by Pat Willene
1st Books Library

"It’s hard being so angry, yet wanting to love, isn’t it? I can’t tell you how to deal with our past, but I can say that the future promises better challenges."

Pat and Dee Jackson are sisters who share an impenetrable connection. Growing up in a mentally and physically abusive household, the pair creates their own sign language to communicate with each other in order to survive the daily attacks from their deranged father. Following years of torture, their mother finally musters the courage to kick him out of the home after Dee is emboldened enough to speak out against the abuse. Having been belittled and tortured for their entire childhoods, Pat and Dee struggle to exit the past and release the attachment to the cruel words that were used to both label and scar them. The sisters discover that the pain they endured remains a constant in their lives, but together they find the strength to heal.

Told from Pat’s perspective, this tragic tale of abuse is based on the author’s own childhood experiences. Written heavily in a dialogue format, the explicit language used to describe the verbal cruelty the sisters encountered is shocking and heartbreaking. The author guides the reader on a psychological journey to reveal the impact of child abuse on mental and physical health through adulthood. Despite the bleak nature of the topics addressed in the book, the sisters portray a sense of hope as they work through their emotions and build the confidence required to validate their self-worth. This exploration for peace and acceptance further unites Pat and Dee as they reconstruct their memories and address the horror they have kept repressed. Through this progression, the author examines the recovery process for victims of violence. Offering her brave account of abuse and survival, Willene provides a rare look into the daily home life of abused children with her inspiring story that proves the bond of sisterhood is eternal.

RECOMMENDED by the US Review

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