Book Review Corner
Things Fall Apart by Hilary Neiman
How does one go from being raised in a loving, ethical family and earning an advanced education, including in the law, to being accused in the headlines of joining a baby-selling, human trafficking ring?
Eventually, Hilary would plead guilty, but not to baby-selling. She would forfeit her license to practice law, and spend five months in the Atwood Minimum Security Camp in Lexington, Kentucky. Things Fall Apart is the story of a young woman with nothing but the promise of a fulfilled life ahead of her, whose childhood dream turned into a nightmare.
Things Fall Apart was a compelling read and one that I found myself identifying with. It was refreshing to hear her side of the story, without the media there to influence and throw in facts or terms unrelated to the case in order to add a dramatic flare to the story. This story was dramatic and intense enough without attempting to make it any worse than it was already.
I felt that Hilary wanted to share in her story that regardless of background and positive influences in one's life, anyone can make a mistake that could potentially land them in trouble with the law. No one is safe from their own free will, and her story is a perfect example of just that. People make mistakes in their lives every day, granted some of those mistakes are bigger than others.
Another message in Things Fall Apart that Hilary really drives home is that although anyone can make a mistake, they too can rebuild their lives and come out on the other side. Making a bad decision, or a series of bad decisions, does not mean that good decisions are no longer possible. Hilary learned that herself during her journey to rebuild her own life and now she knows that positive changes in her life can lead her down a new path. This new path may be entirely different than what she had always planned for her life, but a different path for her does not necessarily a wrong one.
Hilary's writing style is engaging and kept me glued to the story from page one. After reading her story, I really felt as if I really know her. It is not up to society to judge her actions, and it is not up to anyone other else to do so either. Hilary has earned forgiveness, and anyone, especially those not directly affected by this case, should consider that forgiveness and empathy are much healthier qualities to have than judgement and arrogance.
My Recommendation: This book is for anyone who is interested in the truth behind the headlines, those that have empathy for others and understand the importance of forgiveness and retribution. Those that read Things Fall Apart should keep in mind that everyone is capable of making poor choices, no matter where they come from, what line of work they are in, or who they are on the inside. The best of intentions can lead to the worst choices.