New novel merges fact with fiction by telling the stories of real-life abuse victims
Sylvia Hornback Releases New Novel
Posted: January 10, 2020, 5:00 PM | Category:Books Artist Tags: Source: Adams PR Group
For Immediate Release (Dallas, TX) -- Former award-winning educator turned novelist, Sylvia Hornback felt the story of her latest book, "Jeanne," was a necessary, albiet, painful one to tell. Based on numerous stories told to her by abused women, Hornback created a character to embody the strength of these women she had known personally, as well as using anecdotes from her own life.
"I lived with my own grandmother for five years while the rest of my family lived next door," says Hornback. "It seemed normal at the time, but the rejection had a long-term effect. In the book, Jeanne has two brothers and her younger brother Robby is a special needs child. This character is based on my own younger brother, Cary, who was an angel here on earth for twenty-three years. In my years as an educator, I observed children and their families being torn apart by abuse in many forms. As president of our local Woman's club, I became involved in the Wise Hope House, a shelter for battered women where I talked to countless women who dealt with all types of abuse and neglect, most beginning in their childhoods. I wrote Jeanne to help women who come from similar backgrounds learn to come to grips with their feelings, and hopefully, find some healing."
Hornback says the theme of "Jeanne" is ultimately a simple one--forgiveness.
"The story of Jeanne focuses on neglect and physical and verbal abuse," says Hornback. "As a child, there are few opportunities to get away from this treatment and forgiveness becomes harder and harder as the abuse is repeated. Forgiveness in this case comes knowing the abuser does not change, but the abused person learns ways to protects herself from future abuse. Jeanne manages this as she becomes an adult and is able to take care of herself and not be around her mother. Her forgiveness of her mother took away her bitterness, resentment, and anger."
Hornback says she observed one common theme among abuse victims.
"I remember one woman came for help to escape abuse with her three children wearing only underwear and a hospital gown," says Hornback. "For several years I interviewed women of abuse and talked to them about their beliefs and how their faith helped them. Most women suffered into adulthood with the pain and hurt of believing that a parent didn't love them. In fact, some believed they were hated. They tried to figure out what they had done wrong. Many voiced wanting to know the truth and felt they lived in secrets. They had to develop ways to cope with their roller coaster emotions. Some tried to be the opposite of their abusive parent, while others withdrew. Jeanne chose to seek solace in prayer and believing in God. While the women are kept anonymous in the book, their stories must be told. Their voices must be heard."