Whisper of Hope, Cry of Despair

Vicky Bedi

Publisher: Page Turner Press and Media Pages: 76 Price: (paperback) $7.99 ISBN: 9798891740181 Reviewed: March, 2024 Author Website: Visit »
In her autobiographical book, author Vicky Bedi lays out the raw and heartbreaking legacy of multi-generational abuse, a vein of unchecked violence passed down in her family in which she became ensnared.

“Growing up in an abusive family not only means ongoing personal fear and fear of the future, emotional tension resulting in stomachaches, and insecurity” she writes, “I was terrified of loud noises since my mother screamed instead of spoke. Because of the loud volume of speech around me and at me, I rarely spoke and very quietly. People thought I was shy; I was afraid.” It’s the matter-of-factness of her words that makes them so devastating.

Bedi examines her family’s genealogy starting with the immigration of her grandparents to America. It’s a grim tale that traces the acceptance and fall-out of violence, including the 1917 murder of her paternal grandfather by her grandmother and the subsequent banishment of her father to an orphanage at age five, where he grew up never knowing love.

Her mother, the daughter of a Russian immigrant, grew up in dire poverty in an alcoholic home where Bedi’s maternal grandfather was believed to have sexually abused his daughters. The chain remained unbroken as Bedi’s mother berated and beat her submissive husband and terrorized her children.

Bedi’s story is not easy to read, but it’s an important one to tell, especially as she learns acceptance and understanding, which leads to forgiveness. Still, readers are left wanting much more. The chronological structure suffers from big gaps in the information about her parents’ and grandparents’ lives that, if more fully researched, would have enriched her book and offered a more complete look not only of personal histories but also how they fit into the immigrant reality in his country.

While disappointingly underdeveloped, this book still has value, as it shows in unflinching detail how the cycle of family violence repeats and, in so doing, destroys.

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