Manley's book, a collection of essays, tells the story of her life. A survivor of abuse, kidnapping, and betrayal, Manley hopes that her book will inspire others.
A story about Manley appeared in an issue of The Bulletin several years ago and is reprinted here:
Abuse, rape, kidnapping and betrayal scarred Lynn Manley’s childhood and the early part of her adult life. But like the Phoenix rising from the ashes, Manley somehow regained control of her life and emerged from the fire without being burnt.
Now, Manley hopes that her story can be an inspiration to other women who have suffered abuse.
Through the Fire But Not Burnt, the first published book by this Garfield native, addresses abuse in all of its forms - physical, mental and emotional - through essays that include Manley’s personal stories and the stories of women she has known, along with fictional essays that address forms of abuse that neither Manley, nor the women she knows, have had the misfortune of experiencing first hand.
Manley ends each essay with a short prayer asking for strength for the abused, and for change on the part of the abuser. Manley also offers readers the unique opportunity to record their own thoughts and prayers at the end of each essay, to encourage them to come to terms with their feelings.
Manley says that she hopes that the book can help other women learn that no matter what abuse they may have suffered, their lives do have value, and they can get through.
“I am a living testament that you can get through the fire without being burnt,” Manley says.
Manley tried it all, she says - but drugs, alcohol and even counseling only proved to be temporary solutions. It was only through her relationship with God, and the support of her family - her husband, Michael, a pastor, her 17-year old daughter, Tiara, and the family beagle, Pooh - that Manley was able to come to terms with her past and realize the value of her life.
Manley says that she also wants women who have been abused by men to know that there are good men out there who know how to love them, and that their unfortunate pasts do not make them “damaged goods.” Her proof of that is her husband, Michael, who supportively encouraged Manley to write the book.
Manley said she worried about the effect that publicly revealing such facts about herself and her past might have on her family, but soon found that both her husband and daughter were very supportive of the project. In the first few days since the book was published, Manley has already sold 75 copies through word of mouth and she hopes to get the book into women’s shelters t o be used as a resource for those who have been abused.
The book is currently available at World Overcomers bookstore in New Kensington, and Manley hopes to soon have the book available at at least one major bookseller and several Christian bookstores. In the meantime, those interested in obtaining a copy of the book may do so by writing to M&L Manley, P.O. Box 124, Natrona Heights, PA 15065-0124, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.