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Invisible Women: True Stories of Courage And Survival

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Many of the women who contacted Jacky after the publication of Fatwa identified with her horrific story of abuse and violent harassment. Jacky has interviewed some of these women, from different races and religions, whose suffering has remained invisible within society. From the woman who was neglected and abused by her whole family as a child to a teenage girl fighting Many of the women who contacted Jacky after the publication of Fatwa identified with her horrific story of abuse and violent harassment. Jacky has interviewed some of these women, from different races and religions, whose suffering has remained invisible within society. From the woman who was neglected and abused by her whole family as a child to a teenage girl fighting against a forced arranged marriage, these stories are diverse and moving and sometimes without a happy ending. Invisible Women is a reminder that women are still vulnerable to abuse and control, but it also shows the remarkable inner resources by which they can survive.


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Many of the women who contacted Jacky after the publication of Fatwa identified with her horrific story of abuse and violent harassment. Jacky has interviewed some of these women, from different races and religions, whose suffering has remained invisible within society. From the woman who was neglected and abused by her whole family as a child to a teenage girl fighting Many of the women who contacted Jacky after the publication of Fatwa identified with her horrific story of abuse and violent harassment. Jacky has interviewed some of these women, from different races and religions, whose suffering has remained invisible within society. From the woman who was neglected and abused by her whole family as a child to a teenage girl fighting against a forced arranged marriage, these stories are diverse and moving and sometimes without a happy ending. Invisible Women is a reminder that women are still vulnerable to abuse and control, but it also shows the remarkable inner resources by which they can survive.

30 review for Invisible Women: True Stories of Courage And Survival

  1. 5 out of 5

    Stef Rozitis

    I expected a lot more than I got from this book, even though I thought I had modest expectations, given that the author was seemingly not primarily a writer but just someone who had something important to share with us. And it was important. Her premise that many women are "invisible" and she has a narrow interpretation of this invisibility as focusing only on women who are suffering some sort of individualised abuse (as opposed to the systemic abuses of poverty and ageism which for me would hav I expected a lot more than I got from this book, even though I thought I had modest expectations, given that the author was seemingly not primarily a writer but just someone who had something important to share with us. And it was important. Her premise that many women are "invisible" and she has a narrow interpretation of this invisibility as focusing only on women who are suffering some sort of individualised abuse (as opposed to the systemic abuses of poverty and ageism which for me would have been a broader and better view of "invisible" if even alluded to). I accepted this narrow view, however, as maybe being all that was manageable in a short and easily readable book. This was the first of many excuses I tried to make for the flaws of the book (as I wanted to be supportive of the author). As I said, I think telling the untold stories of women's experiences IS important, however I was disappointed at the shallow and over-emotional telling that put the narrator, Jacky too firmly in the centre of other people's stories. What came through too much was her desire to bignote herself as a wise counselor (more about that later). The many adjectives and adverbs and long lingering descriptions of people's lives and of the specifics of each abuse, together with the absence of any sort of consciousness raising or below surface reflection makes the stories survivor porn rather than activist. Or maybe not even that, since some of the characters do not even survive. At times Jacky said something that was a good point (eg on p173 where she makes the point that the abusive version of Islam is actually a travesty against what the religion is supposed to be...this is a point she returns to a few times and well done for that since we need to know that). She seems unable to sustain this clear thinking though, or draw logical connections between it and other places where she comes through as a naive, mollycoddled cultural imperialist (even after her awful experience which you would have thought would give her some perspective). She idealises (predominantly white) men and relationships, has a Disney-princess like chapter about her dancing around happily in her home with her Prince Charming early on in the book and throughout the book never seems to fail to give advice to women that they ought to rush into relationships. I was FURIOUS with her in the chapter on Yasmine. Not only is her advice to that girl extremely bad, but it goes against what she ought to know from the experience she is constantly reminding us of in every chapter (the Jacky and Omar story is apparently part of every other woman's story). Then when it all goes pear-shape she retreats into a philosophic cloud of vague and short-lived melancholy that absolutely neglects to consider her part in the tragedy. The point is well made by her daughter in the final chapter that Jacky has not the training (nor seemingly the mental capacity) to tell people what to do as much as she does. She makes a half-hearted effort to take this criticism on board, but she does it in such an illogical way that completely misses the point so that she can "prove" this criticism wrong and once more self-congratulate for how she gets involves in people's lives. I wanted to like and admire her, because I think people need someone to listen to all these stories. But I think her lack of insight makes her verge on bullying sometime and her continued blind trust in a romance-centred view on life makes her not a good advisor. I gave it more than one star because I think women's stories ought to be written (though less exploitatively), because there were occasional flashes that were better than the whole and because she very importantly and wisely included a list of websites in the back for people who need more information. She hasn't included herself in the helpful websites list which is also wise. I did not "click" with Jacky in the book, but I wish her well on her survivor journey and hope she does some reading or critical thinking to better resource what is probably good intention. I do not doubt her courage, so perhaps there is hope.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Esmee

    2/5 Er kwam geen einde aan dit boek. De verhalen waren erg mooi, sommige kwamen ook hard aan. Daarbij vond ik het fijn om te lezen hoe Jacky haar terugkomst in Engeland beleefde. Allemaal prima, maar Jacky vond zichzelf echt geweldig en dat vond ik heel vervelend om te lezen.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Sabrina Rutter

    First I want to start by saying that if your going to read this you should read FATWA first because the first few chapters are about what Jacky did after escaping her abusive Egyptian husband. I was so glad that she wrote about what her life was like once she escaped! When most people/authors write a book updating their lives from where they left off in their first memoir they usually write way to much of what was in the first book, but not Jacky! I was so relieved that I got the update without First I want to start by saying that if your going to read this you should read FATWA first because the first few chapters are about what Jacky did after escaping her abusive Egyptian husband. I was so glad that she wrote about what her life was like once she escaped! When most people/authors write a book updating their lives from where they left off in their first memoir they usually write way to much of what was in the first book, but not Jacky! I was so relieved that I got the update without having to read the same thing twice! After many women read FATWA they contacted Jacky and told her their own horror stories and this book is the result. In INVIVISIBLE WOMEN Jacky shares eight of the stories told to her by different women and each one pulls you right in and has you hoping for the best outcome! In this book you will read about honor killings, cheating spouses, forced marriages, abusive husbands, arranged marriages, eating disorders, and the list goes on. This book has left a deep impression on me and when I pass other women in public places now I will wonder what's their story and hope with all my heart that the story they would have to tell would be a happy one.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Redzeta

    A collection of true to life accounts from women around the world who all have had to endure physical or mental abuse at the hands of others. Some stories are extremely disturbing leaving a very sad feeling of depression and even anger at how people in the world we share today can oppress others and destroy their lives. Still a good book, eye opening and I find Jacky Trevannes style of writing mentally absorbing and straight to the point.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Hanadi Falki

    I picked up the book because I love reading about what others are going through and wondering how we, as a society, can help eradicate social evils that make others suffer. Let me begin with the positive aspect of the book. The author, Jacky, shares eight of the stories told to her by different women after they read her first book 'Fatwa'. The stories make you realise how people suffer right in front of your eyes and are unable to pull through sometimes, and they do make me look harder for signs I picked up the book because I love reading about what others are going through and wondering how we, as a society, can help eradicate social evils that make others suffer. Let me begin with the positive aspect of the book. The author, Jacky, shares eight of the stories told to her by different women after they read her first book 'Fatwa'. The stories make you realise how people suffer right in front of your eyes and are unable to pull through sometimes, and they do make me look harder for signs in the women around me so that I can reach out to them before they give up on life. I liked how the stories covered a wide range of topics from cheating spouses, abusive husbands, forced marriages, honour killings, eating disorders, motherhood and much more. Her writing style is simple and to the point. Now comes the constructive criticism. I think the simple writing style shows a lack of professional writing skill at some places because at times the stories aren't narrated well and I couldn't connect with them at all. For example, I believe that the last story about dealing with an autistic child is the weakest story of the book because of the way Jacky handled such a sensitive topic. And the theme of invisible women seemed to be inserted forcefully in some stories, making the author use the word in some way or the other in every story to weave the book together. Overall, I found the book a good read. I wish the author the very best in life and hope that the worst is over for her.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Johan D'Haenen

    Aan bepaalde verhalen mocht gewerkt worden... de reacties van de schrijfster blijven soms wel erg naIef, maar een echt luisterend oor hebben is en blijft natuurlijk heel waardevol.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Michelle

    I did enjoy some of the stories in this book but i cant help a niggling feeling that this woman isnt qualified to give the advice she does so in a way is this book really appropriate? With regards to her own story, i myself have lived in Egypt for the past 6 years and although i havent experienced it personally i have heard a lot of stories very similar to hers.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Ann

    An interesting read about some courageous women.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Helene

    Loved this book. Read it in a sitting on a flight from London to NYC. Great book, sad but couldn't put it down. Loved this book. Read it in a sitting on a flight from London to NYC. Great book, sad but couldn't put it down.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Amy Wyllie

  11. 5 out of 5

    Tasmin Betty

  12. 5 out of 5

    Michelle Green

  13. 4 out of 5

    TheaL

  14. 5 out of 5

    Heather Gilbert

  15. 4 out of 5

    陳 韋伶

  16. 4 out of 5

    Nina Townson

  17. 4 out of 5

    Lorraine

  18. 5 out of 5

    Kim Heine

  19. 4 out of 5

    Eve

  20. 4 out of 5

    Zoe Nadir

  21. 5 out of 5

    Femmelotje

  22. 4 out of 5

    Pearl

  23. 4 out of 5

    Aishling McNally

  24. 4 out of 5

    Bala Sakthis

  25. 5 out of 5

    Bookworm

  26. 5 out of 5

    Ankie Louwaege

  27. 4 out of 5

    Alisha Kadam

  28. 4 out of 5

    Danielle

  29. 4 out of 5

    Sonali Hirani

  30. 4 out of 5

    Subhajit Das

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