Know My Name by Chanel Miller
Know by Name by Chanel Miller is the first five-star book that I have read this year. It is brilliantly written, achingly honest and raw and just incredibly powerful. But this isn’t a book that needs praising for its writing. It’s a book that is very important, it needs to be read, talked about and learned from.
Chanel bravely tells the story of the night she went out with her sister and a group of friends. They went to a party and drank too much. Chanel left the party and passed out outside. When she regained consciousness she was in hospital being told she had been sexually assaulted.
The book is obviously about consent but it is so much more than that. Chanel describes how she read stories about her attack in the press. The man who attacked her was a promising young athlete, an Olympic hopeful. The way the press portrayed them was that she was irresponsible for drinking so much, they commented on her clothing and yet when they spoke of him, he was described as a bright young man who made a mistake. Unbelievable!
She also talks about the comment sections on these stories which must have been incredibly difficult her. Some people were supportive and sympathetic, while others were just out to be mean. There have been a couple of news stories recently and if you look at the comments you’ll see a lot of hatred. This has to stop, words can hurt. We need to stop tearing people down and just be kind.
At the end of the book, Chanel shares her Victim Impact Statement, which she read in court (which also went viral when it was shared online) it is so powerful and important and simply must be read.
When somebody is as brave as Chanel and shares their story, we need to learn from it. I’ve spoken to a few people who have read this and we’ve all said that this book should be taught in schools. I do understand that for some people, who have been through as similar experience, this is one they wouldn’t be able to read but I really would urge others to read it.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on this one, have you read it yet?