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Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
My Father’s Prostitute: Story of a Stolen Childhood is a memoir written by Steven Whitacre. Whitacre was subjected to continued and frequent sexual abuse by his beloved father beginning at the age of 5 years and lasting until his later teens. His father was the warm and supportive parent in his family, and the one who took him on trips and adventures, but his dark side manifested itself in the repeated physical and sexual abuse. Whitacre grew up carrying the burden of this secret shame with no one to help and no way to escape. Even after he was grown and able to leave home, the damage that had been done to his psyche and emotional well-being persisted. This not only meant that his suffering continued, but his resulting inability to emotionally connect with others was itself damaging the well-being of his daughters.
Steven Whitacre's courageous memoir My Father’s Prostitute is not an easy and light-hearted read, nor should anyone who picks up a book with this title expect it to be. Whitacre sets out his past without embellishment or obfuscation. He describes incidents from his past that made me cringe and ache with sadness. When he sees his child at the age of 5, and despairs that his father could have broken the magic and innocence of a five-year-old, Whitacre describes how a tide broke within him and, indeed, this single passage speaks so eloquently of the tragic and abrupt disaster that remains within a victim of child abuse. My Father’s Prostitute: Story of a Stolen Childhood is inspiring -- Whitacre's life story shows that there can be recovery from even the most horrific past. His recovery had not been easy, and there had been plenty of missteps along the way, but ultimately this brave and resilient man learned how to vanquish his demons. My Father’s Prostitute: Story of a Stolen Childhood chronicles that triumph and is highly recommended.