Monday, January 10, 2011

Mary Russel - Author

I just found a children's book author on Facebook. I haven't had an opportunity to read any of her books yet but they certainly sound interesting. If you have a young child that like animals and mysteries, you may want to check out her blog . One of the best things you can do for your child is get them reading!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Redemption: A Story of Sisterhood, Survival and Finding Freedom Behind Bars

No I haven't stopped reading, but between the holidays and an almost non-stop arthritis flare up through the month of December, I got very behind on my book reviews. I also had some lousy pablum type books that I wouldn't inflict the reviews on you. I'm not sure why, but I wasn't offered very many good books in my last few times of picking books for the Amazon Vine Program.

This book however was an exception. Redemption: A Story of Sisterhood, Survival, and Finding Freedom Behind Bars by Stacey Lannert and Kristen Kemp. Stacey Lannert was sexually abused by her father for 10 years and tried to protect her younger sister from his advances by placing herself as the sacrifice until the day that he finally grabbed her little sister and raped her. Later she did the unthinkable and shot her father as he slept off a drinking binge on the couch. Stacey was arrested, spent 2 years in jail while waiting for trial and then was found guilty of murder and given a life sentence without parole. 18 years later a compassionate outgoing Governor Matt Blunt commuted her sentence and she was free. This book is her story of a family that became progressively more dysfunctional, a father that she loved as a child becoming her worst nightmare, and the years she spent in prison where she truly did restore her life. While doing her prison work she became a leader and also worked with the helper dog program.

Her story is troubling in that any child could grow up in such circumstances and unfortunately the last statistic I heard is that 1 in 4 girls will be sexually abused by a male relative in her home. Her home that should be a place of safety not one of ultimate terror.

Here is my Amazon Vine Review. I gave the book 5 stars. Everyone should read this book if only to know that this does go on perhaps next door or even in your own home. We all have to stop turning a blind eye. Visit her website Healing Sisters to learn more.
This was a very interesting book, but I think it could have used some better editing to have it flow better. Some parts of the story seemed to be repeated only with the details slightly changed and the time line falters as well. Those things aside this is a story of horrendous sexual and physical abuse of a daughter by a father and her ultimately killing dear old dad.

Two main things frustrated me about the story. One the legality of her arrest and questioning, lack of a lawyer when she requested one and being taken to the scene of the crime while her father was still laying in a pool of blood. This is supposed to be a true story. How is this possible for that to have happened in the USA? The case should have been thrown out of court for legal violations. If these scenes really didn't happen then how can we believe the rest of the story? Since I assume that this really did happen, then I am very glad that finally someone saw the light and released her from jail.

The other thing that frustrated me the entire time I was reading this book. The statistics of girls being abused by a male relative in their own home are staggering and it seems nothing is being done about it. Every decent human being needs to help children understand that these kinds of 'secrets' aren't secrets and should be told. Teachers, social workers, police, the OTHER PARENT and each and every one of us have a responsibility to stop this terror. If a child's home isn't a place of safety what is? We have to stop having the attitude of not wanting to be involved. When a child's safety and well-being is at risk we have to step in. Abusive fathers (or mothers as the case may be) need lengthy jail terms and counseling. This cycle must be stopped!