For those of us fortunate and blessed to be brought up in a loving, protective and supportive family, it is sometimes difficult to understand that is not always the case for everyone. In Malice Intent, Alba Castillo shows us what potential disasters can confront us when we make poor decisions in life, for ourselves and those we love. Born in the small town of Santa Ynez in Spain to a strict Catholic family, Alba was a rebel from the beginning. Determined to break free from the life that seemed pre-planned for her in Santa Ynez, she left home early, to begin what seems like an aimless trek to find herself and her future. Pregnancy and motherhood did not dampen Alba’s desire to search for her destiny, but it was when she moved to America that her life truly fell apart and she began to spiral down in the depths of her own personal hell, which would include; domestic abuse, drug and alcohol addiction, illness, and a morbid desire to self-sabotage. Working her way through her travails and pain, she finally came to the one immutable conclusion; that the only person capable of changing our destiny is ourselves and that the power to do so is inside of all of us.
Malice Intent is a powerful book that explores some nasty and horrible topics, but partly because it is done through the prism of both the perpetrator and, indeed, the victim; the Author Alba Castillo, it is one that is both readable and insightful. Despite a large part of the story reading like one enormous “pity party” and a litany of horrors, what comes through loud and clear is the acceptance that we are the master of our own lives and we have to take control of what we can control; that we all have the power within ourselves to change our own future. I particularly appreciated the author’s courage to put her dysfunctional life out there in the open, for all to see. I have no doubt writing this was cathartic for the author, but equally it stands as a beacon of hope for others in a similar situation. The author’s writing style is plain, simple, and no-holds barred. She tells it like it is and opens her life, her decisions and her mistakes up for our examination and perhaps even judgement. This was an extremely easy book to read and one that would be of immense benefit to anyone who has experienced abuse or addiction in their lives. It is a timely reminder that; “there but for the grace of God, go I” and I would highly recommend reading it.