A Black Woman’s Journey
Independently Published (2022)
Reviewed by Lily Andrews for Reader Views (12/2022)
A memoir’s primary role in literature is to awaken readers to survival stories so that they do not have to find themselves in the same pitfalls, and possibly identify looming challenges and avoid them in good time. In other instances, memoirs make us feel less alone in our circumstances, having another person lucidly narrate their own experiences.
“A Black Woman’s Journey” is a bracingly candid memoir written by Melissa Owens. Here, Owens invites readers into the most intimate parts of her life as she writes about her tumultuous childhood, relationships, and the mistakes and choices she made in the past. Free flowing yet meticulously articulated, the text allows readers to see through the writer’s vulnerabilities including the unfortunate effects of lacking a strong father figure in her childhood, a factor that influenced some of her decisions in relating with the opposite gender as she grew up.
The text centers the story on the relationships the author was part of and how they ended, musing on the lessons she learned after. She is unflinchingly honest giving precise details, further giving us a glimpse of her brokenness and continuous process of healing as she leans on her faith in God to transform her life. “A Black Woman’s Journey” feels a little bit like an exercise or a captivating catharsis, offering passive but imminently powerful comfort to readers that may have experienced the same in their lives.
I appreciated Owen’s bravery and courage to accurately burrow into her personal life, hoping to speak to many by encouraging and reminding them to love themselves in all circumstances, learn from their mistakes, and hopefully make better decisions in the future. Life, the book advises, has so many drawbacks, and often we don’t know how to handle them but encourages readers to love themselves and cheer themselves on despite these setbacks.
“A Black Woman’s Journey” is a deep, relevant, and self-aware five-star book intended to start a necessary conversation about the state of families in the Black community and possibly bring much-needed healing to society at large. Its nuanced lessons cultivate healthy love and offer tips on avoiding possible pitfalls during dating.