An account of one woman’s turbulent childhood and her paranormal awakening.
Canfield’s parents Ralph and Lorraine meet as teenagers in South Buffalo and quickly create a large family when children keep arriving despite the pair’s inability to care for them, either financially or emotionally. Even when Ralph had steady work at an arms plant during World War II, money was tight, and as work dries up after the war, the family’s situation deteriorates. Ralph and Lorraine argue and drink too much, leaving the children to largely fend for themselves. The family splits up, and Nancy Lee is sent to live with her aunt and abusive uncle for a short stint before being placed in numerous foster homes and eventually an orphanage. After a few years, the family reunites underneath one roof, but Nancy Lee is much changed, scarred by her experiences. She eventually marries the first man she meets, who is 23 to her 17, out of a clear desire to escape the highly toxic and dysfunctional family home. By 20, Nancy Lee is the mother of three children and the wife of a man who physically and verbally abuses her. Knowing that she is trapped, she repeatedly tells her husband that one day she will leave him. After 20-plus years, Nancy Lee finally keeps her promise and files for divorce, explaining that a key component in her ability to make such a bold move is the inner strength she has developed through harnessing her paranormal sensitivities; Nancy Lee is a highly sensitive person with psychic abilities, signs of which are seen throughout her childhood. The author’s tell-it-like-it-was memoir is moving because of its lack of sentimentality; she neither demonizes nor idealizes her parents and depicts the people in her life so vividly that at times it’s easy to forget that this startling tale is nonfiction. While the paranormal details, coupled with some purple prose, may make the book hard for some readers to swallow, on the whole, Canfield’s story is an incredible account of childhood neglect and her power to triumph in a life riddled with obstacles.
An inspirational, unsentimental tale of overcoming the odds.