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Sister of Darkness: A Memoir

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  • Posted April 17, 2009

    Sister of Darkness

    Lili Bita is a Greek writer well known for her memoir Sister of Darkness. The work recounts Bita's life from birth until she achieves personal freedom. Bita was not one to live as prescribed to her as a Greek woman. From birth she was looked down upon for simply being a woman and so she envied men for the power they held. In a sense she tried to capture that power through the lifestyle she held with various men.
    Yet, this made her an impure woman unworthy of having a devoted husband. When at last she does marry, it is to a tyrannical and abusive husband, Tasos. He held all the power over her and he was to be obeyed. Bita could only blindly follow his instructions and feel his power when she did not act to his liking. That is until at last Bita could not take it any longer. On the same night that she discovers that her husband has married another woman in Greece, she suffers a severe beating. At that moment she decides to take her two children and her freedom back as she finally leaves her deranged husband. She no longer worries that she will not be able to survive without him because she knows that to survive she needs to escape him.
    Personally, I enjoyed the book's great imagery. It was like I could watch Bita's life unraveling as the story unfolded. Her story is moving because she suffered both physical and emotional damage but eventually she overcame it all and escaped from her abusive life to finally claim her own freedom as an individual.

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  • Posted April 17, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    A Story Tolled Uncensored

    Lili Bita is another author who is not afraid to tell their life story exactly how it is. I admire the fact the Bita is so brutally honest in her description of her life. Bita describes her child hood in Greece with one simple word, strict. Her parents were unbelievably strict and as normal teenagers do, they break the rules. Bita took that to the extreme. The book is graphic with the sexual scenes that in some cases you have to read the line over again to make sure that she said what you thought she said, and usually it is exactly what you thought you read. But there is no way that this book would have been anywhere near as powerful if she didn't use the language and descriptiveness that she does. You as the reader will find your self engulfed in the text and the story. Her story is truly captivating especially when you know that it is a true recollection of her life. The book is fun, entertaining, and extremely graphic which is why I would recommend it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 9, 2008

    Sister of Darkness

    Sister of Darkness, written by Greek born author Lili Bita, is an intense, honest, and disturbing memoir of her life. Lili Bita develops a great love and appreciation for music and theater, her father was against her being an actress. Lili Bita first takes the reader through to what seems to be a very painful scene of her mother¿s delivery process, it is her mother Eleni and father Yorgos which are experiencing what we discover is the birth of Angeliki Bita whom is named after her grandmother. Lili Bita breaks her memoir down into four parts starting with The Island then goes to the The City, Birth and America. This breakdown of the memoir assists in explaining Lili Bita passage to personal liberation. As a male I failed enormously to understand Lili Bita¿s feministic memoir in which she encounters a big struggle with violence and oppression as woman and for being a woman. I enjoy the intensity in which Lili Bita writes and how graphic she got especially in a scene when she is describing Men during her long walks to Soula¿s lingerie shop and back. There were no shortcomings of honesty by Lili Bita in her entire memoir plus what I would like to call holding back no punches. By that I mean she allows us to know that Alexandros was the man who had deflowered her. The disturbing part of the memoir for me is Lili with her husband Tasos. I disapproved big time of Lili ever staying around with Tasos for as long as she did. The ending of this memoir was enough to fix my dislike for Lili Bita.

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  • Posted December 3, 2008

    Sister of Darkness

    Sister of Darkness, written by Lili Bita, is a memoir of her life. This story is about love, lust, and compassion. It begins from when she was a little girl until she became a woman. Lili is not your typical Greek woman. At an early age Lili became rebellious and curious about sex. She went against all her parents rules and didn¿t what she wanted to. After reading this book I found it hard to believe a lot of the things that happened to her. It was obvious during the book that her father did not want a girl and he definitely makes that clear throughout the book. She finally gets the courage to leave her family and goes to Athens. When she leaves to Athen it was her break to freedom. She finally was able to live the life she wanted. She becomes highly sexually active and has sex with many men. I really like this book because throughout the book she shows that any woman can take a stand in what you believe in and live the life you want to, as she did. I am almost positive that Lili Bita has inspired many young women. I like that she goes against what everyone says. She does not care about what anyone has to say and that is the way things should be. This book is a good book to read. It is very vivid and the words used make everything come to life.

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  • Posted December 2, 2008

    Sister of Darkness

    Sister of Darkness by Lili Bita is a great example of empowerment. As she is born a girl and not a boy as her father wanted not only faced being seemed as something lower then dirt but being treated super strict by her Greek family. She is one that was to follow traditions and be as her family said instead of what she felt like doing. Once she was able to get leverage she was able to see she was missing. She was enlighten. She eventually meets a man by the name Taso who promises to give her everything she wanted and a new life in the United States. Only this takes an turn when arriving in at the States becoming a heavily abusive relationship. She would have to be careful for every little thing she did because it might of cost her. Lili faces being away from family and in an abusive relationship which causes her to make a courageous move in leaving and never looking back. Truly, this book enlightens many readers that there are people out there that have experienced harder situations and as for women everywhere can liberate themselves and be free.

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  • Posted November 25, 2008

    Sister of Darkness

    This story tells the compelling tale of Lili Bita and the struggles she was plagued with since she was born to escape her foretold destiny and forge her own utilizing sex appeal as well as natural talent in writing, playing the piano, and acting. Coming from a rigid and strict family, her life was supposed to be dictated by tradition instead of her own free will. Once she was able to loosen her familial ties and break free from them and their grip, she set her sights on America via her love interest. She then finds herself in a foreign country without family, and in an abusive relationship. Her new struggle became attempting to break free from her husband. The story was a little slow to pick up in the beginning, especially because the first third skipped around. Afterward, the story continued on a more easily understandable, linear plot. The feelings I felt as I read the story are noteworthy also. It was intriguing to read about how other cultures brought up their children, which is so different from how children in America are brought up. I felt disappointment and frowned upon the web of lies she spun in the second third of the novel, and then I felt great pity in the end. It was able to elicit many emotions within me, and I'm sure it can do so to any other reader.

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  • Posted November 24, 2008

    Sister of Darkness - Short Review

    Lili Bita wrote ¿Sister of Darkness¿ as a memoir of her life, mainly focusing on her defiant desires for freedom from the society that she was born into. Her memoir focuses on her extremely difficult years within her native village in Greece, her desires and struggles to escape the oppression, and her abusive years after finally having reached America. From birth, Lili was considered to be lower, to be nothing because she was born a girl, a Greek girl. Her own father considered her to be repulsive because of her monthly process. The society in which she was born into enclosed her into just their culture and religion, therefore when she was finally able to escape her village and arrived at Athens, her eyes were opened to everything that was life. However, rather than take it in slowly, Lili rushes into her new life taking in all the new aspects in the wrong way. She eventually meets Taso who takes her in, calms her down and promises her a new life in America. Once arrive in America however, Taso begins to abuse her and punishes her for any little thing. Sister of Darkness as a whole is a shock to the membrane. To see a woman go through all this unjustified suffering makes you believe that Lili Bita deserves a spot as one of the strongest women out there.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 17, 2008

    Ultimate story of empowerment

    Lili Bita's Sister of Darkness is a story about how a suppressed, timid and inexperienced girl transforms into a free, bold, and strong woman. Raised in a Greek family, Lili was forced to follow the traditional Greek rules that made women obedient supporters and reproducers for their Greek husbands. From early on in her life, Lili showed signs of individualism and often risked being looked down upon for it by her own family and friends because they, unlike her, were firm believers of this stereotyping of gender roles. Signs of Lili's rebellion against this way of life are having goals for herself in life, promiscuous relations with numerous men, and overall respect for herself as an individual. She even left her family on the island to further her life in the city. The lack of support for this sense of individualism is shared by her husband, Tasos. He mistreats her throughout their marriage in any way from physical beatings to psychological torture. He even disrespects and eventually divorces her for not being as pure as expected for a Greek woman. However, he still keeps her with their two kids in order to control her life. For these and many other reasons she leaves him once she has the chance to, in America. Just the fact that she has the bravery to leave the only economic provider she has in this strange country, shows that Lili Beta is one of the greatest individualists and that this book is the ultimate story of feminist empowerment.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 10, 2008

    Sister of Darkness Review

    Sister of Darkness follows the story of Lili Bita, a Greek woman who at a young age had views that differed from the ones of her culture. Lili was a free-spirited woman with goals and dreams, which she would often have to hide because she knew that her family would disapprove. Even though her parents loved her, the relationship she had with them was somewhat dysfunctional. Her father wanted a boy and her mother was harsh with her, teaching her life lessons in unconventional ways. Lili Bita was very curious about sex. She had different morals for a Greek woman and had sex with lots of men. She gets married and leaves the island for the city; she gets pregnant and lives a very hard life, because of her failed marriage. Her husband did not trust her and was ashamed of her because he did not think she was pure. Once, he even made her live with his mom so that she could keep an eye on Lili. He beat her many times, and also abused her emotionally. On one occasion he tried to make their son hit her with a belt. She stayed with him though in hopes of reaching her goal of going to America. This book is very interesting because Lili narrates her life story leaving nothing to the imagination. She gives us shocking anecdotes of her hard life, which makes it impossible to put the book down. She tells us with great detail all the obstacles she had to overcome and how hard they were for her.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 6, 2008

    Sister of Darkness by Lili Bita

    Sister of Darkness is a phenomenal book because it exemplifies liberation and individuation in more than one way. At a young age, Lili already sensed her dislike for her family's deeply rooted Greek traditions. She observed her mother¿s life and did not want to imagine following in her footsteps. The fact that Lili even questioned the Greek traditions that were constantly instilled in her was a precursor to her impending escape from Greece. <BR/> Lili ended up getting pregnant while still in Greece, which was probably the first big step she took to rebel and display resistance to her family's expectations. Though she hid the pregnancy from her family, she mustered up the courage to leave to America with her husband, Tasos.<BR/> This alone would have been more than enough to prove that Lili was willing to stand up for her freedom as a person and break away from her culture. However, Lili also stood up for herself as a female more and more as the book progressed. Tasos became increasingly violent, using her for sexual purposes and convenience. Since the book took place at a time where woman had no rights, I was completely shocked when I read that Lili decided to leave him, despite the fact that he was one of the few people she had in America (a land completely unfamiliar to her). <BR/> If you want to read a book about courage, women¿s rights, and individuation, this is the book for you. Sister of Darkness has definitely left me with the motivation to break free from anything that holds me back from reaching my maximum potential.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 29, 2008

    Being Different is Ok.

    The book Sister of Darkness is the story of a Greek woman named Lili Bita. The book follows her life from when she was a little girl to when she became a middle age women. The book shows how she was not a typical Greek woman. Early in her life she had a deep curiosity about sex .She did not choose to satisfy her curiosity because when she young she felt constrained by her family, especially her mother. She was finally able to stand up to her family when she moved to the city. She had seen from her mother and the life that was ahead of her if she became married. She did not want this and she became an artist, a performer, and writer. She even engaged in a life of unconstrained sex with countless men. I really likes this book because is a true inspirational story about being yourself no matter what everybody else might think. She is an example of the change that women have experienced in society. She is a pioneer because when she was doing this the view of women in society was constrained and there was a double standard in relationships. I also really like the vivid imagery she would use to describe her surroundings and subjects. I would recommend this book to anyone but especially to anybody to who enjoys book about strong female figures.

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  • Posted October 28, 2008

    Sister of Darkness

    Lili Bita brings us along her retelling of her life as she was growing up in her memoir Sister of Darkness. We watch her grow up into a Greek family with parents who have strict views about how a girl from a respectable family should behave and present herself. In order to reach the personal freedom that she so desperately craves, Lili finds it difficult to conform to such a life, so from a young age she goes against the grain and seeks liberation by doing the opposite of what standards her parents set up for her. While reaching for her dreams of becoming a writer, actress and concert player, she meets a man by the name of Tasos and leads a promiscuous life and shortly after they leave to America with Lili being pregnant. She leaves the country without her parents knowing about her pregnancy only to live of life of unaccomplished hopes and dreams and beatings by her soon to be abusive husband. Lili leaves Tasos and her abusive relationship behind and surviving the violent loveless marriage and escaping from a cruel man that stood in the way of her freedom. As the book closes, this leaves you with a feeling of satisfaction and completion which could have been absent had the book ended any other way.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 27, 2008

    Sister of Darkness

    Sister of Darkness by Lili Bita is a memoir of a Greek woman and her struggles towards independence and womanhood. Born into a very strict family where customs were not always so easy to follow, she finds herself developing a curiosity over her body and sexuality. With this she begins to think sinful thoughts all the time and even more when in the presence of men. Lili even has a list of commandments she must follow in order to be characterized as a ¿good girl¿. Being a good girl meant she was not allowed to do anything and this frustrated Lili, because she was a strong will girl and couldn¿t take the restrictions that were being placed on her. When she turns sixteen, Lili realizes that there was nothing for her on the island and decides to move to Athens with her friend Lola to study music and theater. She soon meets a professor and distinguished scholar whom she falls in love with at first sight his name is Tasos. Without even her family knowing anything she gives birth to his two kids and eventually marries him. This is the turning point in Lili Bita¿s life when she soon finds out that she has entered into an abusive relationship. Tasos threatens to deport her if she disobeys him in anyway. He comes very violent and abusive not only physically but verbally. He even manipulates her and robs her of her own money and creativity. After somewhat time he divorces her because she is not considered ¿pure¿ anymore. Back then being pure meant you were still a virgin so he throws her away like she¿s garbage but still chooses to keep her close in order to still gain control of her. Lili finally reaches the courage to get up and leave after so many beat downs. She turns away walks out and never looks back; this story is so inspiring to women especially women in abusive relationships of any sort.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 26, 2008

    Unique

    Through her memoir, Sister of Darkness, Lili Bita tells the story of her upbringing on a small Greek island, the difficulties she faced, and how she over came them. Greek culture has very strict rules for women. Lili writes, ¿Girls from good families never cross their legs,¿ ¿Girls from good families never appear at windows,¿ ¿Girls from good families are never unchaperoned,¿ and the list goes on. <BR/>In addition to the subequal treatment Greek culture requires, Lili¿s father, Yorgos Bita treated her even worse for another reason. As a military man, he wanted a family of young, strong men. His wish was satisfied for his first born, Thomas. But when Lili was born Yorgos was disgusted by the infants apparent lack of a penis. <BR/>As you¿ll learn if read the back, Lili isn¿t the type of person to just settle for what life handed to her. She fought back, against both Greek culture and her father¿s disappointment with the only weapon available to her: promiscuity. For Lili, sex was what allowed her to free herself from chains of an oppressive father and country.<BR/>Lili¿s openness is refreshingly honest, and even at times, shocking. She includes all of the experiences that had any part in forming who she is, whether they are good or bad, uplifting or embarrassing. In one scene, Lili describes her encounter with a man who wanted her to urinate in his mouth. One might expect a scene like this to come across as self-consciously crass, but it doesn¿t Lili writes it. She writes in style that gives significance and a certain sense of dignity to every topic she touches. She explained the man¿s request as an expression of the man¿s desire for freedom. That the man spent eight hours a day trying to please his boss, and that in this moment, the man was able to rise above everything else in his life and just please himself.<BR/>Sister of Darkness challenges the reader to examine his own ideas of morality, telling us to ask ourselves, why do we believe what we believe. And it is for this reason that I highly recommend the book.

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  • Posted October 25, 2008

    I Also Recommend:

    Sister of Darkness

    Sister of Darkness is about a young girl named Lili Bita struggles towards independence and womanhood. Born in a family of Greek;s who wanted a boy not a girl it was very hard for her to be accpeted. Growing up, she is taught to be a lady and is given strict rules by her mother on how little girls should and shouldn;t behave. Her mother Eleni ia a housewife and her father was a Greek Army general on the island that they lived on.As Lili struggles to become a woman she has to learn things on her own because she would never dare ask her mother. Lili gets her period one day and think that she has committed a sin. Lili begins to wonder why these things were happening to her and began to get curious.At sixteen, lili realizes that there was nothing for her on the island and decides to move to Athens with her friend Lola to study music and theather. Lili was very naive so moving to Athens was a huge step for her. In Athens she meets Tasos who she soon starts dating. He was a professor. She meets him and soon figures out what kind of man he really is. As he rapes her and cheats on her and calls her names. Tasos gets her to America where she wanted to start a new life, but ends up having two children. She gets stuck marrying Tasos to get to America ands up in an abusive relationship from all aspects. Lili is totured and couldn't get out until one day she had had enough an just left forever with her two children and never looked back. This shows how much courage and strentgh Lili had to stand up for herself as a woman and fight back for what she believed in.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 24, 2008

    Sister of Darkness

    Sister of Darkness By Lili Bita is a memoir of a Greek woman and the surprising and passionate happenings throughout her life. Growing up in Greece and with a strict family the author is always being restricted from experiencing life in different ways throughout the book. She was always told ¿Girls from good families don¿t do this and don¿t do that.¿ As the author grows older she also grows her curiosity with her sexuality, and experiences ¿sinful¿ feelings and encounters with men. She later gets married to Tasos and ends up having a nightmare for a relationship. She ends up escaping to the United States in hope for freedom and a chance to become an artist and writer. She overcomes many obstacles that at the end only made her a stronger woman. The author expresses herself with a lot of freedom and an unexpected use of strong language telling the reader the story of how she became the free woman she always wanted to be. The book is passionate and abruptly honest which makes the story enjoyable for the reader but at the same time shocking. I recommend this story to all young- adult females; it makes you see life in a different way.

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  • Posted October 24, 2008

    Sister Of Darkness

    Lili Bita¿s Sister of Darkness is an impacting memoir depicting the journey of a woman who struggles to break free from her oppressors. Being a Greek woman growing up in a small Greek island, Lili Bita was raised under strict rules based on the notion that men are superior to women. However, she manages to escape the island (her first oppressor) and moves into the city where she finds herself facing new hardships. She began to have many sexual encounters in the city, and though this gave her a surge of empowerment, it quickly faded away when she realized that she had no future in music. Later on though, she meets Tasos and with him moves to Germany as her first step towards going to America. Matters quickly turn sour when Tasos leaves her to marry an American woman in order to establish his citizenship and allow for Bita¿s migration. In Germany Bita gives birth to her first son without Tasos¿ presence. When she moves to America she discovers that Tasos lives a double life with her and his wife, and when he divorces his wife and marries Bita, he becomes a different person. Tasos becomes abusive and excessively paranoid claiming that she has been with other men. The arrival of the second son pleases Tasos and his attention quickly turns to him instead of his first son because he believes that he is the offspring of another man. His paranoia makes him even more savage later on, and he inflicts upon her five days of pure unimaginable torture that Bita endures in order to make sure that he will not disown her or her children since he was a citizen and she was not. Later on though, she finds the strength to leave him and never again looks back. The reader feels her pain all throughout the book and can understand the plight of all mothers out there who struggle with abusive husbands. It is truly an enlightening read.

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  • Posted October 24, 2008

    First Book I've Ever Read About The Struggles of the Female Gender

    Lili Bita¿s Sister of Darkness was certainly not my favorite book as it was not very organized. The choppy chapters seem very random and I feel that the book would have been a lot better if she would have made her stories and ideas flow. However, I did like the overall meaning of the book because I can relate to it being that I am a female. <BR/>This book surprised me in many ways as I have never had to feel inferior to anyone else solely because of my gender. It was interesting to read about Lili Bita¿s struggles against the male gender, including her father, brother, and husband. I thought it was sad when Lili revealed at the beginning of the book that her own father did not approve of her because she was born a girl and even proceeded to call her a monster. I felt bad for LilI as she was constantly comparing herself to her brother, who seemed to have more privileges than she did. Lili Bita even has a list of commandments that she must follow in order to be characterized as a ¿good girl¿. These are all struggles that Lili must face growing up because her Greek family believes that women must be respectful and not be whores. <BR/>The most shocking scene is the one in which Lili is a young girl who gets her period for the first time. It is astonishing that Lili has no idea what is happening to her body, as her parents have failed to talk to her about it, and she turns to hiding all of her stained clothes and underwear. This book causes me to place myself in her shoes more than once and allows me to open my eyes to the realities that some women must face.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 23, 2008

    Sister of Darkness

    Sister of Darkness is an intense, honest, and some may even say gruesome memoir. I happen to agree, with these descriptions because the passages read here are even to a certain degree uncomfortable and to a certain degree not necessary enjoyable to read. This memoir begins with a description of her life as a child and passages about the rigid environment she is almost suppressed in. Coming from Greek descendants, the restrictions her family imposed on her as well as her school are rather intense. However, she rebels quite to an extreme that many often can¿t even imagine. The first half of the book is rather slow and repetitive in the sense that it simply describes her restricted environment. Lili Bita finds herself in a place where women scarcely had any rights or freedom in comparison to that of men. Later on she moves to American and this is when her life turns around. Her family not wanting to leave her alone decide to join her and soon were are all living together again. Moreover, as times goes by she disgraces her family by becoming an actress and happens to shamelessly take part in many degrading meaningless sex encounters. Providing the most detailed descriptions that one could even mentally paint a pretty accurate picture of what¿s going on. After she continues to live this miserable life she happens to meet a man by the name of Tasos. Tasos is the character who unfortunately happens to become Lili Bita¿s husband. This horrendous man mistreats her in every way imaginable. He does not respect her in any manner and only cares about his own feelings. He exploits her mentally and physically in every manner possible. To a certain degree one can even think she happens to enjoy the abuse because she does nothing about it and only withstands it. Thankfully at the very end she decides to leave with her two children and tries to move on to live a happy and peaceful life.

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  • Posted October 23, 2008

    Sister of Darkness

    Sister of Darkness is a memoir of an empowered Greek woman who had to liberate herself from an oppressive male world. She grew up in a Greek island were women were bred for marriage and allowed no liberties as individuals. She grew up with envy of her brother who seemed to posses a freedom unattainable to her. She had rules he didn't have, she had to feel guilty for things that only felt natural to her. She soon discovered that even though her sex was the culprit for her many rules and boundaries, it could also open new doors and possibilities. Once she reached Athens and under the guidance of her friend, she learned to use her charm and grace to manipulate men and situations until she got what she wanted. She learned not to be ashamed of her sex but to embrace it and use it. She spent many years doing what she wanted and living, as her family would see it, a shameful life. Eventually her passion and drive take her into the arms of Tasos, a professor who had been to America. America to her was a land of unfulfilled fantasies and she Tasos as her ticket in. With Tasos she suffers a long and violent marriage. Even while trapped in her marriage she always demonstrated to be the superior sex and her husband had to rely on underhanded methods to keep her trapped at his side.<BR/>Sister of Darkness tells of a struggling feminist overcomes parental judgments and an abusive husband to emerge as her true self. To tell her tale and empower other women to be who they are with out shame or cowardice.

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