Powerful, Well-Written, Painful Memoir
with a Touch of Joy
Five Stars

Chris McCallister, Ph.D.
Clinical Psychologist

Top 500 Reviewer

The Story:   Donald D'Haene tells the story of how he and his siblings were raised by a father who seduced them into escalating sexual abuse, and a naive mother who was controlled by her deceptive and manipulative husband. This book relates the subtle, and not-so-subtle, horrors of the abuse; the damage done to the family; the eventual legal process against the abuser; and, Donald D'Haene's inspiring journey to a healthier identity, sense of self, and way of life.

Writing Commentary:   The book is not only well-written, with fewer typographical errors than most published books, but the writing style is clear, fast-paced, compelling, personal, and blatantly honest without sensationalism.

Psychology Commentary:   As a reader of a novel, I obviously had no firsthand confirmation of the facts related in the book. I can say that the author is either a real survivor of childhood sexual abuse, or has studied it as extensively as any therapist ever did. All of the signs and symptoms described are right on target for survivors of sexual abuse: emotional numbing (dissociation) mixed with rage episodes and depression; acting-out of suppressed anger; the building of near-separate personas to deal with different situations or as ways to repress intolerable feelings; flashbacks; identity confusion.

Content Commentary:    This is a brutally honest portrayal of sexual abuse and its lifelong and multitudinous ramifications. It is not for the squeamish. It could of great value to other survivors of sexual abuse, if they are ready to face aspects of their own abuse through identification with the characters in the book.

Overall, this is a well-written and realistic account of sexual abuse and its effects.