I Choose Elena
Lucia Osborne-Crowley was on track to be an Olympic gymnast. She knew her body intimately and knew where she was going. On a night out age 15 she was violently raped, setting off a chain of events that lead to a life of chronic illness.
This memoir almost moved me to tears with the hopelessness and frustration that leaked out of its pages. How could no-one help Lucia when she was obviously in so much pain? Surely bleeding from the vagina should always be treated as serious. I guess that this was some years ago, when endometriosis and Crohn’s Disease were poorly understood, and even more poorly treated.
The statistics that Osborne-Crowley provides the reader with are unsurprising. Men tend to get help/pain relief faster than women, and their complaints tend to be taken more seriously. Yet which gender is it that goes through childbirth? Women are more resilient in my opinion, and Osborne-Crowley has done a fantastic job of making her story accessible and increasing awareness about trauma recovery.
Unlike Foul is Fair, this memoir deals with the subject of rape gracefully and sensitively. Rape is a triggering subject, but this book doesn’t dwell on the rape, instead depicting This reads so smoothly it could almost be fiction – yet I only wish that this was fiction because then Lucia would not have had to go through such hell.
I’d recommend this book both for people who have experienced similar trauma, and those that haven’t. It is a relatively gentle and pleasurable read that highlights both the importance of coming to terms with trauma through counselling and reading literature. Fantastic non-fiction.
Allen & Unwin | 18th February 2020| AU$16.99 | paperback