Book Review: Half the Sky

I spent my Labor Day finishing a book that I have been struggling with since last year.  It wasn’t the most cheerful way to spend a holiday, but it was an accomplishment because
Half the Sky: Turning Oppression Into Opportunity for Women Worldwide is not an easy read.

This book was extraordinarily hard to get through.  I put it down for days, weeks and even months in-between reads…not because it wasn’t good or wasn’t interesting…but because it was emotionally draining.  Maybe it’s because I’m a woman that made this book such a trial or maybe it’s because my body was violated just like so many in this book or maybe it’s just because I’m human.  

I’d like to believe that it’s just because I’m human and that any other (man/woman :: broken/unbroken) would feel similarly. Anyone who can read Half the Sky unaffected would be cause for great concern.

Emotional content aside, Half the Sky is a beast armed with so many facts, studies and statistics all while throwing abbreviations of terms and organizations at you left and right that it’s dizzying. Almost overwhelming at times, but to say this book is eye-opening is an understatement. To be bombarded with that much horror and injustice on one page is hard, but it’s page after page of real stories. Real people with names and faces, broken hearts, bodies and hopes. All of that is hard to swallow. It’s infuriating to the point of wanting those pages to be so far away from your body that you literally throw them, but then you pick it up again after you’ve had time to settle…after the days, weeks or months that it took…and you get to read of a real life super hero. Someone who has faced that horror and injustice and turned it into something golden. There are a lot of those stories in Half the Sky as well and it’s a mercy.

Read it if you dare. It is worth it, I promise.  
xoxo, Jenna

p.s.  I think I’ll try a barbecue or something more up beat next Labor Day.  🙂

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