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Reviewed by Vincent Dublado for Readers' Favorite
Seven Parents, Daughter to None: A Memoir by Melanie Hope Lang is a painful but transformational story about how a girl becomes broken from years of secrets, abuse, and neglect. But the years of things she didn’t learn or understand because of neglect have been filled as she finds her own happiness. Melanie comes from six fathers but she belongs to none. She never discovered her biological father until she became a teenager. She is one of ten children, yet she doesn’t know her siblings’ ages or who is the oldest. Basic information about her family eludes her grasp, as she had been a part of multiple families but belonged to none. She structures her memoir with every chapter named after each of her stepfathers. With an indifferent mother, her memoir gives you a glimpse of her hardships and how they strengthened her spirit.
'Not another memoir about abuse and hardship' is probably the first thing that comes to mind, but every story of abuse is different. So why should you read Seven Parents, Daughter to None? For Melanie Hope Lang, it serves as a kind of closure, an integral part of her healing process. It takes time to find the words to tell these types of stories, and Lang’s courage to open herself up reveals that there is something transformational about her narrative. Like every tale of abuse, her story must be told and be heard. For readers, it is meeting an interesting, real person, a trauma memoirist who is committed to revealing her story. And if you have ever experienced domestic hardships and abuse on your own path, this memoir gives you a sense of reassurance that you are not alone, and that you have the power to put yourself back together again.