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Clandestine Confessions by Clandestine Confessions

Jacket: Paperback
Pages: 184 pages
Publisher: Gavta Publishing (May 1, 2005)
Genre:Biography & Memoir
ISBN: 9090194223

Author interview: Reviewer Erin Roberts interviews the author

Comments about the author: Nina Holden was the victim of acquaintance rape and then became involved with an abusive man. She wrote a story that would capture what she had thought and felt while struggling through these traumatic experiences to offer relief and comfort to other survivors, and to create understanding about the horrible crime that sexual assault is.  Visit the author's website at

Review: With Clandestine Confessions Nina Holden reminds us of how easily we can all become victims of rape, be it as a survivor, a parent, a friend, a classmate, a colleague or otherwise. That is why this book is important for us all to read.

Clandestine Confessions in no way embellishes the trauma rape survivors are faced with. The eighteen-year-old protagonist wants nothing more than to venture out into the world to discover new places, only to find herself on an idyllic Caribbean island, crying her eyes out on the floor of her apartment, after having been unable to fight off a repairman who she was introduced to at work. The ending of the book is uplifting and hopeful but does not pretend that Elize is left without scars, which would be disrespectful to fellow survivors.

In no other book have I found an author to be so utterly honest about her feelings and thoughts, even when trapped in a relationship with a man who is indifferent to her problems with regards to physical contact that have been brought on by her rape experience. It is a story about survival, about continuing to put one foot in front of the other and to keep going.

Clandestine Confessions is not merely written to reassure other victims and to help their loved ones better understand what they are going through, but also to make people realize what the impact of a devastating experience such as rape really is. Even though we regularly read about these crimes in the newspapers, I think there are still many misconceptions about these life-changing experiences. I believe this book can serve as a rude awakening. A must-read for all.

An additional strength of Clandestine Confessions is that the author did not wait ten to fifteen years after the facts to write the book. Her memories are fresh, her voice is clear and honest, and her will to push through is strong. Fighting one’s demons is not easy, certainly not on paper. Nina Holden’s triumph is that she has been able to put her shame aside and write a truthful, beautifully narrated novel, with an ever-present sense of urgency that makes it impossible for a reader to put it down before the last page has been read.

— Reviewed by: Erin Roberts



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