Reading Pieces of Me, by Lizbeth Meredith, the Alaskan writer and domestic abuse advocate, is to experience the harrowing journey of a mother to find her abducted daughters. This is a story of resilience and courage, of a woman determined to overcome all odds. Underneath the dense layer of legal maneuvers in this complicated case of international child abduction lays a multigenerational lineage of child abuse and victimization.
Abducted, abused, silenced, and later abandoned by her own mother, Meredith stands slim chances to overcome the effects of adverse childhood experience. She marries and later divorces Gregory, a violent abuser that nearly kills her. Disregarding court orders, Gregory takes their two young daughters from their school in Anchorage to a remote village in Greece. And the journey just begins.
What fascinates is that through the entire ordeal Meredith appears to be both vulnerable and indestructible. She doesn’t hesitate to ask and look for help, enlisting supporters for her quest from all walks of life, from neighbors, to lawyers, to senators, and studying the complicated laws that offer clues to solve her case. Meredith makes mistakes, starves, and almost falls, but always lands back onto her own strong feet as the resilient, resourceful, and tireless mother who is willing to risk her own freedom to rescue her daughters from a life of abuse and misery.
Pieces of Me is a compelling story, and a must read as a case study for international child abduction laws, but also for those trying to understand the depth of damage caused by abuse in the child’s psyche.