In chronicling the abuse he endured in childhood and his personal journey of healing as an adult, Dodt attempts to give hope to other survivors of abuse.
Dodt’s work of nonfiction isn’t for a recreational reader looking for a comfortable tale. This book is meant to lead the abused through the healing process. After the death of his mother, Dodt and his siblings were separated and sent to live in various orphanages, setting into motion a childhood filled with abuse and rejection. As an adult, Dodt began to see that he needed help as he struggled with the horrors of his past. Through extensive therapies and self-help groups, he learned how to function. The book reads like a timeline, with chronologically organized events connected with stream-of-consciousness prose. This unusual style immerses the reader in the author’s experience of emotional upheaval and healing and elicits an effortless empathy: When the author feels uneasy or confused, so does the reader. When the author describes being beaten, sexually abused and forced to fight other orphans at the whim of his guardians or classmates, his distress is also the reader’s. The connection feels brutal at times, but as the author gains distance from his past and seeks treatment, the tone becomes more hopeful. In the end, the reader and author have gone on a complete journey. For those with or without direct experience of physical violence, the book opens up a world of dismay.
A frank retelling of devastating personal experiences that may offer solace to those who have suffered abuse.