Thursday, April 30, 2020

Book Review and Giveaway: Full Circle, a Memoir by Pamela Lombana ~ Lone Star Literary Book Blog Tour

Genre:  Memoir / Domestic Abuse / Forgiveness 
  Publisher: Wordfall Publishing
Date of Publication: December 5, 2019
Number of Pages: 217
   Scroll down for the giveaway!

Alcoholism and domestic abuse creep silently into people’s lives, shattering dreams. For Pamela Lombana, the excitement of marriage turned into paralyzing fear as alcohol became her husband’s best friend. Surviving the daily physical and emotional abuse was the norm for her and their children. Full Circle tells the story of how love and God’s abiding grace helped Pamela find the strength to leave her husband, Fernando. During this journey, healing and forgiveness allowed her and the children to be there for him when he needed them the most.

Although I mainly read only fiction these days, when I saw the description of this memoir by Pamela Lombana I knew I wanted the opportunity to learn more about it. I have known a number of people who have lived through similar experiences, but were never able to talk about them in such a way. When I read the introduction, written by the author's adult daughter, Christina, it reminded me of something that I've come to believe myself: our experiences, both good and bad, can define who we become, but they can also help us make decisions about who we want to be.

In the introduction, Christina writes: "Life is not just black and white; humans are not simply good or evil. In every person, there is the capacity for good and the capacity for evil. Our lives are defined by the choices we make [emphasis mine]. Some decisions are more harmless...but other choices can start you down the path toward self destruction."

Pamela Lombana's husband, Fernando, had many demons chasing him, resulting from an abusive childhood and later, alcohol addiction. The way that the author writes her story, with tenderness and grace, swept me into the lives of her family and the joys and struggles they experienced. For there were good times in her early marriage and she experienced many delights as a mother to her children.

For someone who is not an addict herself, the author has so much wisdom about the disease of alcoholism, and gives it a stunning anthropomorphic description in the chapter called Alcohol: "Alcohol comes into your life slowly. When you are young, he knocks at the door politely. Once you let him in and he feels comfortable, he wants to stay. He brings laughter and tears, you think he brings courage, but in reality, he brings chaos, unless you can stop him. He can become the unwanted guest in your house."

Fernando was also verbally and emotionally abusive, the seeds of this behavior beginning in his own childhood. At times, some of the descriptions were hard for me to read. Full Circle is an incredible story of the way generational abuse is passed down, and how important it is to break that cycle. Pamela writes poignantly, "Slowly, my marriage had become a quartet: Alcohol, Fear, Fernando, and me. While Alcohol was Fernando's companion, Fear had become mine." My heart breaks for the children who live in such homes, and the scars they carry forever because of it.

Ultimately, Pamela finds the emotional resources to leave her husband, taking her children with her, and starting over. The struggles she endured as a single mother are not unique - this happens so many times to so many women. But the way the author continued to encourage her children, to have hope, to bring wisdom to their lives, is one of the best parts of her story. This memoir came about from journal entries the author made over the course of her marriage, and one that resonated with me was this: "In life, everyone has their own struggles to fight and their own battles to win. I hope I can give my children the tools to do this." I also remember having these same thoughts as I was raising my own two sons, realizing I needed different tools to be a better mom.

Most surprising to me, and so powerfully written, are the parts of the story where the author helps her ex-husband as he nears the end of his life, dying from chronic alcoholism. She works hard at forgiveness, both for herself and her children, and they each manage to find peace with Fernando, who finally, at the end, realizes the damage he has done to his family. It moved me to tears.

Reading about one woman's journey through such difficulties, who came out stronger, wiser, and more empathetic as a result, was an encouraging and powerful experience. I'll never regret having read it. 

Pamela Lombana grew up in Colombia, South America, and emigrated to the United States to attend university. In 1999, Pamela became a pediatric nurse practitioner and went on to run a pediatric clinic in Spring Branch, Texas. Pamela loves working with families and children and focuses on educating her patients and their families. Pamela values strong family ties and friendships. She has three children and four stepchildren. Writing is a passion that started in Pamela's teenage years. She enjoys being amongst nature and loves to go hiking with her husband, Mark. Pamela is passionate about empowering women and providing them with tools to navigate life through her book, Full Circle: A Memoir, her blog, and Wordfall Publishing. Pamela wrote her memoir to offer hope and courage to women experiencing alcoholic and abusive situations.
THREE WINNERS: Signed copy of Full Circle 
APRIL 21-May 1, 2020
(U.S. Only)
Notable Quotable
Author Interview
Guest Post

1 comment:

  1. Outstanding review. Your perspective and observations really make me want to read the book. Thanks for the post.