ASTONISHED, by Beverly Donofrio, is a memoir written by the author of RIDING IN CARS WITH BOYS, which was made into a movie starring Drew Barrymore. What a wild ride it was. And an unputdownable read.
I make it a point to stay away from rape; fiction or memoir. But I was not able to pass this up. Beverly Donofrio was in her mid fifties, living carefree in Mexico, happily ensconced in her little community, when she was attacked and violated in her own home; her own bed. I was petrified just hearing this. As a woman of a certain age myself, I was actually horrified to think something like this could happen. It is unconscionable that anyone would rape anyone but, to attack someone of this age just blew me away and me downright mad!
Donofrio had this happen six years ago. Now she is finally able to bend herself around it enough to share it with us. I don’t even begin to know how something like this would affect me or my family. But Beverly’s life changed yet again.
Donofrio was actively seeking a monastery that would take her in when this assault occurred. She wished to live a life of love and prayer. But she needed her grandchild to visit, something not usually allowed. Then this despicable thing happened.
This story was written in the five years after the rape. She writes with wit, with love, and with conviction. She’s not afraid to bare her soul. Not at all. She is determined not to be a victim.
Her writing has been compared to Anne Lamott. But she really just has her own style. It reads like a novel. And is a must-read.
My friends at Viking Publishing sent me this finished hard copy. I thank you once again for sending an astonishing read.