#BookReview #BlogTour Still Standing by Natalie Qeiroz
My Rating: 🤩🤩🤩🤩🤩
Publisher: John Blake
Available: 13th June 2019
Genre: Non-Fiction / Biography
With thanks to Anne Cater of #RandomThingsTours the Publisher JohnBlake and the Author Natalie for my copy of this incredibly powerful and emotive book. This is certainly one I will be rereading and recommending far and wide.
BLURB Natalie Queiroz was eight months pregnant when she was stabbed by her partner in the most vicious attack imaginable.
In the space of nine minutes, and in broad daylight, Natalie was stabbed twenty-four times with a carving knife. She suffered horrific wounds to her lungs, liver, stomach and uterus, whilst the knife missed her baby by a margin of two millimeters, before the arteries in her wrists were methodically severed by the hooded attacker she finally realised was her partner and the father of her unborn child.
After heroic intervention by passers-by and police, the attack was brought to an end, but her ordeal was not over. An air ambulance rescue was launched, and against all medical odds, Natalie and her baby survived – but not without life-changing physical and emotional damage.
Still Standing is the story of one life-shattering event – what came before that fateful day, what happened on it, and how one woman and her baby survived to rebuild and heal together after it. At once a shocking story of evil, manipulation and violence, and a truly moving reminder that a life can be pieced back together, no matter how bad the damage, this book will empower and inspire anyone who has ever faced true adversity to rise up and stand tall.
Upon reading the blurb i realised that i recognised this story, i recalled seeing it in the news at the time. I remember saying a while later that I didn’t understand why the news didn’t concentrate more on Natalie, her story and what happened, why they don’t tend to follow the recovery story. I realised soon after that this was no doubt at least partially down to privacy and allowing the individuals to rebuild and recover. Seeing that this book then was not only the part of the story I had wanted to see, but written by Natalie herself, I knew that I needed to read it.
We hear so much about abuse of any type and the news concentrates on the very worst cases, but what about the individual? What about the road to recovery, or to trying to reach some form of recovery? What about an honest look at how life CAN carry on for the abusee? I won’t use the word Victim to describe Natalie, because after reading her story; after seeing how she got to where she is, and reading about the things she is currently doing, this is a woman to be admired for her resilience, respected for her ability to rise above her experiences. We rarely read honest considerations of the time, time and more time it takes on the road to recovery, or about the fact that actually this is not an easy upwards path. It’s a difficult slog with rocks and changes of direction and depth.
The writing style is engaging from the very start, written in a style that is easy to follow whilst gripping the reader tightly so they’re instantly invested in finding out Natalies story. The reader needs to continue, to find out answers to questions she raises as we go, to try to understand her perspective, to come to see how a person can go through something that shocked and Horrified a nation only to become one of the strongest and most inspirational women alive today.
There are many points within Natalies story that surprised me for one reason or another but I think a lot of it is best read independently. There is a lot within this that was powerful for how unexpected its honesty is, so I will avoid talking about specific scenes. Also, it is difficult to decide upon any particular area without discussing every scene in the book. Every one described is powerfully emotive and incredibly sincere. What i will say instead, is that even with what I had read about Natalie already, the view from her perspective is wholly powerful and shows in many ways just how one moment, choice or person can change a life.
The book explains the lead up to Natalies attack in a way that shows once and for all the answer to a question I am certain that countless people have asked Natalie in one form or another. Didn’t he shows signs of violent tendencies, how did you not know? Why didn’t you leave sooner? The reality is more horrific for the unpredictability and the lack of signs prior to the attack, but have a read yourself and you will see what I mean.
As is to be expected from this type of a Biography, the book is incredibly emotive. There were several moments where I had to put the book down and walk away because the honesty in it made me cry, made me uncomfortable or just stunned me. Yet I had to know, I needed to see how Natalie did it. I have to say at this point, as much as I know know her story, I still don’t know how she did it. The well of strength and determination in Natalie is incredibly admirable, as is the way in which she uses her experience to help others wherever she can, with various charity raising schemes, for example for the Air ambulance which lifted her after the attack.
The only way in which I can think to explain, is in the use of an image that comes to mind when I think of Natalie, all she’s been through and where she is today, and that is a Phoenix. They Break down, and in their situation it is natural to do so and yet they stay that way for so short a time it’s incredible to consider, only for them to then rise from that more powerful and beautiful than before. Perhaps a trifle overly poetic of me, but the only way I can think to begin to describe my feelings.
Whether you read true stories usually or not, whether you or someone you know has been or is in an abusive relationship or not, whether male or female. This is a book you need to read, and one that will change your views and ways of thinking regarding abusive behaviours and relationships in general, for a long time to come.
About The Author:
Natalie Queiroz is the survivor of one of the most appallingly brutal attacks imaginable. After being stabbed two dozen times by her partner when she was eight months pregnant, she has rebuilt her life and inspired people the length and breadth of the country with her courage and refusal to be bowed by her trauma. Alongside a successful full-time career, she has since become a motivational speaker and, through various feats of endurance and daring, raised thousands of pounds for the Midlands Air Ambulance charity she owes her life to.
Twitter : @natqleigh