|A powerful tale to tell . . .
J. Michael Showalter
I recently had a chance to read this book by D'Haene; setting aside for a minute the merits of the book to the people to whom it might be of the most help (i.e. victims / people close to those who have experienced sexual violence) it is a book that for the sheer force of the words alone deserves a much broader audience. As a tale of faith tested, setting aside literary merit, it ranks with Elie Weisel's Night as one of the most powerful books that I have ever come across.
In this story D'Haene tells the story of his upbringing. His father was controlling of his mother, and sexually and physically abusive to he and his brothers and sister. He tells of his personal dissent into a hell: high school is bad enough for most of us without the additional bitterness and pain caused by a tumultuous home life and the fact that your father has raped you. Nevertheless, D'Haene's story is not solely a tale of angst and suffering: instead, it is a story that shows how one individual finds redemption. As an honest reviewer, D'Haene does not write with typical artifice and convention; his story is an honest and personal account. As it is honestly the story of one man's life, and not the idea of one man's life, it reads as such. Were it intended to be literary, there are ways that it may have been possible to package it in a form that would be a little more tortured, and perhaps more dramatic. Parts of it could be cut; others could be edited. However, as it is what it is, it is a wonderful book as it stands, and really should be read.
However you got to this point, I would recommend that you need to read this book. It is enlightening, interesting, and, in an odd way, a book that could strengthen one's faith.
I commend Mr. D'Haene for having the strength to live through his early life strong enough to tell his tale; I hope, for all of us, that many people read