Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Review: The Source of All Things

Author:   Tracy Ross

Genre:  Memoir (2011)

About:  The author was molested by her stepfather from ages eight to 14, at which time she ran away from home and confided in a family friend about the years of abuse. The police were called and she was removed from her home. Her stepfather, because he admitted to everything, received only 8 weeks of court-appointed group therapy and 10 months of abstinence from Tracy. She was later sent to boarding school and eventually returned home to live with her mother and stepfather.  

Unbelievable. Her family refused to believe or accept that the husband/stepfather was capable of such a horrific act, and if a small part of them did believe it happened, they just wanted to sweep it under the rug and move on.  Her mom constantly pushed Tracy into uncomfortable situations with her stepdad despite all he did to her! I didn't understand their behavior at all. I even felt that Tracy herself at times downplayed the atrocity of what he did.

In addition to the details of the abuse (touching and fondling only), much of the book focused on her relationships, including a failed marriage, and how the abuse affected them.

Rating:  4/5   I wanted to give this fewer stars because of the content, i.e. the stepdad's crime, as well as the dysfunctional behavior of everyone involved, but it is what it is and I can't judge the book based on what happened.  I enjoyed the writing, even though it was difficult to read. The jobs she had as a young adult and the adventures she experienced were fascinating.  She had an interesting life after she moved out of her house.  But how in the world she forgave her creepy, pedophiliac (that's not a word, but...) stepfather for what he did is beyond me. She even thanks him at the end of the book for "having the grace to let me tell this story."

Source: Library

Why I chose:  I read about this - along with the book Tiger, Tiger, another child abuse memoir I'm now reading - in Oprah or People.

Recommend?   You decide. Definitely not for the faint of heart.


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