Vicious Cycle of Destruction is part memoir, part cautionary tale, and part testament to the power of faith.
Author Susana Hernandez suffered from physical and sexual abuse as a child and attributed much of the problem to her parents’ alcohol-fueled neglect. When the cycle repeated in her own family, she divorced her husband and tried to steer her children in the right direction, with limited success. She offers stories from her childhood, which involved moving back and forth across the border between Mexico and the U.S., and underscores the value of her Christian faith at every turn.
Sadly, the writing in this slim book is often too disorganized to follow. Chapter 12 begins, “Going back to my father getting out of my room, he went and asked my mom how old I was.” Or Chapter 16: “The reason that I was very careful that they didn’t steal was I just did not want to be blamed of stealing or wasting too much merchandise.” It feels as if we’re walking in on a conversation that has been in progress for some time; Hernandez keeps interrupting herself to go back to one story thread or another, and as a result we never get a complete anecdote, much less a memoir.
Hernandez wrote the book with the intent to help other families, and her kindness comes through despite the scattershot storytelling. It’s clear that the author’s heart is in the right place, and readers will cheer the fact that she has overcome adversity to find a better life. But the book attempts to be too many things in a scant 79 pages and never quite finds its defining groove.
Also available in hardcover and ebook.