Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Empty Chairs, by Stacey Danson

Empty ChairsNo one realizes that she exists, let alone that she is being abused and prostituted by her own mother.  Who would believe her if she somehow tried to tell.  But children grow up, and one day, she realizes she is big enough to stand up to her mother, and to get out for good.  Will she make it on her own?  Has a lifetime of abuse taught her how to survive on the streets?

This book is the epitome of intensity, and not for the faint of heart.  Which is exactly why every single person who has even come in contact with a child in any capacity should read it. Children suffer this type of abuse every day, though many of us do not want to think about it.

Stacey Danson is incredibly brave, not only for enduring and surviving this abuse, but for choosing to share her story with the world.  We cannot let her story go unheard; we cannot let more children be abused as she has been.

It is always difficult reading about children being harmed, and this book is no exception.  This is an incredibly difficult book to read.  You want to rebel against the wrongness of what Danson endured.  But putting the book down will not make it any less real or true, nor will it make it any less likely to happen to other children.  That is why it is so important for the reader to push through the discomfort, and seek the message at the end, seek the empowerment to spread the story and help other children.

Obviously, the themes we are working with here are tough.  Abuse, child prostitution and rape, children living on the streets, and various other crimes.  A book need not be pleasant to be a great book.  And important books, such as this one, rarely are pleasant.  But I beg of you, do not be deterred by your own comfort zone.  Because this book, well, this book really needs to be read.


This book is from my personal library.