Rose McGowan’s life is riddled with one cult-like experience to the next.

Prior to becoming one of Hollywood’s overnight, most desired actors, Rose spent her early, formative years in an Italian cult, one that degraded women and marginalized their importance to society. After being spirited away from the cult and from her mother by her abusive father, at the young age of nine, she was introduced to American Society, a cult unto its own.

She had trouble adjusting and “feeling normal”. Her early teen years were chaotic at best, being shifted from one family to the next. With an abusive, mentally ill father and a distant mother, it was difficult for young Rose to form lasting and meaningful relationships. In her early teen years she was accused of being addicted to drugs and sent to a rehabilitation center, yet another cult-like experience, a mindset anyone who has ever experienced addiction or mental health problems can easily identify with. After this traumatic experience, she ran away, and tried to live on her own at the tender age of thirteen.

Needless to say her experiences living on the streets in the north western United States are not ones she fondly remembers. Although, in a way, they strengthened her and made her a little wiser and a little more familiar with the “American way of life” or at least its dirty underbelly. Surviving this experience intact, and somewhat healthy, Rose moved in with yet another family relative. While it was a warm environment, she struggled to fit in.

Later in her life, Rose became involved in a committed relationship; one she felt would save her from years of torment and abuse. Instead, the relationship quickly turned sour as her lover became incredibly possessive and controlling, rarely allowing her to leave the home they shared together. She developed an eating disorder that consumed her and warped her perception of self. Shortly after the end of this tragic affair, she is “discovered” by a Hollywood Director and moved from her current “cult” to another – Hollywood.

Hollywood was not particularly kind to her, as it often can be with most actresses, but she made a go of it. Her career in Hollywood almost instantaneously took off and she stared in many indie-films that procured quite a “cult” following. She describes in great detail the horrifying, demeaning, and repulsive attack made upon her by “the monster” of Hollywood and how it devastated her life for many, many years after. This was a life shattering assault – one she will never truly recover from.

In the end Rose shares a message of empowerment, of self-reliance and assurance, and expresses the absolute importance of being true to one’s self. Her message is one of great warmth and love. Her story exposes the “Hollywood mentality” that controls so many. This book is a great and reassuring read for anyone interested in equality and self-love.

Rose McGowan’s Brave is available at your Yankton Community Library!