by Jacqueline S. Homan
(Elf Books / 0-981-56795-9 / 978-0-981-56795-2 / March 2013 / 356 pages / $19.95 paperback / Amazon $18.84 / Kindle $5.99)
This will be a difficult review for me to write, since I am a fan and supporter of Jacqueline Homan's work. I have read and reviewed Ms. Homan's previous four books and this one does not veer far from the course of the others. However, I have a very difficult time swallowing the author's premise that all men are bad and all women are good. Of course I cheer on her rants when she goes after the severe disparity in economic justice that has become the relentless status quo in modern America, but the author's premise for this book is overly simplified, to say the least. Ms. Homan states repeatedly throughout this book that men are the problem, as they have been for 6000 years, and women have consistently lacked autonomy and bodily integrity for this reason alone. It would have been much more prudent to include such a statement a couple of times in the book, rather than repeatedly, over and over in much the same language.
Jacqueline's life story and accomplishments deserve the whole hour of an Oprah episode. The mostly female audience would love it! There is great honor in the extreme level of self-improvement that Jacqueline has accomplished. Whenever she goes into research mode in her writing, this book, and all the previous ones, too, show off a level of creativity that is quite commendable. Without Apology is full of such detailed research, and that part of the story is very well told, but, please, enough with the repetitive rants. We get it, you have been abused by men most of your life, but that does not mean that all women have or that all men are the world's villains.
There are a few technical details that scream self-publishing and they should be excised from Ms. Homan's future work. Most of these involve simple proofreading and a little extra time to prepare the book for publication. The back cover blurb is only one short paragraph, leaving mostly white space, and one key word is misspelled. The inside margin is a little tight. The paragraphs are both indented and line spaced. The front matter could be more complete, adding a professional look.
This book is as exciting to read as Jacqueline's previous work. You never know whether she will be in rant mode or research mode from one paragraph to the next, and the surprises are fun to a certain extent. She goes from street language to academia and back with her usual aplomb. I think it is time for Jacqueline to take the next step in the maturation process as an author. The real causes of our nation's severe income inequality issues are somewhat complex. Our history has gone from The Great Depression to the New Deal to the explosive Sixties to the oppressive decades since. The Southern Strategy has been a much more accurate villain for Ms. Homan's rants than have all men. I suggest she consider this fact. Women are the leading church goers; in most cases, they drag their male family members along. In other words, the Southern Strategy is the real cause of Jacqueline's and everybody's misery, and women have been involved in that madness as much as men. This author's writing style and subject matter are commendable, but I honestly thought she might have gotten past all the relentless ranting with her first book. Do not misunderstand. I think Without Apology is quite a good read and a relevant story for our modern culture. I also feel it is time for Jacqueline to look past her ancient rage and mature a little as an author. The core premise of Without Apology is just too simplistic. Unless you are already a raving feminist of the female persuasion, this book will not offer much appeal. I want to see the accomplished author Jacqueline Homan on Oprah!