Book Review: Elephant Girl

“Everything seems so precarious and based on chance, and a whole life can change with one wrong or right turn, even if a person doesn’t know what’s wrong or right at the time.”

Elephant Girl: A Human Story is an extraordinary and harrowing memoir by Jane Devin that I feel privileged to have read. Devin’s story is unlike anything I’ve read before, and the emotional response garnered from this story was unexpected. I found myself crying for the abused and neglected little girl of the beginning of the story, and cheering for the strong and undaunted woman she becomes.

Devin’s story is at once incredible and inspiring, yet upsetting and filled with traumatic experiences. It becomes difficult to believe that this story could have anything even close to a “happy ending.” The characters are complex and multi-faceted, bringing them to life for the reader, even if sometimes in a heartbreaking way.

The most impressive part of this memoir is Devin’s writing. Her voice extends beyond the pages, inviting the reader right into her mind and her heart. The book begins with Devin as a young girl, naïve and uneducated. As the story progresses, and she matures, so does the narrative voice.

Jane Devin is a heroine for modern day girls. Every dangerous and dark aspect of human nature has inflicted itself on her life, and somehow she was still able to survive. It is sometimes painful to follow the journey, not knowing where it is going to end. And yet, despite a lifetime of struggling through the darkness, Devin remains positive and determined to find a way to survive.

You need to read this book. If you have ever felt like the world was crashing down on top of you, you will find inspiration in Devin’s experiences and her sheer will to survive against all the odds. If you have lived in poverty, suffered abuses of any kind, you will see yourself in Devin. And maybe that will provide all the encouragement you need to believe this too shall pass and it does get better. (I know, I hate cliches too. But they just seem to fit perfectly right now.)

I won a digital copy of Elephant Girl from a giveaway on the author’s Twitter account. I knew nothing of Devin or the premise of the book when I started reading. I found myself in disbelief when I realized it was a memoir. Since completing the story, I have read more about Devin and started following her blog. She continues to be inspirational. I was happy to see on Twitter that she recently raised enough money for a publicity campaign. If you’d like to donate, you can visit her page on Kickstarter. To read more from Devin, check out her blog at


***Disclosure: I won a digital copy of this book from a giveaway hosted on the author’s Twitter account. No other compensation was given and all opinions are my own***

**This review contains affiliate links.**
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