Suffolk woman publishes book

Published 9:59 pm Friday, August 4, 2017

Suffolk resident Adriene Odom has written the story of many hardships she endured in her life with the hope that it will inspire others.

“I hope my story can speak to them,” Odom said of her readers. “I want them to be encouraged.”

Odom published “The Making of a Soldier,” her first book, in May. It tells the story of her journey from a domestic violence victim and unwed mother of three children to joining the U.S. Army at age 33 to being married to a retired Army soldier and living in Suffolk.

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Odom said she grew up in the Yanceyville and Danville areas and lost her own father at a young age. She first came to Suffolk in 2007 to stay at the Genieve Shelter for domestic violence victims.

“I always wanted to come back,” she said.

After leaving the shelter, Odom and her children endured a period of homelessness and then moved back in with her abuser. But he soon left her, and she turned to a dream she thought she had long forgotten: joining the Army.

Her deployment to Afghanistan brought new hardships, but she overcame.

“That was the longest nine months ever,” she said.

She now is safely on the other side of all of those hardships. She is now an Army veteran, and her new husband, an Army retiree, now live in Suffolk and have a 3-year-old son. Her older sons are now 24, 20 and 10.

Odom said she was inspired to write a book by her uncle, Tyrone Hall, who told her out of the blue one day that she should write a book.

“I never had intentions on writing a book,” she said. “I didn’t know how to put it in my own words. I just started writing.”

She found a small publishing company, but they wanted her to add more to the book.

“I had to go deeper,” she said. “It literally drained me to the point where I didn’t even know how I made it through myself. “I can’t even describe the place it put me in. I can’t bring myself to actually read it.”

Finally, after yet more hardships, including illness and surgery, Odom was able to get the book published.

Odom said she hopes her book has a positive impact on others’ lives.

“I want them to be inspired,” she said.

The book can be purchased at or on Amazon or Kindle.

A book signing event will be held from noon to 3 p.m. Aug. 12 at 241 Granby St., Norfolk. Light refreshments will be served.