Searing, honest, risky are some of the words that come to my mind when I try to describe Desiree-Anne Martin’s tell-it-all debut memoir. This book captures Desiree-Anne’s life journey in full and defines who and what she went through to be the woman she is in the present.
In a typical traditional memoir writing style, Desiree-Anne starts off with her early childhood days in Cape Town, being raised in a family where her uncle’s perverted tendencies and sex talk in the family were neatly swept under the rug of silence. In her honest and brutal way of telling her story, Desiree-Anne doesn’t shy away from airing the family’s dirty laundry. From her ‘subversive racist’ mother, childhood rape by her cousin and her adulterous father.
While the main focus is on Desiree-Anne’s battle with heroin addiction, courtesy of her druggie ex-boyfriend Darren, who introduced her to the drug, this book narrates a story of hope where there was hopelessness, a story of success where the signs of failure outnumbered those of success.
Perusing through the pages of this book gives a fresh perspective in dealing with heroin addiction and highlights the critical role that family and friends should play in helping those fighting addictions. For those fighting addictions, this book will serve as a motivation and a teaching guide on how to beat addiction.
The chapters are short and build onto each other seamlessly. After reading this book, the reader is bound to go through a mixed bag of emotions, but most importantly come out inspired and motivated. I truly applaud Desiree-Anne’s bravery and honesty. This is indeed a memoir of the 21st century. This is a must-read book and I believe that it will serve as motivation for many generations to come.