Disclaimer: I was given a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
I was dreading reading this book because given the subject matter I was expecting a gruelling read that I would struggle to finish. I was pleasantly surprised to find that it was beautifully written and nearly impossible to put down.
Don't Hit Me! is not a conventional narrative, but rather a series of extracts from the author's diary, in poetry form, chronicling the years she spent living with an abusive man. The subject matter is tough to hear about, and may be triggering for anyone who has lived through similar events, but the quality of the writing helps you to keep on reading. The style is direct and has a real immediacy to it. There's an understated beauty to it as well that is hard to describe. It reminds me a little of both Dorothy Porter and Anna Akhmatova.
Don't Hit Me won the bronze in the 2014 Global eBook Awards and received an honourable mention at the the London Book Festival in 2014. Vanessa has also written two other volumes of poetry; Tantric Afternoons and Lascivious: Erotic Poems For Liberated Minds.
Don't be put off by the subject matter. Don't Hit Me is a powerful story that deserves to be told. I share Vanessa's hope that this book may inspire women in a similar situation to get out if they can.