My Reviews – Letting Go Into Perfect Love … by Gwendolyn Plano

Letting Go into Perfect Love: Discovering the Extraordinary after Abuse by [Plano, Gwendolyn M]

One can seldom read a memoir which does not linger – in your heart – long after the story is finished. This memoir, written with courage and candour does that for me. I did not find “Letting Go Into Perfect Love …” an easy read. The author has a knack for letting the reader be with her in the moment.  For example, when she tells about her fears and that sinking feeling she has in her stomach when she hears the key in the front door, puts me, the reader, right there with her, facing the wrath which was to come.

Here follows my review, posted on

Leaving The Past Behind

By MarethMBotha on 7 Feb. 2017

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase

This was an emotional read in many ways. There are few young couples who start their married lives and who, initially plan to leave, should things not work out. So, the circumstances – which force the author to end her marriage to her first husband after soul-wrenching deliberation and then, despite many doubts as to the wisdom of such a move, marries again and lives with the consequences of a twenty-five year abusive marriage – break my heart.
She tells her story, giving glimpses into her life; the anxiety she lives with daily; the devastating effects of her daughter’s abuse and her own deep-seated fears and guilt, especially when she begins to think about leaving, getting a divorce. (I feel that the author skims over detail about her ex-husband’s actions, while they wait for the final decree, almost as if he takes things lying down, which seems contrary to the person whom we’ve come to know until this time. However, I accept that those times would be very difficult to write about and the extent of his abuse would only be known to her immediate family and the counsellors who help her, right up to the time she procures an annulment).On a more positive note. I love her descriptions of her and her daughter’s journey to Italy, and finding peace in a place such as Assisi. She has a wonderful descriptive style when writing about the Napa Valley, their journeys across America and going to the Grand Canyon, and finally choosing to move to Missouri, after visiting back and forth. Here in Branson, she and her new husband find comfort and peace.
If you enjoy a memoir with a strong religious connotation, including experiencing the influence of angels, then this book is for you. 


Gwendolyn M. Plano

Gwendolyn Plano grew up in Southern California and spent most of her professional life in higher education. She taught and served as an administrator in colleges in Japan, New York, Connecticut, and California. Gwen’s academic background is in theology and counseling. She now lives in the Midwest, where she enjoys retirement.

As a college administrator, Gwen lived her professional life in a highly visible and accountable space–but as a wife and mother, behind closed doors, she and her family experienced the terror of domestic violence and abuse. The statistics are staggering–every 9 seconds in the United States, a woman is assaulted or beaten–but to Gwen, this was her secret; it was her shame. When her husband eventually turned his brutality on her son, she knew she could no longer stay quiet.

In Letting Go into Perfect Love: Discovering the Extraordinary After Abuse, Gwen bravely recounts a violent marriage that lasted twenty-five-years–and the faith that opened her heart to hope, to trust, and to awe again. As a survivor who came out of the relationship determined to start new, Gwen artfully depicts the challenges and triumphs of balancing the obligations of motherhood and career with her family’s healing process.

Alternately heart-wrenching and joyful, Letting Go into Perfect Love is a powerful story of triumph over adversity–one woman’s inspiring account of learning how to forgive the unforgivable, recover her sense of self, open her heart, and honor the journey home.

Visit Gwendolyn’s Author Page:

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  1. Thank you very much, Maretha, for your thoughtful and thorough review. I am humbled by your insights and your kind heart. I hope you write your memoir sometime soon, for your extraordinary journey is one many would love to share. ♥

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much for your kind words! My eldest daughter and I were discussing your memoir this morning and yes, your words bring tears to one’s eyes. As for writing a memoir, I’m not sure that I have the courage to do so. Even my eldest daughter should write a memoir, or feature in mine.

      Liked by 1 person

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