Tuesday, January 02, 2007

A Brother's Journey: Surviving a Childhood of Abuse

A Brother's Journey : Surviving a Childhood of Abuse

Richard Pelzer

Date: 05 January, 2005   —   $14.93   —   Book

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Nonfiction, Memoir/Abuse

The name Pelzer should seem familiar. Dave Pelzer was the author (and subject) of the book A Child Called It, a horrifying tale of child abuse (one of the worst in California history.) He details his life in that book and its sequels, and the extraordinary part about the whole business is how well he turned out. (Dave Pelzer now works with troubled children and teenagers, and is, incidentally, a very funny man.)

However, though he was removed from his mother's control, he was only one of five boys— and he suspected that the abuse would continue on one of his siblings. This is the story of that sibling, up until the age of sixteen— not when he escaped his mother's control, but when he made a decision to change his life. There is room for a sequel, the book of rebuilding, but at least we know he is in a stable marriage with children, and that this book is one of the latter steps in coming to term with his past.

This is most definitely not a book for the faint of heart. The tortures within— limited to one child— actually happened, and though it seems incredible that it went on for years after one child was already removed, this was during a time when abuse was still below the radar, when people were afraid to get involved. The fact that not one, but two brothers survived the abuse while still being alive and sane (especially since the abuse seems to be the outgrowth of mental illness in their mother) is incredible. But don't read this book if you can't take graphic depictions of abuse, because people can be incredibly depraved and still not be stopped.

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