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Book Review: Destruction of Innocence: A True Story of Child Abduction by Rosalie Hollingsworth

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“My mind kept centering on the race to find my missing daughter, Triana. I wondered if this search would ever end. I had first lost her when she was one-year-old, and it took me eight months to find her. This time she had been missing for over two years. I would search for her, and would do so until I found her, if it took my entire life.”

Rosalie Hollingsworth is a strong, courageous, and determined woman who lets nothing get in the way once she’s made up her mind to do something. The something in this case is the inconceivable journeys to regain her daughter twice after Triana was kidnapped by her father. This is Rosalie’s story as much as it is the story of Triana, who as a young child couldn’t understand what was happening — but who later learned the facts and somehow had her mother’s stamina to overcome this horrific period in her young life and thrive.

Rosalie, as a mother, could only imagine what it was like for Triana, but she could not fathom the horrors of what life turned out to be for little Triana. From rabies after being bitten by a dog, to being raped by strange men, to the recurrent lice infestations leading to the shaving of her hair, Triana grew up under conditions no child should have to endure. Adjusting to Franco’s juggling of wives (sometimes with children of their own), and by far the worst thing a father can tell his child -— that her mother was evil and that she was dead — Triana amazingly came through it all without a deep scar.

Hollingsworth chose to structure her story as a diary, which suits the purpose well. She takes you along on the journey to recover Triana in hope that others in the same situation will see that with determination and strength, the impossible may not be impossible after all. Her pace is right on, with tension building up where needed and letting low where relief should be felt. Beginning with the first kidnap retrieval, Hollingsworth uses a back flash in the second chapter to reveal what led up to the kidnapping and clues us in to the relationship between herself and Franco.

I really enjoyed reading the book, especially to see the great results in the end: the rushes of fear, followed by sighs of relief, to end with the joy of reunion. And then to learn that through all the negativity surrounding Triana’s life she went on to study nursing, showing that her human compassion wasn’t harmed. The only thing I disliked (having nothing to do with the mechanics itself) was the fact that the pages came apart from page 1 through 84. It’s a shame that such a great book couldn’t find a home with a better publishing house. Other than that it could have benefited from a little additional editing work, but that is a minor issue. My only hope is that a serious publishing house steps up to the plate and offer a contract for a reprint of this exceptionally well-written book.

This is a book all parents MUST read. It isn’t only the parents who suffer when things go wrong; it’s the victims (the children in the middle) who suffer the most, many too young even to know that.

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About Gloria Oren