TRIGGER WARNING: Story is based on a woman’s life after being raped.
Helga contacted me through my blog to read her novel. I like reading new authors, granted sometimes, you find a lot of coal. In Helga’s book, I have hit the mother lode of diamonds.
Ingrid, sweet, kind, gentle, broken and beautiful. She’s married to a man who has no desire to have more children, as he already has 2 from a previous marriage. I will let the press release speak more about the novel:
Helga Gruendler-Schierloh’s “Burying Leo” explores one woman’s life after a haunting sexual assault. A young Ingrid desired to sing, but being a rape victim left her shattered. Years later, Ingrid finally found her voice and released the ghosts that plagued her.
Gruendler-Schierloh says that “sexual assault is one of the worst things to happen to a female. Besides causing great physical pain, the crime cuts deeply into the very essence of a woman’s being, messes with her psyche, tarnishes her self-image, and mutilates her soul. Any punishment meted out to perpetrators cannot remedy the viciousness of their deed. “In ‘Burying Leo,’ I tried to show how being raped kept influencing the heroine’s mind and actions—until confronting her worst fears allowed her to pursue her life’s dream.”
For the record, I was kidnapped by my alcoholic mother and I was abused by her husband, sexually, emotionally and physically between the ages of 5 and 8. When we escaped during the night, he would find us everytime. My mother never went back and began her journey of sobriety after that. My journey of healing, like all of us who were victims, will never end. But I can say, that I am stronger than ever.
“I abhor any kind of violence. To me, there are very few legitimate reasons for hurting—physically, mentally, emotionally—any living creature,” says Gruendler-Schierloh when discussing her novel. “Those convictions, particularly as they relate to women and children – are the undercurrent in ‘Burying Leo’ and in some of my other work.”
When I read this book, I cried a little and rejoiced a lot. I love when women find their strength to preserve over horrible tragic events. They either break us or make us stronger. It’s an empowering story and the writing is woven so beautifully. I have to compare it to a tapestry. It’s rich, colorful and artistic. I can’t recommend this story enough. As we know, books are personal. They sometimes sing a flat note or every now and then a lovely operetta. God, I’m not trying to be over the top about this book, but it spoke to my heart and grabbed it tight. I’m putting this in my top 10 favorites of all time. It just hit me, Ingrid reminds me a bit of Celie in The Color Purple (Another which is in my top 10). 5 stars, my friends. 5 stars.
About Helga Gruendler-Schierloh:
Helga Gruendler-Schierloh is a bilingual writer with a degree in journalism and graduate credits in linguistics. During her childhood years in southern Germany, a much loved family friend introduced her to the magical allure of literature. Mesmerized with language in general, Helga spent time in London to enhance her English language skills. Now living in the United States, she makes her home in Detroit, Michigan. Helga’s short stories, essays, articles, and poetry have been published in the USA, Canada, and the United Kingdom.
About Laurel Highlands Publishing:
Laurel Highlands Publishing is a Greater Pittsburgh based small press dedicated to great writing. They publish novels and short story collections in a variety of genres worldwide.