Book Review : Facing the Yorkshire Ripper by Mo Lea

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Hi friends! My review today is for Facing the Yorkshire Ripper by Mo Lea.

Below you’ll find the description of the book provided by NetGalley, followed by my personal short and sweet review. Enjoy, and as always – thanks for stopping by. ?

*Disclaimer : I received a copy of this ebook for free from NetGalley and Pen & Sword in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Description :

As a survivor of a brutal attack by the Yorkshire Ripper, this book gives fresh insight into the consequences of being labeled a victim of this notorious serial killer.

Mo Lea was followed home and attacked by Peter Sutcliffe, who hit her over the head repeatedly with a hammer. She was stabbed with a screwdriver leaving her with life threatening injuries. The book reveals how Mo has wrestled with the past, struggling to come to terms with the well-trodden, morbid narrative. She has written a new, fresh perspective for the present day.

Her writing offers an alternative account, one which repositions her as a survivor with a success story. While sympathy has its place for the victims, this book gives insight into processes of recovery and success. Mo had no control over unwanted media interventions. Sometimes the Ripper story would appear on the morning news while she was getting ready to go to work. She learnt to contain her anxiety but she could neither predict or escape these uncomfortable moments that reminded her of her past trauma.

Mo Lea’s art practice has been an important factor in her life. She has been fortunate to use this as an outlet to explore her pain, anger, suffering and recovery.

After years of personal growth and recovery, a short film was made of Mo Lea creating a drawing from the iconic photograph of the man who had tried to take her life. She is filmed ripping up the Ripper. She is filmed tearing up the portrait that she had so carefully drawn, rendering him as disposable as a piece of litter. The film shows how Mo turned her story around, making Sutcliffe the victim and herself, the triumphant survivor.

Mo had finally found a way of stepping out of the frame. She no longer felt Iike running away. The illustrations contained within describe better than any words, her journey from tragic despair to calmness and acceptance. By writing this book Mo Lea has found a way to reclaim her story.

My Review :

This is quite literally a story of survival. Mo Lea paints a horrifying picture of the night she was attacked by the man dubbed the Yorkshire Ripper.

Thankfully, she survives the attack – but the mental healing that comes in the decades to follow is where the attack lives in the back of her mind day in and day out.

Art becomes her refuge, and in the end, a way for her to give back.

Mo deals with a great deal of survivors guilt, so for her to come to terms with the attack and find a way to help others who’ve been through harrowing situations is a huge thing.

She finds love in Sophy. which seems to be a true bright spot in her life.

I was glad to read her story – I’m happy she was alive to write it.

I didn’t find this to be a fast paced book, but I liked reading each chapter.

I’d recommend this book if you’re looking for hope through mental healing.

3 Stars

If you’ve read this book – let me know your thoughts in the comments. ⤵️

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