A True Story

By: Gabriella Gillespie

Published: July 25, 2014

Publisher: Clink Street Publishing


I’m bringing you this book today as part of Clink Street Publishing Blogival 2016. This week I will be sharing other books with you as part of this tour of Clink Street Publishing books.

Gabriella and her sisters lived in Wales with their father and mother until her mother “went missing” and eventually her father was sent to prison for her murder. At a young age, she and her sisters lived in a loving foster home and assumed that is where they would stay until they were grown. There they were loved and well-cared for and treated like the couple’s own children. But after just four years, their father was released from prison and the girls were forced to return to live with him. What was supposed to be a holiday to their father’s homeland in Yemen, turned out to be a nightmare as they were unprepared for the culture shock and the fact that they were to be sold as child brides. This book shares the horrors that Gabriella and her sisters faced trying to acclimate to a completely new way of life, meeting new family, and living as wives when they should have still been attending school and dreaming of their weddings many, many years down the road.

Gabriella’s story is not a happy one and I often had to put it down as it was extremely depressing and tragic. Gabriella (she goes by a different name in the book) doesn’t leave out many details when recounting the horrific abuse she received from family members and her husband. All the while I had to remind myself that she was around the same age as my children. I had to believe that if she had written this book that there was a way out of this horror for her and that hope kept me reading.

This book is also a look into the culture that is much different from ours. The descriptions of boys who are working in the fields all day as young as six, young girls fetching water many miles away multiple times a day, and women cooking with meager conditions were eye-opening and humbling. I don’t think I could rightfully complain about any housework after reading this book.

The writing at times was childish and elementary, but I could look beyond that knowing that the author obviously had very little education and maybe had a difficult time with translation. Beyond that, I believe she was extremely brave for telling her story knowing that it could be dangerous for her and her family. I was a little unsatisfied with the ending, but can appreciate that she may have had to keep some things private for her safety.

Overall, this was a story that kept me interested, even though it was difficult to read horrible abuse on nearly every page. The relationships that Gabriella made along her journey with her sisters from Wales as well as those she met once arriving in Yemen were a lifeline for her. Even with all the evil around her, there were people who loved her and that allowed her to continue to hope for a brighter future for herself and her children. I certainly pray that she has found happiness.

Gabriella Gillespie – source

Gillespie was a child bride and is now an activist, campaigner, and public speaker.  She is a Board Member of Too Young To Wed. A FATHER’S BETRAYAL is her first book.

To purchase a copy of A FATHER’S BETRAYAL, click the photo below:

Other stops on the Clink Street Publishing Blogival Tour:

A post from today, 4 years ago – Day #26 of Summer Vacation 
A post from today, 3 years ago – Why I Read 
A post from today, 2 years ago – High Five Friday 6.20.14 

Thanks to the publisher for sending a copy of this book for the purpose of this review. This review is my honest opinion. I was not compensated in any way for this review. If you choose to purchase a copy of the book through the above link, I may receive a small commission without you having to pay a cent more for your purchase. Thanks for supporting SincerelyStacie.com. 

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