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Book Review: Know My Name

by | Apr 18, 2020 | Books

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In 2015, I read an article on Buzzfeed about a sexual assault that took place at Stanford. As the stories about the assault were being covered over the next couple of years, I kept seeing updates about the case that made me mad: the constant discussion of how Brock lost his swimming career, how the judge gave sympathy to the assailant and not the victim, the white male privilege the victim and his family were spewing, etc.

In 2019, Chanel Miller came forward to say that she was Emily Doe. She doesn’t refer to herself as Brock Turner’s victim and walks us through how she found her voice after the events outside of what the media was telling us to perceive her. I chose to purchase her memoir in the audiobook format because I wanted to keep it for future reading/listening, and I wanted to support her work and her bravery. Her memoir, “Know My Name“, is gutting, heart-wrenching, poetic and hopeful. It’s wonderfully written and did a fantastic job giving readers Miller’s perspective of events during her ordeal.

Miller is not only an extraordinary writer, but she is also a compelling narrator. If Miller would like to continue as a narrator, she would thrive. It was piercing to read about the events from her perspective. Throughout the book, she also sprinkles in current events like Trump’s election, Brent Kavanaugh’s trial before being confirmed as a Supreme Court judge, and even Elliot Rodger, aka the “incel killer” to help ground the reader into remembering what our culture was like before and after the events of her assault. These moments also tore at my heart, but her intimate moments she retold about her and her family coping with her assault were what made her story so compelling. She walks us through what happened that night, the events leading up to the trial, the trial itself, and how she was recovering from the event.

I could not finish this in one sitting; it took almost a month for me to finish it because I had to take breaks from how graphic some of the content was. And yet, even reading such graphic content, I felt hopeful after reading this. It’s a tough read, but it’s an important read because Chanel helped change the narrative of sexual assault victims. It’s one step forward, and not quite where we want to be in life, but it’s an important step, and still a step forward.

For my 2020 Reading Challenges, I used “Know My Name” for the following prompts and challenges:

Overall, I would highly recommend everyone read “Know My Name”. It’s hard to review a book based on someone’s experience, but Chanel did a good job with navigating through her experience and sprinkling in relevant segues about her childhood and important current events. There is graphic content regarding her assault, so caution is advised. Chanel – thank you for sharing your story with the world.

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  1. Artemiseats

    I would love to read it in the future but i think for now it would be toi triggering for me

  2. carol

    Definitely looks like something I would read. Sexual assault is a dreadful thing to experience and I think it’s important that people know it still goes on!

  3. Karletta

    Thanks for the recommendation. “It’s a tough read, but it’s an important read because Chanel helped change the narrative of sexual assault victims.” By reading these stories, we also spread compassion and understanding for what others have been through.

  4. Andrea Arceneaux

    This sounds like an important book that I need to add to my reading list.

  5. Prajakta

    Wow this sounds like an interesting book to read.

  6. Hallie

    This sounds like such a powerful book- can’t wait to check it out!

  7. Maria Black

    Chanel is an incredible woman! It just goes to show how women can thrive and overcome anything <3 Very inspiring, thank you for sharing this!!

  8. Denise

    I may be one of the people who hadn’t heard of this book but was familiar with the story. I think I’ll check it out now.

  9. Peachy

    WOW! This sounds like a great read.

  10. Raina

    Sounds like an interesting and difficult story to read. Thanks for sharing your review

  11. Tami Qualls

    Reading subjects like this is tough, but it’s important for me to learn about others’ pain so that I can know how to best support them. Sexual assault is one of the worst ways to be victimized. I’ll be reading the book soon.

  12. Nati

    I remeber reading about that terrible assault. I totally understand how you’d need to take breaks reading about such graphic descriptions, but that makes it even more compelling!

  13. Kristine Nicole Alessandra

    You really got me interested to read this book. I will pick up a copy. This sounds like a book that would be difficult to put down until you’re done reading. Thanks for the review.

  14. michelle twin mum

    How very brave of Chanel Miller to write this memoir, it sounds as if it would be a really moving read. Mich x

  15. Cristina Petrini

    Very detailed and extremely interesting review, surely you fascinated me in wanting to know this book better and maybe read it.


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Lifestyle blogger and digital marketer based in Wisconsin. Michigander at heart. I'm here to provide my take on life through my blog. Fueled by chardonnay, cast recordings and chocolate.