My Body, My Soul: One Woman’s Journey to Reclaim Both
Outskirts Press (2021)
Reviewed by Jeni Tahaney for Reader Views (May 2021)
Vandee Crane’s memoir, “My Body, My Soul: One Woman’s Journey to Reclaim Both,” is a raw and unapologetic account of her tragic childhood, and how those horrible experiences led her to be the loving person she is today. Trigger Warning: the content may be upsetting to some readers.
Watching her own mother go down the path of drug addiction threw Vandee into a dark world without any protection when she was only 9 years old. By the age of 16, Vandee experienced drug and alcohol addiction, living on the streets, rape, sex trafficking, abusive relationships, episodes of PTSD, and multiple suicide attempts. Any one of these incidents could have been the point of no return. Yet after each suicide attempt or drug overdose, Vandee survives. After being raped on the street, Vandee survives. After being beat by an abusive boyfriend, Vandee survives. As she often repeats in this memoir, the “Creator” must not have been finished with her yet.
The style in which the story is told is not linear, but it is fluid. The first person narrative draws the readers into Vandee’s crazy world. One keeps reading for the sheer disbelief of what the author has faced, and how she has come through a lifetime of adversity to become a productive member of society. Vandee breaks the cycle of ancestral trauma and creates a life of positivity and healing. With a college degree and a certification as a kundalini yoga instructor, the author of this memoir is now able to help other survivors. She also has established a foundation, Rise in Love, whose mission is to support individuals, families, and communities during their healing processes.
Creating a positive life for herself, however, was not easy. She had to work hard, most of the time taking one step forward and two steps back. Vandee Crane has an amazing story, and this reader could not put her copy of the book down. Therefore, “My Body, My Soul: One Woman’s Journey to Reclaim Both,” is highly recommended for those who love memoirs or tragedy-to-triumph stories.