Title: One Hour in Paris: a True Story of Rape and Recovery
Author: Karyn L. Freedman
My Rating: ♥♥♥♥
This book is one of the 8 that I picked from the Canada Reads 2017 longlist. I didn’t get to finish it before the shortlist came out, and unfortunately it’s not one of the 5 contenders. But I continued reading it anyway.
Freedman was brutally raped as a young student traveling Europe. Of course, the event changed her life in many ways, and she still seems to feel it often even though she has had many years now to work on her recovery. The book starts out with that scene in Paris in 1990, and continues with her experiences of the recovery. The author is a philosopher, and as you might expect, she offers her philosophical views on rape and culture.
I’m not a therapist, and luckily I am not a victim of any kind of sexual assault. But I can see why this book would be so beneficial for these kinds of victims, and probably also for the therapists, family members, friends, and partners in their lives.
I was interested in what Freedman had to say about culture’s effects on women’s reactions to violence and rape. She mentioned that if we grow up in a society where we believe we are fundamentally safe, it can contribute to women believing they brought it on themselves when something terrible like this happens to them. I had never thought of it that way before.
Overall, I found this book interesting and insightful around a topic I hear a lot about but don’t have any personal experience of. It was really courageous of the author to write about her story and share it with the world in this way. At the same time, I really appreciated the academic and philosophical ideas that she shared.