Posts Tagged ‘Jennie Miller Helderman’

As the Sycamore Grows By Jennie Miller Helderman

Title: As the Sycamore Grows

Author: Jennie Miller Helderman

Publisher: The Summers Bridgewater Press

Date: 2010

Every now and then a true story comes along that leaves a searing impression imprinted on your brain. The white heat of the pain and suffering of the people’s lives contained within the pages of a book can so seldom cut you to the quick and take away your breath. As the Sycamore Grows not only takes the wind from you with the brutality that only spousal abuse can evoke…but it also makes you double over and wrench with pain for all the shame, and humiliation that the wife must feel at the hands of her iron-fisted, hardheaded, Bible thumping spouse. The visceral knee-jerk reaction to the all too common human story that emerges from this work makes you grit your teeth and have to press on to get to the end of the story.

Helderman shows the reader the rise of the bully, through the verbal, emotional, and physical abuse of the victim and her children, and follows them as they escape and learn to not only survive but thrive as they claw their way to freedom. Gripping, raw, and filled with the universal story of every victim’s slippery slide down the spiral of spousal abuse’s As the Sycamore Grows chronicles the lives of Ginger, Mike, and three children from Texas to Tennessee. The pattern of abuse so entrenched in their lives that it seems normal and to be expected and creates a sense of complacency so that each can make sense of the neurotic behavior of their abuser, Mike.

Helderman does an excellent job of not just telling us the story of Mike and Ginger but shows us the story letting the truth and the details of their co-dependent relationship unfold before the reader. Her masterful mixture of fact, documents, and the stories of the abuse are recounted in such a way that the reader’s attention is raptly held. Abuse is a tough subject to write about, but As the Sycamore Grows tells more about the toughness of those that survive abuse than of the twisted events that precede it. This book is a solid read and a must have for anyone who works or volunteers with the victims of abuse.

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