Book Review – Hieroglyphs – Shana Hammaker

Memoirs are a magical thing. They take you outside of your own life’s perspectives and slap you in the face with another. Hieroglyphs by Shana Hammaker delivers gut punch after gut punch. It’s the story of the author’s troubled childhood, one that ultimately ended up on the streets. The book is a walking trigger warning, so be advised.

This is the memoir of a survivor, as our heroine Shana tells us about her trials and how she pushed through them. She’s lived in group homes, endured horrible parents who seemed like something out of a movie. But, monsters are real and we meet many of them in this book. Shana is strong, however, and she always overcomes. There is always hope.

This book was tough to read in places. It makes you sad, it makes you angry. It makes you want to give the author a hug. It makes you want to find a baseball bat. I found that there was a genuine feel to the story, one that you don’t often see in retrospect. Nothing is sugar-coated and I liked that, no matter what the emotional toll was.

What I find truly admirable is that we don’t need to be told there was a “happy” ending. We’re reading the book, so while it is evident that the author made it through these hard times, it ends leaving us wide open for more stories from a side of life few wish to tread. If another such memoir is released, I would definitely read it, because it’s easy to look down on the less fortunate. It’s hard to look at them as people, and that’s exactly what this story did. It humanized a person I’ve never met.

By Thea

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