DARK OBSESSION: A True Story of Incest and Justice by Shelly with Peter Meyer Sessions

DARK OBSESSION: A True Story of Incest and Justice

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A compelling tale of a Texas girl's revenge on her sexually abusive father--a story satisfying enough in its outcome to survive a weak start and several unnecessary attempts at melodrama. ""How many ways can a man fantasize his sexual desires? And have them so easily met? How many times a day?"" This sort of clumsy, repetitive prose, presumably inserted by coauthor Peter Meyer (Death of Innocence, 1985), might destroy a less riveting tale of incest and survival. But the clash of wills between Shelly Sessions, an extremely willful young heiress, and her abuser--a charming self-made millionaire and cattle rancher who married Shelly's mother and adopted the gift when she was two--is so intrinsically powerful that no amount of literary fumbling can stand in its way. Bobby Sessions was a master deal-maker and a brilliant manipulator. He was also a chain-smoker, nail-biter, and Dr. pepper-chugger with an insatiable appetite for sex. He began fondling Shelly when she was eight. He would later justify having sexually abused her almost daily throughout her teen years by claiming that he craved the ""love"" his rebellious stepdaughter wouldn't otherwise give him. Meanwhile, he punished Shelly with sex, sodomizing her, and photographing her nude. When the high-school rodeo queen finally broker her silence, Bobby was sentenced to a brief stint in a psychiatric institute in Houston, while Shelly's born-again mother packed her off to the prison-like Rebekah Home for Girls. A year later, Shelly was returned to her parents, urged by religious counselors to obey her father in the interests of family unity. Instead, Shelly, who turned out to be as strong-willed as her charismatic father, sued him for ten million dollars and won. An appalling and enormously moving story--made vivid by a wealth of pertinent background information and direct quotes from all the participants.

Pub Date: Jan. 30th, 1989
Publisher: Putnam