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Click here for the
18th Annual Writer's Digest Self-Published Book Awards
Judge's Review & Commentary


I just finished your very lucid and thought-provoking book.
Congratulations for impressively articulating the many facets of such a terrible nightmare.  I found the descriptions of your own background when contrasted with those of the criminal's resulted in some very artful and illuminating prose.  Your consistent attention throughout the book regarding the deep dysfunction that pervades the lives of so many children is understated and eloquent; leaving readers face to face with a social reality that is disturbingly profound.

I can't stop thinking about you without having to hold back my tears.  My God.  There is much in your book that speaks to my own experience, though of course what life has brought my way pales in comparison.  I greatly admire your strength and resolve.  I greatly admire your spiritual evolution.  I greatly admire the work that you continue to do.  I think the garden and all that it entails is the perfect metaphor--not only for your particular journey, but also for looking at particular qualities in each of our lives.  Right now, I'm immobilized; the garden's deeply neglected, full of weeds.  Reading your book and learning about you at this particular point in your life is a real inspiration.  Thank-you for such an incredible accomplishment.
My best wishes to you.

With love and great admiration,
Kim Lansford

"Once I started reading, it was impossible to put it down.
A must read for crisis and trauma counselors and volunteers

"The Garden Song is a multi-layered journey filled with symbolism and metaphor as the author explores significant themes of the strength and resilience of the human spirit, the power of loving relationships, forgiveness, and trust."

"Alternating events of the perpetrator's life story with those of her own life and childhood, the author provides stark contrasting examples of the role of nature and nurture in human development. This theme is insightfully balanced with the sharing of the similarities we all possess by virtue of being human, thus increasing the power of this very personal story."

"The Garden Story is especially suited to the education of professionals and volunteers working in trauma and crisis intervention and as a textbook for students in social work, psychology, nursing, and justices studies. The book accomplishes what no other textbook can -- an in-depth personal story."

Eleanor Pepi Downey, MSW, PhD
Director - Social Work Program
Lewis-Clark State College (Idaho)

"The Garden Song is a valuable resource for victims of violent crime, the people who love them, and the care providers who work with them. Since most rape victims choose to hide behind the cloak of anonymity, this book provides a unique opportunity to understand the pervasive impact of rape and to explore healing in new ways."

Andrea Bershad, MSW
Volunteer Therapist

Coeur d'Alene Women's Center

"Shocking and Inspiring! Cheri Calvert’s Garden Song cuts deep to the racing heart of terror and redemption. With eloquent precision and unblinking candor, her fresh voice and singular vision take us where few dare to journey while challenging us to rise above our best selves to nurture the enduring hope of the Human Spirit.”
Gala Muench, M.F.A.
Siren Song

“Approach this book with reverence for you are entering the holy
temple of the Heart. There we encounter an unwashed tapestry of grief and tragedy, woven with such profound sweetness, reflection, and tenderness that it succeeds in wrapping us in a blanket of healing hope.”
Patricia Berger
Blue Lotus Sanctuary

“I found myself really wanting to know what happened, and then when the author finally tells us, I regretted my fervor for the details.“



The Garden Song - a true story about rape

A true story about rape
by Cheri Calvert

    © 2009 Cheri Calvert

    web dev by www.CheriCalvert.com