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Empty Chairs

4.09 of 5 stars 4.09  ·  rating details  ·  717 ratings  ·  98 reviews
Much more than a story about child abuse.

Did you hear a child screaming again last night? Did you ignore the sound?

In your own neighborhood, children are being given an education. They are learning the facts of child abuse: pain and suffering that will shape their futures. Except many of them won't have futures at all.

Meet Stacey. She graduated Child Abuse 101 with honors...more
Kindle Edition, 434 pages
Published January 20th 2011 by Night Publishing
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(showing 1-30 of 1,285)
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What an unbelievable book, an unbelievable tale of horror, and absolutely nothing a little girl (or anyone) should suffer at the hands of her mother, no less!

The years that Stacey endured will be forever etched on her mind, and the fact that she managed to escape the horror at age 11 is a credit to her. But the streets of Sydney weren't a lot better; she was 'free' but she had no money, she could trust no-one, she ate very little, slept very little, as she had to keep her guard up all the time....more
Tim Roux
Simply put, this book is a classic - a superbly written gruesome real life horror story - and self-penned to boot, no ghost writer in sight (they would never write as well as Stacey anyway). It is direct, it is transcendent, it does not shut its eyes for a single second. Stacey Danson does for child abuse what Primo Levi did for the Holocaust - she survived it and rose above it (although Primo Levi committed suicide in the end).

Talking of suicide, you can see those chairs of the title emptying...more
Bill Kirton
Some of my friends have said of this book that they want to read it but, knowing the pain and horrors it chronicles, need to get themselves into the right frame of mind to do so. Others have admitted that they doubt whether they’ll actually get round to it. They should and must – for several reasons.

It’s an autobiographical story, written under a pseudonym, which reveals how a 3 year old was subjected to gross sexual abuses at the behest of her own mother, and forced to continue servicing visito...more
Empty Chairs is a shocking and extraordinary account of Stacey Danson's survival from the most harrowing sexual and physical abuse she was subjected to from the age of three by her mother and a succession of men. Yet there's an absence of self-pity in the recounting, Stacey tell it as it is, with emotional honesty and simplicity, making it all the more poignant. But Stacey is a survivor. We see the emergence of her indomitable spirit which helps her escape from her intolerable situation. At the...more
I am not an easy person to shock but holy crap! What I found in the pages of this book did more than shock. It made me sick and angry. How can a person who is a mother treat a child in this way? It is beyond all reasoning. Not only the mother but the pieces of dirt men that come to abuse this child. One being a doctor!!! No one opens their mouth and puts a stop to it? NO. Sad, sick and should never happen to another child.

Empty Chairs is not an easy story to read but it is very well written. I f...more
This is the autobiography of Stacey Denson from the age of 3 to the age of about 12. Stacey lives in middle class Sydney, Austraila and is prostituted by her mother started at the age of 3. Her mother sells her virginity at the age of 5. At the age of 11, she fights back and finds herself on the streets of Sydney. She must learn the rules of the street in order to survive. She must learn to remain invisible but she is able to stay alive on the streets not meant for an 11 year old girl. This stor...more
I cried. I got angry. The abuse this woman suffered at the hands of her mother made me so ill.. How does one wrap their head around the fact that a mother could sell her child to men for sexual gratification? How sad it is that escaping her mother and living on the streets gave Stacey a sense of normalcy.

This book is tough to read because it doesn't sugar coat the agony of abuse, but it does show you what the human spirit can overcome.
Lisa Gott
Empty chairs was a tragic story, but one that indeed needed to be told. I was appalled at the things this child had to go through. Stacey's determination and resilience was remarkable. I don't know if I would have been so tough if I had been in her shoes.

My only complaint with the book is just as we were learning about Stacey's journey, the book ended. I would have liked to have learned a little bit more about her life.
May 20, 2011 Maxwell rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommended to Maxwell by:

When I began reading Empty Chairs by Stacey Danson I was completely unprepared for what I would find. If it were a novel, I would have put it down. The matter-of-fact narration depicting extreme sexual exploitation of a small child by her mother turned my stomach. But Empty Chairs isn't a novel. It is Stacy Danson's life story. I read on through tears; my heart filled with horror, sympathy, and anger. But I read on.

In her superbly written auto-biography, the author unfolds a vision of hell that

Joanne Sexton
The first thing I have to say about this book is the remarkable human spirit found in Stacey. Stacey’s courage and extraordinary spirit make this story shine. No eleven year old should ever have had to live through such prolonged child abuse along with the sadness, fear and trauma of life on the street.

At first this story sickened me, not because of content but because I’m a mother. There is more kindness shown by strangers then flesh and blood in this story. I look at my daughter, at five and s...more
This review is also on my blog

This book is not for the faint of heart. I was taken aback since the very third paragraph. I have read a couple of books on this topic but never felt what I felt while reading this book. I was enraged and not sure at whom (Gwen or the perverts?).

If you can stomach reading about a 5-year old girl being abused (from all sides and forms) then by all means read the book. But if the very thought of child molestation infuriates and...more
Stuart Aken
Empty Chairs, by Stacey Danson, is a remarkable piece of writing. This autobiographical insight into the early life of a girl subject to physical and sexual abuse is honest, frank and characterised by a refusal to hide unpleasant detail. That the abuse was initiated by her mother, who acted as her pimp, when Stacey was the tender age of 3, makes the revelations all the more horrific.
It is natural to expect that an account of this type would be driven by bitterness and revenge but the author man...more
K.J. Kron
My son cried and cried as I tried to rush home. I wanted to run through the stop lights as I cursed myself for not leaving earlier. He was only four months.When I arrived home, my son looked at me teary-eyed as if I were the worst parent in the world – and I felt like it.

Then I read Empty Chair by Stacey Danson.

When I read A Child Called It, I couldn’t believe that the narrator was only the third worst case of abuse in the area. What could be worse, I wondered.

Reading Empty Chairs gave me the a...more
Oct 02, 2014 Mitsy rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Everyone
Empty Chairs is a true story written by a child abuse victim.

Remarkable. The absolute hell this woman experienced as a child is horrific. Words are inadequate to describe her childhood, yet I tried. I have never, ever, read or heard of a more hellish childhood. Thankfully, she escaped and lived in freedom on the streets of Australia. Yes, it was freedom compared to her hell. Yet it was, and is, her courage, spirit, and absolute unwillingness to give up that makes this more than a story of child...more
I would have given this five stars had it not been for the ending or should I say non-ending. I read this on my kindle app and kept trying to turn the page for the next chapter because I didn't realize it was over. I then thought that the whole book had not been downloaded and was dismayed when I figured out that was the ending and that the author had not written another book to continue the story. I was left very unsatisfied because I wanted to know how the rest of the author's story played out...more
Brenda Blackard
Good reading but ended too abruptly. Hope there's a follow up book. It's hard to comprehend how cruel some people can be and the will to survive by some.
Teresa Geering
If you only buy one work of non fiction make it Empty Chairs by Stacey Danson.
This book of child abuse shook me to the core.
I love a good memoir. This is not meant for the faint at heart. Very raw, and left me thinking about it for months after!
George Polley
If you’re the victim of child abuse, know someone who is, or work with victims of child abuse, Stacy Danson’s autobiographical account of the sexual abuse she endured at the hands of her mother from age three until she ran away at eleven is the book for you.

Empty Chairs is, as the subtitle says, “much more than a story about child abuse.” It is about the resilience and triumph of a girl whose street name was “Sassy”, who not only survived the horror of sexual abuse and her mother’s sadism, but s...more
The writing itself was not stellar, but the author never claimed to be a writer, she only claimed she had a story to tell. That story was heart wrenching. As a child the author endured abuse that NO one should ever have to live through, but live through it she did. At eleven she ran away from that abuse and began to live on the streets. My issue with the story was that it didn't have an ending. I am assuming that there is a sequel, BUT it would have been nice if the book stated that, such as......more
This was listed as non fiction- but it could have easily been under the 'horror' category. Holy moly!I felt disturbed after the first book I read pertaining to an abused child, and let me tell you, that was no picnic to read. But what Stacey Danson endured is beyond my comprehension. I was repulsed from nearly the first page but read it all the same. How this woman perservered through the horrors she lived is astonishing, and she was just a child! On her own! I read her sequelto Empty Chairs and...more
WOW! I already had an idea of what I was getting into when I first started reading it, but Stacey Danson gives a very descriptive view of her life from about 3 to 12 years old. The sexual and physical abuse from/by her mother was described in enough detail that the reader could feel like they were their witnessing her life. I look forward to reading hte next chapter in Stacey's life.

There are times that it is hard for me to believe that things like this still go on and still happen. When are we...more
This was a disturbing account of a child's sexual abuse at the hands of her mother. There were times where I felt the story was unbelievable but I think that was partly because I didn't want it to be true. I didn't want to believe that there are people who endure this kind of brutality. The book is very raw. It's not written by a literary genius but by a person wanting to get her story out. There are parts where the story is shocking! My only complaint was that I found the book ended abruptly. I...more
Belinda Sharp
Very good read.

Very good read.

I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys reading about a fighting spirit. I really liked it this book.
Jo L Christensen
Abrupt ending

I couldn't put the book down it was so good, but the ending really leaves one hanging. I would not have read it had I known!
I only got a little over half way done with this book because I just couldn't take it any more. I thought it was going to be a story similar to A Child Called It, but it was much more lame than that. This lady was just talking about her life and it wasn't told in an interesting way to keep me wanting to read more. I read lots of reviews that it was a good book that kept you wanting more, so there is a second book written by this same author and if it's anything like this one it's so not worth it...more
Polly Pottridge
Wow, this story is very hard to read in a it is so real to life and we just wish the world was different sort of way kind of hard. She tells her story very well,it grips the reader and draws you into her story. I did however not like the aburt ending, while i relize it had to stop at some point it was just a very cold spot. I was not looking for an happy ever after moment but a closer to how things pulled her out of that world, just a few words after the story would have helped. This is not for...more
Pete Morin
Stacey Danson's life story rivals Jerzy Kozkinski's The Painted Bird. Only Stacey Danson's story is true.

This is a riveting, unforgettable account of the tragic early life of one hell of a brave and resourceful girl.

The shelves are bulging with memoirs of people who've recovered from abuse, addiction, alcoholism, all manner of horrors. None of them can touch Danson's well-told tale of survival.

I look forward to the next segment of this remarkable life story.
Paige Dearth
Empty Chairs was a well written account of the evil that lurks in the world. I thought Stacey Danson did an excellent job and she kept it real. The book was direct. There is nothing pretty or nice about child abuse. In fact, regardless of the graphicness of this book, no one can really know the true horror and isolation of child abuse unless you've lived through it. Being raped at seven years-old, I understand her struggles and unrelenting determination to overcome her unfortunate and unwanted c...more
Lindy Dale
I absolutely zoomed through this book, totally disbelieving that such things could be a part of a child's life. It makes for compelling reading though I did wonder at times where Sassy got all her bravado from. Yes, her early life was so bad she had no choice but to go to the streets but for one so young, and naive about the ways of 'normal' society she seemed just a little too brave for me at times. I wondered why she wasn't more afraid being that she was only eleven and had had no experience i...more
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