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by Holly Brown
William Morrow, May 2018
ISBN: 0062846116

Buy in the UK | Buy in Canada

At the young age of 24, Cheyenne Florian has already been exposed to the harsh realities of womanhood. She found herself at the center of a media scandal when private photos were leaked onto the internet after she uploaded a vlog related to the justice system's inadequacies in cases of sexual assault on college campuses. A recent Stanford graduate, she removed herself from the public eye to focus on caring for her ailing father. Suddenly, Cheyenne is offered a deal of a lifetime: she is recruited by the up-and-coming independent news station, INN, to be a broadcast journalist—her dream job.

INN appears to be aligned with everything Cheyenne has ever believed in, striving to provide bipartisan cable news that enlightens viewers to the truth and attempts to promote the public good. She is excited but nervous to be in the spotlight after her controversial vlog led to severe online harassment as well as a jaded stalker. For all her initial naivety, Cheyenne slowly unravels the secrets that lie behind corporate doors as she reads a mysterious diary left for her detailing a former female journalist's harrowing experiences of sexual, emotional, and professional abuse that strikingly mirror her own, despite having taken place in the early 1990's. Cheyenne wants to know what really happened back in 1991 because it may be able to save herself from the same fate. With each successive chapter anonymously delivered to her, Cheyenne unfolds the truth page by page.

HOW FAR SHE'S COME judiciously highlights key ideals of the powerful #MeToo movement (which aims to combat sexual violence and build a community of survivors and allies), including how power relates to storytelling, the current political climate revolving around gender inequality, and the ways that women have continued to be objectified despite strides for equality. This story is fiction, and yet readers may more deeply understand the nature of the female experience and will be pressed to follow in Cheyenne's ideological footsteps. Cheyenne is unafraid to tell the truth and demand change, and for that she is truly a role model.

Brown's psychological thriller is smartly written and brutally honest, calling all men and women to continue making strides toward an equal future that is possible and yet still very distant. The story itself is gripping and always leaves one wanting more at the end of each chapter. We need more writers like Brown, writers who can simultaneously write riveting fiction while addressing current cultural and social issues in a constructive manner. Brown delivers a well-timed novel that provides hope for feminists everywhere but also asserts that there is much, much more to be done and much, much farther to go.

§ Katie is currently pursuing a degree in English Education from the University of Wisconsin Green Bay with the hopes of being a high school English teacher. When she's not working or sleeping, you'll find her reading obscene amounts or binge-watching New Girl without a trace of shame.

Reviewed by Katie Voss, May 2018

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Contact: Yvonne Klein (ymk@reviewingtheevidence.com)

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