Sorrow to Shero: Pain, Power, and Peace


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"Sorrow to Shero" shines a light on psychological abuse and the importance of mental health. It is also a vivid reminder that God always makes a way out of no way.

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Oct 26, 2020

Literary Titan

Sorrow to Shero: Pain, Power, and Peace takes its title from Dr. Jeannita Bussle's unofficial moniker for her struggles and eventual recovery from her former husband's undiagnosed mental illness and his subsequently abusive nature. Despite the normalcy of the opening of the book, the backdrop of Bussle's childhood and her adolescent experiences in Detroit, it's clear that she's struggled with exceptional challenges, and lives with the effects of their underlying trauma. The pain in Bussle's story never tips over into despair or hopelessness, and Sorrow to Shero is a tale that treats serious mental illness and episodes of domestic abuse with vulnerability and honesty. It's an assured debut, and a memoir that already means a great deal to many people.

Bussle demonstrates real skill in bringing to life her world for the reader; vibrant in details, with her past and present delicately balanced against the backdrop of her faith and love for her children. Survivors of trauma and those that struggle with mental illness will find comfort in Bussle's words, and how she's been able to anchor the worst moments and events of her life firmly in her past. Bussle remains firmly in control of the narration of the events of the book - so complete, and so flawless in her perspective of the past, that it's clear that her story is meant to be one of empowerment for other women who may find themselves in a similar situation. This is Bussle's true achievement - a book about abuse and recovery, that captures the experience of it, with remarkable nuance and candor, without skipping over the ambiguities and the hardship. At the same time, Sorrow to Shero: Pain, Power, and Peace is also about motherhood and the deep bond between a mother and her children. Bussle describes herself, more than anything else as a proud mother, and this is instrumental in her ability to better her life for both herself and her children. The role of motherhood and the value of close family relationships is movingly explored throughout the book, there's no doubting the integrity of her experience as a parent. Despite Bussle's credentials, it should be made clear that her book is not the equivalent of a university professor addressing a packed lecture hall. This makes it both effortlessly readable, and highly personal. It's a book that abuse survivors are likely to find in some senses recognisable, whereas the casual reader may find themselves mentally filing away ideas and terminology to dig into further at a later point for a greater level of understanding. Sorrow to Shero is a captivating and emotional memoir that explores some the things that break us and make us as people.

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