Reviewed by Jane Finch for Readers' Favorite
Invisible Scars by John Moffatt Smith is the author’s autobiography and tells the story of his life in an orphanage during the 1960s in Australia. Taken from his home and his mother and siblings at the age of four, the author recounts the terrible years of abuse, both physical and mental, that he was forced to endure. From the relentless regimes to the degradation and pain inflicted, the story paints an horrific picture of institutional life. After enduring seven years of unimaginable suffering, the young boy is finally adopted by a family that had fostered him, but after so long being institutionalised he finds it difficult to adjust to his new life. Eventually, he is reunited with his siblings.
This is a heart-breaking read, to learn of the horrific maltreatment that children in these orphanages went through. It is gratifying to note that the author, John Moffatt Smith, has come through such a dark tunnel and emerged on the other side. How anyone can survive such emotional scarring and survive to live a normal life is credit indeed to the character of the author, and to be able to relive such memories within this book is just amazing. The writing flows well and the emotion is quite suppressed, presumably because the author became quite hardened to abuse and the harshness of his world. However, towards the end, when reunited with his siblings, there are glimpses of another John, one that perhaps has allowed himself to let down his guard somewhat. A very moving and also disturbing read, and one that could be well depicted in film.