22 July 2013

Guest Review: Embracing My Father's Shadow by Katya Cole

This is a very special review: it's my first post by a guest reviewer. When Katya Cole approached me to review her memoir, Embracing My Father's Shadow: Beauty from the Ruins of Sexual Abuse, I wanted to say yes, because this is such an important subject. But I didn't want to have to read the book (yes, I'm a wimp). I asked members of an online writing group if anyone would be interested in reviewing it, and was delighted when Kay Marks agreed. As you will see from her biography (below), Kay is the perfect person to review Katya's memoir.

And tomorrow I have an additional post: an interview with Katya Cole.


I am honoured to be asked to write a review about this book as it reflects not only, in part some of my own journey, but also, it offers hope that with time there is healing.

Sexual abuse is evil in nature. It ruins innocence of children and robs them of soul life. It is insidious and the effects can take a lifetime to overcome. Secrets are not easily revealed and it takes courage to step out of the grasp of fear and shame.

Embracing My Father's Shadow gives poignant insight into Katya’s life of pornography, sexual abuse and secrets. She also reveals her search for healing and acknowledges the source of this as Jesus. It is a ‘no holds barred’ book which means that Katya is often brutally honest about her life and struggles both inner and outward.

The abuser in this case was her father. Can you imagine what that would be like? Or have you too had this experience? The person who is supposed to give love, nurture and offer guidance through life has not only betrayed you but has taken the very thing from you that matters most. Your innocence. You are robbed of everything that gives meaning to being female especially in relationships with men. Katya’s never-ending search for love is often found with other men who never satisfy the deep longing in her soul.

This book is not only about sexual abuse. It is a book about a young woman’s journey throughout her life to find meaning and resolve some very deep personal issues. It is a book that relates to Christian women who are also searching for their own truth in a world that often portrays women in a negative light.

As Christian women we can believe that we have it all together and life is perfect. Like Katya, if you choose to go beneath the masks we wear, you might find that this belief is a lie. There is more to find about our lives than you may have imagined. Katya challenges us to pursue this and look deeper into our lives so that we can truly find ourselves.

About Kay Marks

I am a Christian who has been happily married for 38 years and together my husband and I have three children and four grandchildren. I am also a Qualified and Professional Counsellor with my own counselling business called Unshackled. Personally speaking, I am also a survivor of childhood sexual abuse and having walked this path I have known fear, rejection, hopelessness, insecurity and rebellion like they were familiar friends. However, I also know that there is freedom from these devastating and confusing emotions that seek to rob you of life.

My passion as a counsellor is to offer hope and encourage others in their journey. Becoming unshackled is a process that at times requires the assistance of a counsellor. I offer a non-judgemental and safe environment where empathy, respect and confidentiality are paramount.
I trained in Newcastle, Australia with the Australian Institute of Family Counselling where I attained my Advanced Diploma in Counselling and have been counselling for 10 years.  I also have my Certificate IV in Assessment & Workplace Training along with Child Protection Awareness and Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training.

You can read my professional blogs at www.unshackled.com.au and my personal one is found at www.kaymarks.wordpress.com.
I hope I can be of assistance in your journey.


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