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Warrior in the Mud


Loved it! 😍

Pages filled with physical and mental abuse, childhood trauma, addiction, unhappy marriage - and the lifelong path to healing.

Sometimes time is the best teacher. Whether a person wants to experience personal growth or not, there comes the time when it is impossible to hide from the truth: something is fundamentally wrong with his/her life. That was the case with Nicole Martin Salter, who dared to put her story on paper, for others and herself.  

The initial project included a 'kind of rags-to-riches memoir based on my childhood in the '80s as the unwanted daughter of an authoritarian Italian mother and a career-criminal Black father'. Despite the new trials looming ahead, the author wanted to 'show a woman rising out of shame and hatred, addiction and self-destruction to become a good, happy wife/mother/citizen with good, happy, resilient children.' I am sure the author would have won hearts with such an idea if it had been published. 

That book would have been a lie.

What now hides under cover of the book Warrior in the Mud: Childhood Trauma, Adult Drama, and Reclaiming My Toxic Life is a relatable (though sometimes heart-wrenchingly horrible) account of the life that was ruined right from the start. Honesty toward herself - and hence readers - allows Nicole Martin Salter to identify the focal flaws that shaped her worldview and distorted her ability to assess people (and situations) objectively. The author learned French by reading labels on beauty products in her mother's bathroom while she was locked there. To survive on her own, she took one odd job after another until she found herself working in a massage parlor. For several years, she refused to acknowledge that she was in a toxic, unhealthy relationship. These revelations would not leave a reader indifferent. 

The book doesn't have an aura of total despair and darkness. It delivers the clarity of the person, who soberly analyzes the messy past and simultaneously looks with hope into the future. The author's self-discovery is a constant work in progress. Though the author confesses she sees a specialist, most of her knowledge about the phenomenon of narcissism comes from independent Internet research. For some readers, the last chapters about the author's findings in psychology can become a starting point from where they will dig further into the subject. For me, they were the reason to remove one star from my rating. Inasmuch as I like sincere self-reflections in other parts of the book, the accurate diagnoses of whether a person is a narcissist or not should be left to the specialists. 

I recommend the book to all readers open to compassion and kindness. The book can be a candor story, an inspirational narrative, a guide for the lost souls. Yet, it also can be 'entertaining,' as a horror story that shouldn't have happened in your enlightened times.   

I received an advance review copy through Reedsy Discovery, and I am leaving this review voluntarily.

Reviewed by

I've a Bachelor degree in Slavic languages and cultures, with the first specialty in Russian language and literature, the second the Bulgarian language. I've been interested in history and politics for more than 20 years. Occasional fiction is my respite from the unbearable heaviness of being.


About the author

Born in Brooklyn, New York, to an African-American father and an Italian-Canadian mother, Nicole Salter became interested in literature as a form of escape at a very early age. Warrior in the Mud is her first book, a memoir about recognizing childhood abuse and breaking self destructive patterns, view profile

Published on December 15, 2021

Published by Tellwell assisted publishing

90000 words

Contains graphic explicit content ⚠️

Genre: Biographies & Memoirs

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