The Source of All Things: A Memoir

The Source of All Things: A Memoir - Tracy Ross As a young girl, Tracy Ross was sexually abused by her stepfather. This is her story. It's a story about how a man can destroy a childhood and how that child is changed irrevocably- confused between love and hate, wanting everything to be normal again, yet knowing there is no normal. Tracy Ross was desperately looking for a savior and she didn't find it even after she was brave enough to tell. Her mother didn't save her and the "system" didn't save her. Eventually she had to find her own way out. Which brought her years later to the ultimate confrontation- asking her father what happened and perhaps the most unanswerable question, "Why?".

While this is obviously an emotionally wrought subject, I felt like there was something lacking in the writing. I felt Tracy's anger and outrage and her struggle with still being tied to her family, but the writing itself seemed methodical as if each word were carefully placed. It felt dry at times, without artistry or poetic composition. Tracy Ross is a journalist, writing articles for Backpacker and Skiing, so her memoir read like this type of writing, which is very good, but I would have liked to have seen more.

I understand some other reviewers' surprise that she still had an attachment to her father for so long, but this is very common with abuse victims, and I don't think it's fair to judge unless you've walked in their shoes. The abuser has immensely altered what love is supposed to be. And as Ms. Ross pointed out in the book, studies have shown that the chemical make-up of an abused child's brain has been changed and is different from that of a child who hasn't been abused.

Though, I will concur, I was quite taken aback in the book's acknowledgments when she thanks her father and says she's grateful (!) to him and her mother for the grace to let her tell this story. I just wanted to shake her for that one.

All in all, this was a worthwhile read and would be beneficial for other abuse victims. I especially liked that she had the gift of nature as an escape and that she has used that in her life as a positive outlet as well as a career.

Thank you to the publisher for this advanced reader's copy.