Compelling New Memoir Reveals Abuse, Adversity, and a Mother’s Will to Survive
“I knew that what I wanted did not matter at all.”
Canton, MI – Imprisoned in an abusive marriage, how can a woman whose culture emphasizes female submission escape the clutches of her husband? After being forced to depend on this kind of violent and untrustworthy man, can she learn to be independent? In the wake of emotional, physical, and sexual abuse, what does it take to recover, heal, and gain stability? How does the love of a mother for her children keep her going in even the darkest moments? Mia Odeh shares her journey to answer these questions in her revealing new memoir, Mia’s Odyssey: Taking Back My Soul.
Written with Mike Ball, Mia Odeh revisits her life story, beginning in Palestine at age sixteen, where she was forced into an arranged marriage. After being brought to the United States, Mia realizes that her marriage is not only unwanted, it is unsafe, as she experiences routine sexual and physical assault. Mia’s Odyssey shines an unflinching light on the horrors of domestic abuse and reveals how a survivor with enough determination can find the resources to forge a path to freedom.
“You know, sometimes you have to get a little distance from something before you can really see it,” says Mia. “From the time I was sixteen years my husband surrounded me like a putrid fog, permeating every minute of every day and completely blocking the sun from entering my life. When my husband left us behind in Arizona and moved to Michigan for work I began to see him as he really was, nothing more than a small, evil, isolated creature. I made it my goal to keep my children pure, to keep them from ever becoming like their father.”
“Mia’s Odyssey is a compelling, uplifting book that can be difficult to emotionally digest… it is also rewarding because her will to survive is strong, her ability to bend but not break is admirable, her love for the children more powerful than the abuser’s muscles.”
“One night, I told my husband that something he had said was unfair. As soon as the words left my mouth I knew I’d made a mistake,” recalls Mia. “This made him believe I was becoming independent, like American women, and he made plans to send me and the children back overseas. Suddenly, I knew that I could not take my children back to that place, where all my choices would be gone. All of their choices would be gone. That place where my daughters would grow up to become slaves to their husbands. That place where my boys would be taught to believe that they deserved to have wives who were nothing more than slaves. I knew that, for the first time in my life, I had to fight back.”
Heartbreaking and rich with hope, Mia’s Odyssey reveals the resilience of the human spirit in the midst of the darkest situations. This story draws attention to issues of domestic abuse and intimate partner violence, and shows the critical role neighbors, police, and safe houses can play in helping women and children to escape such desperate situations.
Educator and Writer, 5-stars
“It has taken me a long time, a lot of hard work, and help from others to achieve stability for myself and my children. A few years after leaving my husband, a nice family came to our aid, providing a home for us for five years. These wonderful people made us all feel like we had found a family at last,” says Mia. “Eventually I found a mentor who took an interest in my future and the future of my family. With his guidance and encouragement, I wrote myself a set of personal and professional goals. Now I’ve made quite a bit of progress toward these goals, soon finishing a degree in criminal justice, finding a good job, and even purchasing my own home. My kids are now all grown or growing up, and accomplishing big goals of their own. What greater accomplishment could any mother hope for?”
“Though not for the faint of heart, Mia’s Odyssey is life-affirming and shows the reader that love can conquer even in the worst situations. This book will inspire any woman trapped in seemingly hopeless circumstances, and give hope for an independent life. It will stay with you long after you’ve finished reading and warm your heart with its promising ending. Highly recommended.”
Detroit Free Press, 5-stars
“To this day I still struggle with insecurity, afraid that the life I have now is too good to be true. After thirty years of abuse and uncertainty, I can’t help wondering when this bubble will burst,” shares Mia. Then I look around me and realize that I really have emerged from that long nightmare to become the woman that God meant me to be. I will always be grateful to the people who stepped up to help me at key times during all those difficult years. I hope that telling my life story in this book can help others in need find the courage to fight back and escape whatever situation they might be in.”
Mia’s Odyssey: Taking Back My Soul is a story of a woman’s journey through the depths of hell and back, a testament to the human spirit and triumph of willpower despite seemingly insurmountable odds. Despite the difficult subject matter, this story ultimately transcends these experiences to offer courage and hope to any reader.
Mia’s Odyssey is a testament to the human spirit and triumph of willpower despite seemingly insurmountable odds… Though not for the faint of heart, Mia’s Odyssey is life-affirming and shows the reader that love can conquer even in the worst situations…This is a book that will stay with you long after you’ve finished reading and warm your heart with its promising ending. Highly recommended.
John J. Kelly
Detroit Free Press, 5-stars
A champion mother’s testimony! Mia’s Odyssey is a memoir that surveys feminism, racism, ethnic violence, domestic abuse, parental rights and more. Reading this immersive and compelling story is an unforgettable experience. Very highly recommended.
Amazon Hall of Fame Top 50 Reviewer, 5-stars
Mia’s story should be a lesson to us all not to ignore the plights of others. That someone did step in and gave her a glimmer of hope, she did get help and support, and now we can read her story and marvel at her tenacity, despite everything…Heartrending, compelling, this is a story everyone should read. Highly recommended!
Midwest Book Review, 5-stars
Mia’s Odyssey is a story about a mother’s life of courage, resilience, and determination with which she creates a new life for herself and her children. This is an uplifting book about moving past abuse. Mia focuses on pushing through the stages of trauma from an abusive relationship and creating a meaningful life.
Plymouth-Canton Community Schools
We are proud to have supported Mia Odeh as she exhibited determination, perseverance, and courage through her experience within an abusive relationship. Our police department values our role in supporting anyone coping with traumatic events by ensuring they are safe and providing resources to empower them toward a positive outcome.
Police Chief, Canton, MI
Mia Odeh’s memoir of surviving Domestic and Sexual Violence is a testament to the resilience of a survivor. Ms. Odeh had countless barriers in the way of her and her children’s safety, and one by one, she overcame them all to save herself and her children from violence. Ms. Odeh’s story shows the hard realities survivors of domestic violence face, but also the hope, help, and freedom that can be possible for survivors. Furthermore, Ms. Odeh’s story is an example of the love of a mother and her dedication to her children to free them from an abusive home and help them heal and thrive.
Executive Director of First Step a Michigan Domestic and Sexual Violence Nonprofit Agency
I’ve been fortunate enough to call Mia a constituent and even more fortunate to call her a friend. Her story is one of courage and overcoming the odds. This book is a must-read.
Michigan State Representative
Mia’s Odyssey: Taking Back My Soul
ISBN: 979-8-9864056-0-5, $3.99 Kindle, $14,95 paperback, 232 pages, Simon Publishing, June 2022.
About Mia Odeh:
Mia Odeh was born in Palestine, became a child bride at age 16, and was brought to Phoenix, Arizona by her husband. She endured years of abuse, bore five children, and was forced to move from Arizona to Qatar, back to Arizona, and eventually to Michigan. Despite the cruelties she suffered, Mia never stopped dreaming of a different life for herself and her children. After fleeing her abusive marriage, with the help of neighbors and police, Mia and her children found a new beginning. This came with many ups and downs, including a time of being homeless with five kids and pregnant with her sixth. With relentless tenacity, Mia worked hard to gain stability for her family, working low paying jobs and moving frequently. Eventually, with the generosity of a family that gave them a place to live, Mia was able to find some more solid footing. She is now completing a degree in criminal justice, holds a job in senior management, and has purchased her own home. From the depths of abuse, Mia and her children have risen to achieve amazing levels of success.
For a review copy of Mia’s Odyssey: Taking Back My Soul or to arrange an interview with Mia Odeh, contact Scott Lorenz of Westwind Communications Book Marketing at email@example.com or by phone at 734-667-2090 Follow Lorenz on Twitter @abookpublicist