Denise M. Clark reviews Father's Touch
Book reviewer
Author of A Man's War
Visit her website at Denise's Pieces!



As a young boy, Donald and his brothers and sister are at the mercy of their father, who sexually abuses them for years. And while the subject matter of incest is one that many people donít want to know about, it is the noble courage of men and women like Donald DíHaene that bring such travesties to light. Despite years of abuse, followed by years of seeking justice for the wrongs committed to his family by his father, the justice system in early 1980ís Canada let the victims down. Donaldís story not only acts as a self-purging catharsis for the author, but also serves to expose how long it has taken for society, and the court system in general, to act against such incidents of indecency. At the time, every support system he should have been able to rely on let him down; his church, his elders, law enforcement personnel and ultimately, the court system.

The autobiographical account of one manís journey to spiritual, emotional and physical freedom is at the heart of Fatherís Touch, a tragic tale of abuse, incest and helplessness. But this book is also about hope, courage and determination, one that enables the Ďmulti-facetedí Donald to survive his past and retain his sanity. While many will consider the subject matter in Fatherís Touch depressing and/or disgusting, which it is, Mr. DíHaene presents his story with a dignity and honesty that is not only admirable, but he also provides help in his own special way to those who may be experiencing the same trauma he has dealt with his entire life. DíHaene stresses that just because the abuse stops, that doesnít mean the victim no longer suffers. DíHaeneís struggle against the legacy of his childhood has taken him one painful step at a time toward self-acceptance, confidence and self-worth.

Fatherís Touch is a very well written memoir filled with a myriad of emotion that ranges from despair to hope and then back again, only to finally triumph in the end. Mr. DíHaeneís courage in writing about such a difficult struggle and his willingness to expose himself to public scrutiny should be applauded, and while his endeavor to find peace and acceptance certainly took its toll on him, he has now found a degree of happiness and love. But his story is not yet over, and he is working on his next memoir. In sharing of his lifeís story, DíHaene has certainly offered a loving, caring hand of support to all victims of abuse everywhere, for which he should be commended.