By: Aimee Cabo Nikolov
Publisher: Inspirational Books Publishing
Publication Date: August 2018
Reviewed by: Diane Lunsford
Aimee Cabo Nikolov’s memoir, Love is the Answer, God is the Cure, is a story of true grit, courage and impenetrable faith.
Aimee Cabo Nikolov chronicles her life experiences of tragedy, horror and despicable accounts; yet, throughout her memoir, she consistently weaves a sublime and solid insistence of faith and perseverance. Her story begins with memories of happy times as a young child who was born in Miami. A Cuban American, when she was just three years old, she and her three siblings moved to the Dominican Republic with their mother. Perhaps the reason wasn’t a happy one, but it’s what her mother chose to do because she left her husband and their father. While in medical school, the author's mother met three Cuban men. Their names were David, Antonio and Andres. Ms. Nikolov’s recollection of David: “…always nice to all of us, and we liked him… but my mother was not sure about David…” Nikolov didn’t have much to say about Antonio, but then there was Andres. While sitting around the table one evening, her mother presented the question to her children: “…Who should I marry? Andres or David? ...” Nikolov recounts how her siblings immediately pick David because he was ‘the fun one.’ Yet Nikolov felt sorry for Andres and was the only one to vote for him.
As Nikolov’s memoir gains momentum, it is difficult to imagine there weren’t many times throughout the story that she reflected on that moment of championing her vote for Andres. There are countless instances of blatant and savage abuse—too many to address in a one-page review. Tantamount to Nikolov’s unwavering faith during years of sexual, mental and physical abuse is her analogy: "…a monstrous bull, sent by the devil, came charging at me. Behind me was a small, fragile wooden dog house. I knew the dog house could not stand up against this bull and instead, I decided to kneel in front of it because I knew that if I sought shelter within the house, it would just fall to pieces once the bull charged. I had a lot of faith and I remembered my mother saying, 'If you seek God, He will help you.' So, in my dream, I got down on my knees and asked God to save me. The bull, his nostrils fuming and his large, scary horns, was now coming at me with all his power. I knew my hideout would shatter but I did not give up hope and I prayed fervently. That’s when the bull stopped in front of me and lay down to go to sleep…”
Aimee Cabo Nikolov’s memoir is one of the most disturbing accounts I’ve read in many years. I am in absolute awe of this woman’s tenacious style in capturing the essence through words of how she faced her demons and recounts the horrors of a childhood that was unquestionably ripped from her by her parents. Through graphic and succinct prose, she plants her pen solidly from page to page and shares intimate details of wrongs with unfathomable depth and detail. In my opinion, we are a society drawn to memoirs of iconic Hollywood types or war criminals or psychopathic dregs of society. The fame tied to the subject draws the audience in. Rarely do we hear the story of one of, in my opinion, many innocent unknowns who have been robbed of their youth and left with the burden of physical and emotional scars they must carry the remainder of their lives. I thank Ms. Nikolov for her profound writing in telling her horrific truths. I also commend her for the bravery in doing so. She certainly exposed the monsters who surrounded (and continue to surround) her life through the power of her pen. Exceptional writing!
Quill says: Love is the Answer, God is the Cure is not only an apropos title, but it’s also a beacon of light to shine on how to overcome and cope with egregious tragedies bestowed upon a human life.