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Book Review: Know my Name by Chanel Miller

I’ve been trying to read more non-fictions this month (#nonfictionnovember) and honestly, I think I have found a new genre I will be including WAY more going forward. Know my Name was incredibly special, it’s made me realise how import non-fiction really is.

Know my Name by Chanel Miller

Genre: Non-fiction, Memoir

BUG Rating: 4.5/5

Overall: I struggle to find the words to review this one. It was not an easy read. Chanel is brave, fearless, beautiful and tells her story to reclaim her identity after being known as Emily Doe for so long. She tells her story to empower other woman who have been affected by sexual assault to stand up, speak up, she will be with them.

Know My Name is a raw, emotional and powerful memoir, offering a glimpse into the trauma of sexual assault and the failings of the justice system. I was totally astonished when, despite being caught, and a jury finding Brock guilty on 3 separate charges, the sentence awarded by the judge was so lenient. 

Chanel’s strength and character shinned through on every page, I was unable to put the book down – especially as I’d seen the Victim Impact Statement was right at the end of the book. It was incredible, and so rightly placed at the end.

Chanel’s story must be heard – you have to read this book!

When I listened to her, I understood: You have to hold out to see how your life unfolds, because it is most likely beyond what you can imagine. It is not a question of if you will survive this, but what beautiful things await you when you do. I had to believe her, because she was living proof. Then she said, Good and bad things come from the same universe holding hands. Wait for the good to come.

Plot:

The riveting, powerful memoir of the woman whose statement to Brock Turner gave voice to millions of survivors

She was known to the world as Emily Doe when she stunned millions with a letter. Brock Turner had been sentenced to just six months in county jail after he was found sexually assaulting her on Stanford’s campus. Her victim impact statement was posted on BuzzFeed, where it instantly went viral–viewed by eleven million people within four days, it was translated globally and read on the floor of Congress; it inspired changes in California law and the recall of the judge in the case. Thousands wrote to say that she had given them the courage to share their own experiences of assault for the first time.

Now she reclaims her identity to tell her story of trauma, transcendence, and the power of words. It was the perfect case, in many ways–there were eyewitnesses, Turner ran away, physical evidence was immediately secured. But her struggles with isolation and shame during the aftermath and the trial reveal the oppression victims face in even the best-case scenarios. Her story illuminates a culture biased to protect perpetrators, indicts a criminal justice system designed to fail the most vulnerable, and, ultimately, shines with the courage required to move through suffering and live a full and beautiful life.

Know My Name will forever transform the way we think about sexual assault, challenging our beliefs about what is acceptable and speaking truth to the tumultuous reality of healing. It also introduces readers to an extraordinary writer, one whose words have already changed our world. Entwining pain, resilience, and humor, this memoir will stand as a modern classic.

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