Monday, October 14, 2013

Anelisse, by Adriana Bellini

As a young girl, Anelisse and her twin sister Maddie were ecstatic that their mother has found a new husband.  The girls are excited to have a father, who appears loving and attentive.  As time goes by, they see a new, ugly side of their stepfather.  He begins to inflict terrible abuse on their mother, and eventually on the children themselves.  A younger brother is born, but the situation gets worse and worse, until finally Anelisse must do what she can to make sure she survives.

It is always difficult to say you like or enjoy a book that details severe child abuse.  How can someone like that?  The subject matter is so heart breaking and sad.  Yet I am so glad that these types of books continue to be written, and I have great respect for the authors to are so adept at sharing these stories.  This book is stark, and raw.  The story is, at times, quite difficult to read, but the writing is beautifully executed.

The book is based on the real experiences of the author, so it is a delicate blend of nonfiction and fiction.  The reality truly comes through in the writing; it is clear that people really do suffer through these terrible situations.  But the focus here is on survival, and that gives the readers and other survivors hope.  I think it is so important that these stories continue to be told, so that other victims know they are not alone, and that they too can have a good life.  

It is never fun to read about the pain of others.  But I am better for having read this well written book.

I received a review copy courtesy of the author in exchange for my honest review.

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