Book: I Have Life: Alison's Journey as Told to Marianne Thamm.
Author: Marianne Thamm
Publisher: Fusion Press (June 2003)
The story, an autobiography, begins when Alison, while trying to park her car after a night out with her friends, is attacked by two callous killers who drove her away from her home in Port Elizabeth to a place they raped her, stabbed her many times, slit her throat and left her for dead in a filthy deserted clearing.
This story about surviving rape (and murder) as told by Alison and written by Marianne Thamm is very captivating. For the fainthearted, the book will shake you to the core of your being because it is written in its raw form. When I first picked up a copy of the book and read the synopsis, I had a clear feeling that it would make me cry and after Chapter one, I let the tears freely flow.
It is a sad account of how a young lady was raped, stabbed and left to die in a desolated place at the dead of the night. However, it is also a very inspiring account of life- living life and surviving!
The first part of the book tells us how Alison was car-jacked at knife point, raped, stabbed so many times (that the doctors could not count her wounds), and left for dead miles away from her home. The remaining part tells how Alison truimphed over the painful experience afflicted by her assaillants and chose to have her life back...instead of hiding away or keeping mum out of fear of stigmatization.
I admire Alison's courage, which really helped her in having her life back. It wasn't easy but she made it and rose from being a victim of a brutal rape and attempted murder into a victor who uses her tragic experiences into inspiring others to live life. The role her family and friends played during this process was not left out of the story. Reading the contributions from Alison's family, friends, and the man (Thienne) who saved her after she was abadoned by the rapists gave a deeper picture to Alison's story.
The first-person narration technique makes the story come alive as Alison, in terrifying details, describes her thoughts and feelings throughout the attack, while in hospital, recovering at home and getting back on her feet, and shows how attitude, belief, and choice (her ABC philosophy of life) helped her survive the ordeal.
Meanwhile, in the account, Alison's surname was not mentioned once! Is this to protect her privacy or it was just an over sight?
From my research, I learnt that Alison is happily married and she has a son. She is a public inspirational speaker who tours the world sharing her story of survival. The Author, Marianne Thamm is an award-winning journalist and she has written for different magazines such as Cosmopolitan, Fair Lady, House and Leisure, and Style.
It doesn't matter what happens to us in life, it is what we do with it that matters. I HAVE LIFE is a story of hope! I encourage you to read it because it conveys a powerful message that we can all apply to our life, no matter the circumstances!!