Posted in Audiobook Review, Biography, Non Fiction, True Crime

One Day She’ll Darken by Fauna Hodel and J.R. Briarmonte @1DayShellDarken @justjanuary @GraymalkinMedia #Audiobook #BookReview #OneDayShellDarken

Hello book friends, I’m back from a wonderful few days in London with my little boy, my legs feel like I’ve walked about a hundred miles, and my bank balance is significantly lower than zero ☹ But I had a wonderful time there, so it was all worth it!

Anyhoo, I’m delighted to bring you a review for this amazing book I picked up when I had a credit-crisis!!

Why Did You Pick It Up Vicci?

Well, I really didn’t know anything about this story, I had a spare credit and couldn’t find a book that jumped out at me to read, so I went back to my old favourite method of choice, Narrator!
Once I saw that this was being narrated by January LaVoy, and it also had *something* to do with the Black Dahlia case I was sold.

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My Thoughts

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This was such an interesting story about a girl named Fauna, the title is a nod to her light skin, because she was born mixed race as her father was black.

1951 – While working in a Casino as a Ladies Room Attendant, a young black woman called Jimmie is approached by a white woman who has had one too many drinks, she strikes up a conversation with her about her life and children.
Jimmie finds this very odd, but the woman is white, so probably a good tipper, so she plays along with her to see if she can get more money out of her.
In the conversation, the woman admits that her daughter is pregnant by a black man, and the child cannot stay with them for obvious reasons, so she is looking for a good “black home” to send her too, Jimmie enjoying the drunk talk tells the woman that she would be happy to take the child off of her hands, for a price of course, as her and her husband have never been able to conceive, gives the woman her address, and swiftly gets a crisp $50 tip, talk about good luck, drunk women!!

Except a few months later, Jimmie gets a new member of her household, a brand new baby girl, called Fauna, Jimmie’s husband isn’t happy about this at all, but goes along with it, considering that there is money involved, it might be a sweet deal, except she doesn’t look black, she doesn’t look black at all, and people notice it too, which makes Jimmie very angry.

We’re not categorized by the color of our skin. And just as Jesus was color-blind, so, too, is love. Our love for each other, for our brothers and sisters, and now for this baby is also color-blind. The only reason we see different color is because of a self-inflicted disease we call racism.”

And a sweet deal it is, they both come to love their daughter very much, as she gets older, they tell Fauna, now named Patty, that her real mother gave her away, but the whole time, they wait for her black to start showing through, except it really doesn’t.

But Patty is brought up a strong independent black girl, and she has plenty to say about people who don’t believe her, in fact she starts to take her birth certificate everywhere with her just to prove it as it clearly says “Father – Negro” on it.

But unfortunately, she is too white to fit in with the black kids, and too much like a black kid to fit in with the whites.

Jimmie, is not quite the loving mother she is portrayed to be in the neighbourhood, she is an alcoholic, and is very abusive toward Patty, and her string of lovers after her and her husband separate, also add to this, so much so that Patty eventually leaves the home and starts to find out a lot of information about her life that was kept from her by her “mother”

Lets just say that everything isn’t as it seemed!!

🎧🎧

Narration by January LaVoy was as always perfect, and this story was so brilliantly told by her.

Also a TV series called I Am The Night on TNT, I haven’t seen it myself, but I am anxiously waiting for it to come to UK TV so that I can.

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About The Book

The inspiration for the TNT TV series I Am the Night.
The Black Dahlia Murder is near-legend in the annals of true crime. But behind the shocking case of a young actress’s gruesome slaying lies the story of another woman.
Was Fauna Hodel the child of incest, and the catalyst for a sensational trial that left her well-to-do family scarred by scandal, even as the accused sexual predator walked free? Taken as an infant from her teenage mother, Fauna was placed in the care of a working-class black woman, who raised the white child as her own.
Together, as a close-knit mother and daughter, they weathered years of poverty and bigotry, alcoholism and sexual abuse, pregnancy and even deathβ€”until the time came for Fauna to seek out her real mother, and uncover her lost past.
But as Fauna will learn, some truths don’t want to be told.
Links:

UK Amazon

U.S Amazon

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Posted in Audiobook Review, Biography, memoir, Non Fiction

Brutally Honest Mel B’s tell-all memoir by Melanie Brown @OfficialMelB @audibleuk #Nonfiction #Memoir #AudiobookReview

How are we all?

I seem to have jumped into some sort of parallel universe as I’m starting to read quite a few Non Fiction books, which is not like me at all.

We all know who the Spice Girls are, even if you don’t like them, they were a force to be reckoned with in the 90’s, and they are back #Girlpower

Why did you pick it up Vicci? –  I saw Mel B on TV giving an interview about this book, and it resonated with me, I understood a lot of what she was talking about.

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My Thoughts

Mel B was always the very outspoken, ball-bashing one of the Spice Girls, if it needed saying, she was probably the one to say it, she gave no-shits about what people thought about her, and was very happy with this thank you very much!

Except this was really what she wanted people to see, she was actually a girl looking for love, mainly that of her father, he obviously loved her, but I think that she wanted to be shown how much she was loved, instead of being told that she wasn’t going to amount to anything, or that she was just a nuisance.

Melanie doesn’t hold back in this book, she is indeed Brutally Honest, she tells you about everything, from the drinking, to the drugs and more.

Her relationships with her friends, family and lovers are also included, including lots of old stories about how she got into the Spice Girls, and also about the man that she calls the love of her life, Eddie Murphy.

She also tells the story about her 10 year marriage to Stephen Belafonte (pronounced Steffan, cause he’s a dick like that!)

At the beginning the relationship was good, but it was quick, they were married really early on in the relationship, and he started to more than a healthy interest in her work/friends/money etc. So much so, in the end he had full control of everything!

After a short time the abuse started, but as she explains it wasn’t hitting straight away, it was verbal and emotional abuse, and it was done so subtly that she didn’t even realise what it was.

It’s hard to see when you are in it (although it becomes horribly, blindingly obvious when you are out of it) that the emotional upset you feel with your partner doesn’t just exist between the two of you or in your bedroom. It is an energy that fills a house.

She was Gaslighted, mentally and emotionally abused, which finally led to physical abuse.

When you are reading the book, you find that it does jump around a bit, from past to present, Melanie admits to having ADHD which is why I think it does this, it doesn’t seem to be in any sort of chronological order, it’s like she thinks of something and has to get it down before she forgets it, and I loved that about it.

For 10 years this woman was beaten down to feeling like nothing, and even at one point tried to kill herself, she was self medicating with drink and drugs to stop these feelings, and for the whole time she felt like, and was told it was her fault- THIS IS ABUSE

Melanie is an incredibly brave woman to open up her life to show everyone, and I applaud her for this, it shows that abuse does not discriminate, old, young, rich or poor, it can effect anyone.

Mel tells her story, warts and all, and explains how, to those people that say “Why didn’t you just leave?” that it isn’t that easy, some people don’t even realise that they are being abused.

There are 15 signs on the cover of the book, these are all RED FLAGS, it is incredibly important that people recognise these signs, and maybe, just maybe it will help, even just one person.

I think she is one HELL of a brave lady for doing this, and I hope that her and her family are super happy now 😘

🎧🎧 – Narration for the audio book was by Zaraah Abrahams who was fabulous, she sounds very much like Mel B when she speaks, so by the time it was halfway through, I had forgotten it was a different person narrating it.

15 Signs of Domestic Abuse:

1. Tells you that you can never do anything right.
2. Shows extreme jealousy of your friends and time spent away.
3. Keeps you or discourages you from seeing friends or family members.
4. Insults, demeans or shames you with put-downs.
5. Controls every penny spent in the household.
6. Takes your money or refuses to give you money for necessary expenses.
7. Looks at you or acts in ways that scare you.
8. Controls who you see, where you go, or what you do.
9. Prevents you from making your own decisions.
10. Tells you that you are a bad parent or threatens to harm or take away your children.
11. Prevents you from working or attending school.
12. Destroys your property or threatens to hurt or kill your pets.
13. Intimidates you with guns, knives or other weapons.
14. Pressures you to have sex when you don’t want to or do things sexually you’re not comfortable with.
15. Pressures you to use drugs or alcohol.

If this is you, then don’t be afraid to talk to someone about it, you are not alone, it is NOT YOUR FAULT, he doesn’t have to hit you for it to be abuse #ThisIsNotLove #MaybeHeDoesntHitYou

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About the book

Brutally Honest
By: Melanie Brown, β€©Narrated by: Melanie BrownZaraah Abrahams
Length: 11 hrs and 9 mins
Release date: 27-11-18
Publisher: Audible Studios

The memoir from the real woman behind the leopard print, for real women everywhere.

As one-fifth of the iconic Spice Girls and judge on X Factor and America’s Got Talent, Melanie Brown, aka Scary Spice, has been an international star since the age of 19. And yet there are sides of Mel that no one has ever seen or really known.

Brutally Honest is an exposΓ© of the struggles and acute pain that lay behind the glamour and success. With deep personal insight, remarkable frankness and Melanie’s trademark Yorkshire humour, this audiobook removes the mask of fame and reveals the mother, wife and daughter behind the Spice Girl everyone thinks they know.

The audiobook edition features narration from Melanie, her daughter, Phoenix, and her mother, Andrea.

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