Title: Wanna Go Wanna Stay
Author: Maria J. Scott
Genre: Memoir / Christian
Wanna Go Wanna Stay is the compelling, true-to-life story of author Maria Scott’s journey through a toxic and abusive relationship. In this harrowing memoir, readers will be able to witness how quickly an intimate connection can disintegrate into something that makes a mockery of the words love and marriage.
Set against the backdrop of the 1970s, with all its norms, culture, and societal expectations, the author made the story come alive in a very real way. She took readers through the familiar patterns of a new relationship, with all its highs and lows, while subtly weaving early warning signs such as the occasional bouts of jealousy into the narrative.
Maria J. Scott was then able to build the tension layer by layer, as what started out as jealousy turned into something progressively more paranoid, delusional, and dangerous. Through it all, the author was unrelentingly honest and matter-of-fact about the trials she endured. She also kept the writing simple and straightforward, which allowed readers to receive the full impact of such a powerful story.
The characters were fleshed out and well-rounded. Rather than making a caricature out of her abuser, she chose to show all aspects of his personality: the light and dark moments and all the shades of gray in between. In doing so, she painted a very realistic picture of the patterns of abuse that victims often endure long before the first physical blow is landed. In addition, it gave readers a better understanding of why making the obvious decision to get out of such a relationship is more complex than it appears.
This is a memoir that was more character-driven than plot-driven. It moved at a slow pace, and there were numerous chapters where it seemed nothing more exciting than a phone call or a job hunt was happening. The narrative was further slowed down by the inclusion of seemingly incongruous side plots that did not really contribute to the central arc, and tighter editing could have given more impact without lessening the effectiveness of the overall story.
Some scenes and conversations also had the tendency to follow a pattern that some readers may find repetitive, such as the daily phone calls from Maria’s husband when they were separated. However, the level of attention given to those minor details paid off once the story progressed to its inevitable and heartbreaking conclusion. In the end, readers will be able to fully appreciate the courage it took for the author to publish this memoir, in the hopes that it reaches someone who really needs it.
This book gives voice to the countless women who have endured, and are probably still enduring, years of abuse. Relevant, and anchored by its author’s simple prose and clear point of view, Maria J. Scott allows readers to come along, empathize with, and learn from her journey of faith and redemption. It’s a story of fear, resilience, and survival that delivers an uplifting message of hope to people going through similar circumstances and is the kind of story that needs to be told more so now than ever.</span
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