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Reviewed by Fiona Ingram for Readers' Favorite
The author describes this book as a novel based on a true story. It is not a nice story. This is the story of Taylor, a victim of sexual child abuse by her brutal stepfather from the age of three, a vicious and continuing horror that lasted well into her teens. Later, as an adult, she discovered that her emotionally distant mother knew about it all the time. From a tender age, Taylor was exposed to betrayal on all levels: emotional, spiritual and physical. This tragedy scarred her life, creating a sense of degradation within her, and blighted her perceptions on relationships for many years.
Child abuse is a dark, dirty secret in countless homes. Some grim statistics tell us just how prevalent it is. More than 90% of juvenile sexual abuse victims know their perpetrator in some way. Approximately 1 in 6 boys and 1 in 4 girls are sexually abused before the age of 18. Child abuse occurs at every socioeconomic level, across ethnic and cultural lines, within all religions and at all levels of education. About 30% of abused and neglected children will later abuse their own children, continuing the horrible cycle of abuse. Presence of a stepfather in the home doubles the risk of sexual victimization for girls. It is hard to imagine anyone enduring and surviving such unspeakable cruelty: a childhood stripped of trust and innocence, and all beliefs shattered. This book is a harrowing tale of relentless, violent sexual abuse that made it difficult for Taylor to rebuild a life destroyed before it really began, and to embrace relationships. Drawn to abusive men, she saw all men as sexual predators, and her inability to relate properly meant the inability to form a stable loving relationship. Years of stalled relationships finally resulted in a marriage that was dogged by her husband’s destructive mother. Matrimony and motherhood brought some joy into Taylor’s life, but not enough to heal the hideous internal scars on her psyche. Only a dreadful climactic event finally broke the shield of fear she had created, and forced her to stand up, fight back, and win! This event was unwittingly the way for Taylor to find redemption, self-love, and the feelings of self worth that make us human.
Taylor Evan Fulks is a talented wordsmith, able to conjure up the hideous experiences with remarkable clarity and emotion. She writes from the heart, and the agony of real experience lends authenticity to her riveting descriptions, fleshing out the sheer brutality of each moment of terror and pain for readers. It is one thing to read a fiction story about horrible events but it is another to read what a human being has endured and survived. This is not for the faint-hearted, but I would recommend this book for anyone who has ever suffered similar abuse. The story ends with light, hope, and the will to survive — part of the human condition.