Monday, October 13, 2008

Book Review: Finding Angela Shelton

Finding Angela Shelton by Angela Shelton was just recently released on April 1. I’m a huge fan of hers so of course I pre-ordered it. I even got to meet her when she spoke in one of my classes! She is a close friend of one of my professors (Wendy Murphy). For those of you who are not familiar with her work as an activist/filmmaker/actress/screenwriter, a few years ago she filmed a documentary, Searching for Angela Shelton, where she set out in an RV with her film crew and interviewed women who shared her name. She went all over the place from California to Florida. She was hoping the documentary would turn out to be a lighthearted comedy that inspired women. However, it became much much more. Her life and self-discovery were center stage throughout the movie as more and more Angela Sheltons revealed that they were survivors of rape, abuse or domestic violence. As a survivor of sexual abuse and incest as a child, she was not prepared for all the emotions and memories that came flooding back. The documentary turned into a journey of self-discovery as she really struggled emotionally and financially. The movie is brilliant, uplifting, and inspirational as each of the Angelas all share such a wonderful unity, a message of hope, and strength. The book, Finding Angela Shelton, is sort of a follow up to the movie. Angela takes you through the movie step by step giving further insight into her thoughts and struggles to make the movie. It’s really powerful. I didn’t think she could top the movie, but she has. Be forewarned, if you are a survivor of abuse or rape or very sensitive to those issues especially when it involves children, it may take you a while to read it. It’s okay to take your time. I had to put it down a couple of times but I couldn't help myself. I had to finish it because it was very well written and its message is powerful. It is not a depressing book. It is a story about women, not just one woman. It will really open your eyes to the power of unity among women and healing through breaking the silence. It’s a life-changer. And if you haven’t seen the movie, buy it today!