Compelling Memoir Unveils the Hidden Pain and Triumphant Survival of a Battered Wife

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Ada Garwood unveils the 17 years of her married life when she confronted the need for spiritual transcendence and ethical stability in her battle to survive.

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The battered wife syndrome is a complex of physical and psychological abuse of women by their husbands. This results in terror and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which appears in people subjected to these experiences over a period of time.

If I Had $1,500 I Would Clean My Karma, written by Ada Garwood, is the story of her tumultuous family life led in an upper-class suburb surrounded by the affluence and culture of the well-to-do by her Harvard and Columbia University educated husband and herself, an educated Ivy League wife. The New York Times celebrated their wedding with an announcement. Yet years later, inside their suburban home, there existed a barbaric feudalism that hardly warrants the twentieth century as a setting.

This book follows the story of Garwood, an idealistic young woman born into poverty in the slums, as she defies the odds against her to get an education and become an author. As she observes her husband’s increasing mental illness and copes with two teenagers growing up in this environment, she seeks to find the wisdom she needs for herself and her children. Her struggle to overcome the barbarism of a marriage that appears outwardly to others as American as apple pie is a challenge she finally overcomes. She confronts the need for spiritual transcendence and ethical stability in her battle to survive. The book illuminates the 17 years of her life during which she experienced the destruction of her final set of illusions and began a journey to recover her existence and her own freedom to be and to love. As she struggled to protect her children within a set of parameters that seemed insurmountable, she discovered her own strength and that of her children.

This book recounts events in the real life of a woman that are sad, even tragic, but Garwood has brought humor and joy and the warmth of human relationships to this story so that readers can feel a sense of empowerment and victory as they observe change taking place despite apparently insurmountable odds.

If I Had $1,500 I Would Clean My Karma has been written because the incidence of battered wives and children has become a silent social scourge. Garwood hopes that the material contained in this book will help the many women who cannot articulate their feelings, but who suffer silently everywhere. Furthermore, it is a story with which many readers, both male and female, will be able to identify because there is a fine line that separates people from the kind of anger that threatens to explode into violence. It requires strength, honesty and balanced judgment to maintain one’s integrity as a human being when trying to experience life with authenticity in a pressure-cooker society. Garwood’s fervent wish is that there will be an end to the injustice and atrocities people witness in their own homes.

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About the Author
This story took place before there were safe shelters and laws against domestic violence. As we look beneath one woman’s struggle to survive, we may gain insight into a social problem that has yet to be fully addressed by society. This book is written under a pseudonym and people’s names have been changed to protect their privacy. The author has published many books, including poetry, children’s books, fiction and non-fiction as well as written educational grants to benefit young people and adults.

If I had $1,500, I would clean my Karma * by Ada Garwood
Publication Date: August 27, 2012
Trade Paperback; $19.99; 217 pages; 978-1-4771-5816-6
Trade Hardback; $29.99; 217 pages; 978-1-4771-5817-3
eBook; $3.99; 978-1-4771-5818-0

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