Review of She Seems So Normal: A Book About Childhood Sexual Abuse

Review of She Seems So Normal: Shatter the Plastic Princess, Embrace Authentic FaithPin
Review of She Seems So Normal: Shatter the Plastic Princess, Embrace Authentic Faith

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book as part of being on Leigh’s launch team. I also purchased my own Kindle and paperback copies to share with others.

She Seems So Normal: Shatter the Plastic Princess, Embrace Authentic Faith is a bold, honest book about Leigh Mackenzie’s journey to heal from repressed childhood sexual abuse. She discovered that:

“You can face your trauma, be free from your past, and know hope in God’s abounding love.”

Leigh Mackenzie

As a domestic abuse survivor, I found comfort in Leigh’s story, because I didn’t feel alone in believing the lies that are so common in abuse. I also found comfort, because she’s honest about how the church often is uncomfortable with mental health and trauma issues and as a result can be less supportive to survivors of sexual, domestic or child abuse.

If you or someone you love can relate to this type of trauma, I highly recommend this book to be part of your healing toolkit. Each chapter ends with many resources for further information about the topic covered in that chapter.

She Seems So Normal Contents

The idea of a plastic princess comes from our need to look good to others. Especially in the church, we are expected to have our act together. The masks we put on make us look like mannequins; fake people. This fake persona doesn’t hold up during tough seasons. Just like a mannequin would melt in a fire.

Leigh’s book is divided into 3 parts.

  • Part 1: My “Normal”–Origin Stories Helped Shape The Plastic Princess – this section covers her story, grooming to normalize sexual abuse, asking God hard questions, and finding help. Leigh does not share gruesome details because she doesn’t want to trigger her readers.
  • Part 2: Unpacking “Normal”–God Provides a Way Through every Valley – this section gets into the gritty, raw process of flashbacks, triggers, anorexia, and healing.
  • Part 3: Plastic Princess No More: Embracing the “New Normal” of Authentic Faith – this section covers eight lessons Leigh learned along her healing journey. She shares the concrete things that have helped her and how being honest with herself and God produces authentic faith.

Want to hear an interview with Leigh? Click here:

My Thoughts on She Seems So Normal

I can so relate to the crushing weight of trying to leave trauma behind and find hope that things will get better. I agree with Leigh that healing is a process that will take a lot longer than we want. I love her use of the 3 B’s for managing a panic attack. They are Breathe, Brain/Body, Blessing. You’ll have to read her book to learn more. (:

If you’ve suffered sexual abuse, and don’t feel safe sharing your story with people in your church, or struggle with believing that God was with you through it, you are not alone. Keep searching for people who can help you heal. Keep asking God your hard questions. Healing can happen. Don’t give up on yourself!

I’m beginning to see healing as God picking up our shattered pieces and putting them back together into something beautiful. Like how an artist uses bits of broken glass to create beautiful stained glass windows or mosaics.

God can take our broken pieces and turn them into beauty. Image courtesy of Pixabay.

I’m so glad I got a chance to serve on Leigh’s launch team. Get her book. Share her book. Share this post with friends and loved ones.

Till next time, Kathy

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By Kathryn

I'm a writer, disabled registered nurse, and former home school parent of 6 children ages 19 to 32. I'm also a domestic abuse survivor.


  1. Kathy, it’s really a strange thing for me to be speechless, but I believe you blew my mind with this review. You found so many layers to the book I prayed people would encounter and internalize as I wrote. I’m so honored the narrative resonated with you as someone like me, a survivor with chronic illness. That’s the proof of the pudding for me. All I ever wanted to do publishing this book was to help just ONE MORE PERSON not feel alone or helpless in their struggles. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. ~xoxo, leigh

    1. Leigh, I thank you for the opportunity to read your book and be on your launch team. You did a great job talking about such a heartbreaking topic, and sharing the hope we have in Jesus.

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