12 Dec
Essays in ‘One Hundred Hearts’ inspire, embolden

By Jennifer Ball For the Deseret News
Published: Saturday, Dec. 5 2015 2:45 p.m. MST


“ONE HUNDRED HEARTS,” by Terry Sidford, Balboa Press, $13.99, 172 pages

“One Hundred Hearts” is a collection of stories about women who have found courage in the most difficult circumstances. Compiled from the answers 100 women shared in a survey about their histories, the stories tell of those who have faced death, loss, abuse and other misfortunes, and how they gained the resolve to push through life’s difficulties and not give in to woe.

The highlighted women are remarkable because of the uniqueness of their trials. The greatest feat of “One Hundred Hearts” is that their stories feel entirely relatable and can strike a chord with nearly any reader.

Getting the most out of a gut-wrenching story without milking the drama is a difficult balance to strike, and Utah author Terry Sidford has mastered it by telling each tale very simply and allowing the audience to project their memories, emotions and experiences upon the framework of words. She leaves her commentary until the end, wisely allowing the stories to speak for themselves.

The result is one personally inspiring and deeply touching chapter after the next, and while each is heartbreaking, the resulting catharsis has the pages practically turning themselves.

“One Hundred Hearts” is a must-read for anyone experiencing deep suffering, grief or confusion, or who has lived through periods of darkness — it is a book for everyone.

There is moderate, infrequent swearing and a chapter with disturbing scenes of domestic violence.

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