I only knew two things when I married Grey Andrews: one, I was in love and two, I wanted to rebel against my parents, for the first time in my life, REALLY rebel. I, however, wasn’t prepared for the onslaught of negativity and abuse I encountered.
“You? What man in his right mind would want you? You are the biggest bitch I’ve ever known. Not to mention, you are damaged.” Grey said as he wheeled around with that all too familiar sneer. The last thing I heard was, “I only married you out of pity.”
Did he really mean that? I loved him so much and thought if I loved him enough, he could change. I felt like I had been punched in the gut! Would he realize how lucky he was to have a beautiful wife and son. Only time would tell.
I had the opportunity to read a signed copy of Wake Up! Based on a true story of abuse & betrayal by Hunter Marshall. Let me tell you, this was a tough read! The author shares such an honest account of the multiple layers of abuse she endured, all in hopes of saving the marriage she had committed to with her whole heart. It is a brave telling that demonstrates how entrapping an abusive relationship can be. She describes the lure of the attractive, charming man who spins an unexpected 180 on her once they are engaged and even more so once vows have been exchanged. Once I started reading, I had a hard time putting it down. I was appalled by the verbal, emotional, and sexual abuse and how it only escalated with each turn of the page, adding to the depth of hurt and pain. The author does not stray from describing the raw details in such a realistic manner that the reader feels like a helpless witness to the ongoing crimes. The story reads almost like a journal, following a steady timeline throughout her years with this man, and concluding in a manner that leaves the reader breathing a sigh of relief.
Thank you, Hunter Marshall, for providing such an authentic narrative and the attention it brings to this important issue. I’m sure your story will guide other women to understand the warning signs and give them courage to take that final leap to safety.
Rating: 5 Star
Meet the Author
Hunter is a native of Idaho. She was born three months too early with a disability and wasn’t supposed to be able to walk, talk, see, hear or have any semblance of a normal life. Her mother however, believed she was more than a disability. She made sure Hunter did everything she was capable of to reach her full potential.
Coming from a big family, it was either keep up or get left in the dust. Because of her love of reading and writing she knew, even at an early age she was destined to be a writer.
She went on to graduate high school much to the awe and amazement of the doctors who told her parents she would never amount to anything, get married or have children. She then succeeded in getting a degree in Social Work. Her knowledge of Social Work and concern for issues facing mankind have assisted her in many aspects of her life, including raising a family and writing her first novel.
Q & A with Hunter Marshall
Why did you decide to write a book about your experience?
I started writing it in March of 2012 because I knew, for my kids’ sake I needed to do what I could to heal from it. I wrote about 40 pages then sat on it until December 2014 when my husband and I started counseling. During the first session I was talking about how I had started the book and the counselor looked at me and said, “You need to finish that book.” So, I knocked out the rest of the rough draft in 8 months—since the first publication in March 2015, I have rewritten it and redid the cover to make it better.
In a nutshell, healing was the reason for writing it.
Was there any part that was more difficult than others to write?
The rape and sexual abuse parts were extremely hard to get out, but even harder than that was writing about the way he treated my son. As if he didn’t matter at all.
How has your career as a social worker helped you in writing this book?
It was taking classes toward my degree that made me see that I was in a Domestic Violence situation and being able to know the different types of abuse and why women/men stay through those course has helped a lot.
Will there be a sequel?
I haven’t decided that as I want the sequel to be a better outcome than Wake Up!
If not, are you working on anything else?
I’m currently working on another book that intertwines with Wake Up! but is about a friendship that, although time has passed and Quinn wasn’t in contact with that friend for many years due to the abusive marriage and life in general, when they do come in contact again it is like the years have never passed. It talks about how they met and how they rekindled that friendship several years later. Right now the title is Bound by Hope, but I think that will change before the book is finished.
What would you say to a woman who finds herself in the middle of an abusive relationship and is struggling to leave?
Be careful. You are stronger than the abuser wants you to believe. You need to do this, not only for your own safety and sanity, but for your children as well (if there are any). It’s not an easy road you are taking, but listen to your instincts and you will be okay.
If you could say anything to your younger self during this time, what would you say?
You are stronger than even you realize. Stay close to the gospel because, in more ways than one, that will be your saving grace. You can, and will make a better life for your family. Stand up for yourself regardless of the outcome.
Who in your life provided you the most support during this difficult time?
My grandma was always supportive when she was alive. She gave my abuser the benefit of the doubt even when he didn’t deserve it. My parents and my sister tried for several years to get me to leave, but I was scared. Of him, of being alone, of never finding happiness. My brother, who is just older than me never had a bad word to say, but listened and gave advice he thought might help. It was their belief that I could be and do more than be the abused spinster he tried to make me.
What kind of support have you felt since leaving your abusive marriage?
When I finally made the decision to leave, my parents provided a place to live, helped with my son so I could finish school, but didn’t give so much help that I wouldn’t be able to do it on my own one day if it came to that. My mom stayed up with me and the endless nights of nightmares and crying during the first 18 months, whether it was me or my son having the nightmares or couldn’t sleep (she would stay up late with me and play Dr. Mario or just hold me like when I was a kid while I screamed or cried); I was still finishing my degree and couldn’t stay in the apartment I shared with my ex. Even after moving out, whenever I, or my son even, needs someone to go to, or a listening ear, my family has been there the whole time. My husband has been a support as well, but having never experienced it, there are times that he doesn’t know what to say or do.
I’ve been able to reconnect with friends I had prior to my first marriage (they know who they are). One, in particular has helped me remember the “real” me. The strong, undefeated me. There has also been an outpouring of assistance with reading Wake Up! and wanting to know more from the indie community as well. I have found some wonderful friends and allies since publishing.
Get to know more about Hunter Marshall by contacting her here!