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Reviewed by Romuald Dzemo for Readers' Favorite
Lines of Listening: A Memoir of Generational Child Abuse and Marital Betrayal by Joyce K. Gatschenberger is a brilliant story of a “dysfunctional family” of abuse in its multifaceted forms. In the author’s own words, it’s “an account of how I became aware of the noise that I was hearing and what I chose to do when I listened to that noise.” The author recounts the history of her family, going back to her ancestry and unveiling the eccentricities in her family and the abuses.
For instance, she writes: “As a very young child, my father was repeatedly tethered to a pole in my paternal grandfather’s greenhouse at night to guard it. These oral rumors, these bits of verbal memories, were the tidbits that mentally nudged my curiosity about our genealogy into unraveling our shared history.” The reader is introduced to a world where members of a family were abused in many more ways than one, and where they have had to develop tools of self-preservation.
Joyce K. Gatschenberger has written a terrific account of sexual, physical, and mental abuse in a family. She writes with a lot of confidence and the reader is introduced to the dynamics of a single family history. It takes a lot of courage to craft a book like this one, to lay bare the ills of one’s family, and Gatschenberger has that courage. Certainly the truth heals, and this book can serve as inspiration for readers who live in very harsh and abusive conditions to stand up for their rights. The writing is beautiful and accessible. Lines of Listening: A Memoir of Generational Child Abuse and Marital Betrayal is a courageous book that will motivate readers to denounce any form of abuse in their families, a story that will resonate with many readers.