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Remembering Terror

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Lititz with a Twist

Because I Remember Terror, Father, I Remember You by Sue William Silverman

Powerful in its lean simplicity, gripping in its honesty, Sue Silverman’s voice rivets the reader with its sensual evocation of imagery and its ability to draw a reluctant audience into the painful world in which she was raised.

Written in vignettes&#8212snapshots of memory&#8212Silverman’s book, published by the University of Georgia Press, courageously shares the stark terror of growing up a victim of incest. Masterfully alive in her words are the confusion, shame, and overwhelming dissolution of self such experiences engender.

Yet for all its unspeakable tragedy, Because I Remember Terror is also a tale of recovery, of a woman’s unbreakable inner being and her ability to rise beyond the crushing dust of a shattered childhood.

Like many other readers, I read Silverman’s 272-page memoir in a single day, unable to set it aside. Still, one could never claim to like Silverman’s book any more than one would claim to have loved, say, Shindler’s List. Be moved by it, yes. Be forever altered, indeed. But like? Love? No sane person can wade into the pool of another’s suffering and enjoy it. Still, Silverman’s words and her tale beckon, an immersion we all need if we, as society, are ever to begin cleansing this festering, hidden wound that surrounds us in silent horror.

Silverman is to be applauded for her advocacy of others in similar straights, to be respected for not submitting, in the final analysis, to the terror to which her sadistic father subjected her, a terror to which her mother turned a blind eye and hardened heart. Parents, teachers, psychologists, doctors&#8212even teenagers&#8212should read this book. Silverman’s is a voice crying out in a veritable wilderness where children are being lost to violence every day. Yes, here. In America. Maybe in the house next door to you. Maybe in your own.

Please. Hear her.

Lititz with a Twist

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About garrie

  • Evocative review, garrie — thanks!

  • Thanks. This one is really deserving. Talk about a gripping read. I’m not one of those reviewers who will only review things I like (as you’ve already noted!) but if I don’t care for something I do at least try to say why.

    I’d been wanting to get around to reading Silverman’s second book, but something I read yesterday makes me want to reasearch content more, first. I think it may be less a story than a work written in a self-help framework for those addicted to sex, in which case I’m not interested.