiful books I have ever read.

M. J. Adam has crafted an inspiring book, a definite must-read for anyone who has, knows, is, or was an Asperger’s teen.

I highly recommend it for anyone who cares about child survivors of any kind of trauma, and for teens struggling to understand themselves and the world they live in.

I cried when I read this memoir. I laughed. I cheered Margaret Jean’s indomitable inner strength, and felt honoured that she had shared herself so deeply with this reader.

I like to think that I write good books, and I hope they give pleasure to my readers. M. J. Adam has done something more – she’s written a great book about life and relationships and coming of age.

Unforgiving is a rare treasure.

The events that happened to Margaret Jean should never happen to any child. Yet they did happen, and the miracle is that each page of Margaret Jean’s memoir rings with love, the amazing power of healing, and the spirit of survival.

I’ve learned something important from you, M. J. Adam.

Thank you

Vanessa

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The Ram’s Head Writer’s meeting is always engaging.  Hosted by Lisa Hatton in her home, it’s a friendly get together of several writers at varying stages in their careers.  Lisa is disbanding the group temporarily while she goes for surgery, and the camraderie and Lisa herself will be sadly missed.  When we left, we all admonished her to get well soon and email us the minute the meetings were back on.

Most people read some of their work, and the stories were engaging, the critiquing, sound.  Some of us got stuck on the word “inception” and a lot of discussion followed about the appropriate usage of the word.   We heard children’s stories, and in contrast, Jason read a chapter where his murderous antagonist runs amuck.  All great stuff.

For me, the hardest part about writing a book is understanding how it sounds to readers.  Last night at Lisa’s, I read chapter eleven of Unforgiving aloud.  I chose that chapter because it deals with the predator stalking Margaret Jean, choosing her as his target, and testing the family waters to see how the family will react.  This is a tense chapter largely fueled by a child’s outrage.

While reading, I looked up occasionally to see if my audience was engaged.  They were sitting up, leaning toward me, totally focused.  After the meeting, they all handled the book, some jotted down the title, and asked me where they could buy the book. 

I drove home, thrilled and excited.  Until I realized what I had forgotten– That I had five copies of the book in my trunk!

The Ram’s Head…

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