I grew up comfortably middle class in the midwest. I don’t try to hide the fact that my parents gave my brother and I a great life and instilled in us the value of working hard and living well. I bring this up because it is in stark contrast to the way Christopher Ty was raised. It saddens me that people in parts of our country have to grow up so poor that they used tin cans for water glasses. My life was vastly different from his but my parents raised me to question everything and learn as much as possible. I love reading non-fiction books to help me see the world through other’s eyes. Christopher Ty has opened my eyes to his childhood in Georgia.
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All Christopher Ty wanted as a child was a mother’s love. Many of us take this for granted. We rebel against our loving parents. We challenge and frustrate them as teenagers and young adults. But we know they still love us. We are spoiled with love. Christopher Ty wanted that kind of love but what he got instead was beatings at bath time because the wet skin made it hurt more. He got a fingernail through his ear cartilage because he didn’t hear her calling for him. No child deserves to be treated like this. All children should have loving parents.
As I am reading and being immersed in Christopher Ty’s world I am reminded of A Child Called It and Why Me? All three of these books are well written and really draw you in. Then you realize they are a true story. These horrific acts actually happened to someone. To a child. I read a lot of true crime books but the books about child abuse really get to me. Maybe because they are so much more personal, written by the person who was abused. Even though it is a tough subject I think if we read about it we can understand it better and hopefully figure out how to prevent it from happening to someone else. I know that is a big if but I can hold out hope.
Christopher Ty really paints a picture. I can see the neighborhood he lived in, Tate’s Alley, and am reminded of the description of the ghettos in Mumbai in how the houses were put together. I can smell the mayo in the jar as he drinks water from it. My stomach actually turned a bit on that one. I’ve never liked mayonnaise and the description made it seem like I was drinking from an old mayo jar. I could smell the mayo.
I see his mother and hear the lilting “Oh Tyrone” when he knows he is in trouble for something. I see his grandfather rolling up in his Cadillac. Christopher Ty paints such a vivid picture throughout his book that you feel as if you were there. You also want to reach out and tell him he is worthy of love and give him some of your strength.
I was glad to see that he met a woman who showed him what a family really should be; that a family supports and loves you and doesn’t harm you. I was almost in tears when he finally left his family, happy tears. I was happy to see him finally leave that situation behind him, physically. I hope that with time he is able to leave the situation behind mentally as well.
After reading For the Love of Her I want nothing but good things for Christopher Ty. He showed himself at his most raw and vulnerable, which is difficult for most people. He is brave. I feel like I know him know and want nothing but the best for him. His book is well written and, as I said, it feels as if you are there. I would recommend everyone read this book. It may help someone in a similar situation see they are not alone and reach out to someone.
On goodreads I gave the book 4 out of 5. I wanted to give 4.5 but that is not an option. The reason I didn’t give it 5 is I feel there was more he could have told us. The book was quite short and, of course, focuses on his relationship with his mom. There were flashes of supporting characters and I would have liked to know them more. I wanted to know more about dad and grandpa. Two of his siblings were mentioned quite a bit but his brother Brian is only mentioned in passing. I think Christopher Ty could have painted a more thorough picture of these characters while still focusing on his mom. I felt I could really see Christopher Ty, his mom and at the end the woman who saved him. I wanted to see the other characters. I wanted to know them better. This really was my only complaint with this book.
Have you read For the Love of Her or a similar book? Would you feel this is a book you may want to read?
Disclaimer: I was provided a free copy of this book from Christopher Ty in return for this review. All of the opinions are my own. I truly enjoyed the book and would tell you if I didn’t.