Any sexual abuse, no matter the form or degree, impacts the victim. Stevens portrays this beautifully in this exploration of a young woman’s coming to terms with her past. And the parallel story of a woman grappling with workplace sexual harassment underscores the similarities in how society treats both types of victim.
— Laura Davis, co-author of The Courage to Heal
“Stevens’s writing engages the reader in a series of situations that are honest, strongly and carefully drawn, and painfully current.“
For those among us who have experienced sexual abuse or harassment in our lives, the questions of fault, guilt and blame follow us even into dream. S.M. Stevens, in Horseshoes and Hand Grenades, confronts the issues and portrays both the abuse itself and the emotional trauma in its wake with understanding and authenticity. Astrid and Shelby are credible; their experiences ring true.
Stevens’s writing engages the reader in a series of situations that are honest, strongly and carefully drawn, and painfully current. Her novel touches on what is most difficult in the lives of survivors of abuse while spotlighting the kindness and support of those who sustain them.
— Susan Roney-O’Brien, author of Legacy of the Last World and Bone Circle
Reading this book, I felt kinship with the women, having had similar experiences. If this story gives just one woman the courage to speak out, or gives just one man a compassionate insight into how women cope with harassment but have the strength to maintain their lives (constructively and destructively), it will be a success.
— S.D., Advance Reader Review
“Every American should read this novel, as each character is someone you know.“
Horseshoes and Hand Grenades delivers a realistic portrait of women and their struggles. Surprisingly enough, Stevens manages to turn a hefty topic into an approachable one by way of a riveting read. As a woman who has endured workplace sexual assault, I particularly related to the authentic feelings of frustration, doubt, and trepidation that the characters in this novel experience.
Every American should read this novel, as each character is someone you know. She is your mother, your sister, your daughter, your friend. She is your neighbor, your coworker, your aunt. She is you… In addition to being a page-turner, Horseshoes and Hand Grenades is a true-to-life tale of love, friendship, and betrayal.
— Kimberly Coghlan, Coghlan Professional Writing Services