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Because I Remember Terror, Father, I Remember You

4.08  ·  Rating Details ·  645 Ratings  ·  57 Reviews
Because I Remember Terror, Father, I Remember You destroys our complacency about who among us can commit unspeakable atrocities, who is subjected to them, and who can stop them. From age four to eighteen, Sue William Silverman was repeatedly sexually abused by her father, an influential government official and successful banker. Through her eyes, we see an outwardly normal ...more
Paperback, 288 pages
Published September 2nd 1999 by University of Georgia Press (first published 1996)
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Mar 29, 2009 Indra rated it really liked it
Courageous and compassionate...I found the writing lyrical--sometimes halting, often harrowing, and always haunting. Not an easy read or subject, but incest is an unfortunate fact of life; anyone who can survive and give voice to their experience with the measure of honesty and skill Sue William Silverman has in this book garners my sincere admiration, and my belief is that more open discussion of this subject in our culture can only have a positive effect, however uncomfortable it may be at tim ...more
Lynn Tolson
Jan 03, 2010 Lynn Tolson rated it it was amazing
This memoir depicts the devastating abuse of a child born to a prominent man and his pretentious wife. This family that includes two daughters lived on an exotic foreign island as well as an ordinary American city. The father had important careers in banking and law. Nothing was more important to the mother than the appearance of a family as normal. But what is normal when one daughter dashes in and out of the house daily while the other is imprisoned nightly as her father repeatedly rapes her? ...more
Sabrina Rutter
May 25, 2009 Sabrina Rutter rated it it was amazing
Shelves: child-abuse
This is a very emotionally powerful account of childhood sexual abuse. All of the feelings that Sue had so much trouble understanding are described so deeply and clearly that it makes your own heart ache.
While I'm glad that she also placed the blame on her mother for allowing this to happen to her as a child I'm still angry at the fact that Sue never had children. The fact that she was robbed of the desire to have a child of her own.
I believe all pedophiles should have to read this book to get
Ellen Gail
Devastating and graphic. Undeniably well written and gripping, but sometimes Silverman writes so well it hurts.
Loveliest Evaris
I'm beginning to put myself in a niche of abuse memoirs. Isn't it simply fascinating that these are so popular and frequently made? I'm not saying that people shouldn't speak out with their story of survival from abuse, but it makes you wonder, "What the hell does society have to do to make sure this never starts in the first place?"

We have to wait decades until someone comes forward and says, "I've been abused". Then it's too little, too late to save them. Well, they can be "saved", but they're
Vanessa Blakeslee
Jul 17, 2015 Vanessa Blakeslee rated it it was amazing
A sharply resonating read for anyone who has grown up in a family of narcissistic manipulation, pathological lying, and abuse -- how the victim's psychology is shaped (warped) as a result is captured dead-on, both eerily chilling and a strange comfort, if you are so unfortunate to have shared a similar childhood. Profound gratitude and admiration to Silverman for having the courage to write about this, for the web of control, power, and confusion that this kind of dysfunction weaves is notorious ...more
Feb 02, 2009 Jeannie rated it it was amazing
This is an amazing well written book from an amazing author. Very dark and deep subject matter that haunted me from the moment I began reading it. It's obvious she wrote this from her heart and soul and mine goes out to her for having survived such a horrific childhood.
I was especially touched and moved by the ending where she wrote of helping students in her writing class. She has such empathy for others and having none shown to her during her formative years proves that she is not only healin
Nov 19, 2009 L rated it really liked it
I chose to read this book for a Child Psychopathology paper and it has been gut-wrenching, agonizing reading from page 1. I doubt that any child abuse memoir, let alone father-daughter incest would be anything but horrifying, but Silverman has some serious writing chops and it makes her story all the more compelling. There are no glib summations, feel-good redemptions, or candy coating whatsoever. Her writing is straightforward, direct, and brutally honest. For anybody who needs to (begin to try ...more
Nov 24, 2014 Elizabeth rated it really liked it
Shelves: biography
This book! First of all, I must say this isn't an easy read. It is absolutely a terrible nightmare of a story. The hellish childhood, and no doubt years of mental anguish this little girl went through are hard to imagine. I was in a rush at the library for something fresh to read and grabbed this without much thought. It wasn't exactly uplifting, and I'd like to see more of the happy life she is living now. But real life isn't always happy, and children get abused. That is a fact.So don't read t ...more
Jul 27, 2012 Jamie rated it liked it
This book is not for the faint of heart. It is triggering for emotional readers and abuse survivors. Sue William Silverman does not spare the details of her sexual abuse as a child. I couldn't put it down, but only because of morbid curiousity. I give it 3 stars because I think it gives a full and accurate protrayal of what life is like when experiencing abuse. This book could be beneficial for professionals working with abuse victims; often victims cannot verbalize what has happened to them.
May 12, 2013 Nikki rated it really liked it
This book is not for the faint of heart. I read it because of a school assignment. It was heart-wrenching. I even found myself reading it in stages as I was so emotionally impacted by the author's horrific childhood abuse. I do, however, admire the courage and strength this book inspires. The author is brave and courageous. Honestly, although the message is hopeful for abuse survivors, the details of abuse were extreme and it was quite depressing to read. I would advise any prospective readers t ...more
Apr 16, 2012 Oliver rated it liked it
The content of Sue Silverman's memoir is horrifying, but she writes so beautifully that I feel drawn into a poetic nightmare. Her brilliant descriptions of her disengagement as a child lead me to read the narrative with a sense of distance as well, as though it were fiction. But she startles me back into her reality in faint parallel to the way her father repeatedly shocked her into his reality. It's a beautiful work that requires a high tolerance for violence.
Jul 29, 2011 BRNTerri rated it it was amazing
How the author could be so open and honest about something so horrible is beyond me. Not only was she molested for many years, beginning at the age of four, around 1950, she’s a recovering sex addict, ‘cutter’, and is still bulimic. She comes from a long line of child abusers. The book is very dark, very graphic, so be warned. Sue takes us on a disturbing journey through her life. She holds nothing back.
Jan 10, 2017 Brooke rated it it was amazing
This is a true story of a woman who survived a childhood (and adolescence) of rape and molestation at the hands of her own father. Silverman's prose is beyond poignant. But be forewarned: this book contains copious gruesome details. Her memoir is more than just a story, though - Silverman reflects and enlightens along the way, which helps to lift the heavy passages. Gut-wrenching and unforgettable.
Jul 30, 2012 Jessica rated it liked it
Shelves: own
I've been meaning to read this memoir since I heard SWS read at Nonfiction Now! in 2007. It is every bit as gut wrenching as the excerpt she read. What I like about this book is that, though he subject matter is terrifying (sexual abuse by her father), it is written about beautifully without relying on pity. Silverman takes the reader on an intimate journey through her formative years with attention to character and plot. She writes lyrically and candidly on a difficult subject matter.
Patrick Ross
Aug 10, 2013 Patrick Ross rated it really liked it
Shelves: memoir
Bias alert: Sue was my third-semester advisor in my MFA program at the Vermont College of Fine Arts, and the primary reason I selected that program. It was in part due to this memoir, which grabs you from the opening page. The narrator's voice is compelling, authentically childlike yet not annoying across the length of the book (a real challenge for writers). She demonstrates remarkable objectivity in viewing her family, remarkable because of what she endured.
Feb 23, 2011 Rena rated it it was amazing
Fairly graphic account of violent childhood rape. Both parents are involved, which is probably pretty honest. Hard to imagine mothers don't know what's happening to their daughters. I think this is one of the best books I've read about this topic. I really enjoyed the writing style and portrayal of long-term effects of such abuse.
Virginia Simpson
Feb 19, 2011 Virginia Simpson rated it it was amazing
In exquisitely crafted sentences and images, Sue William Silverman tells the horrific story of her father's incest (rape), and physical and emotional abuse. Since this book was difficult to read because of the overwhelming abuse, I can only imagine the terror for Sue in living it and the courage it took for her to write it.
Doreen Young
Apr 17, 2014 Doreen Young rated it liked it
Very graphic descriptions of abuse that were very disturbing considering how young she was when the abuse began. Very well told and deals with a disturbing subject (incest)and the fact it can happen in any corner of society.
How Sue Silverman survived and is a successful author and speaker is amazing!!
Raychel Tindall
Jul 14, 2014 Raychel Tindall rated it it was amazing
This book was a quick read but definitely would advise those who do read it to take time to process what you read. The details of her abuse is horrific and may be difficult to read. So I would simply suggest reading for a while then process. This is a very empowering book and is a phenomenal read. I would suggest it to anyone who enjoys reading this genre of books.
Lisa Anne
Sep 05, 2015 Lisa Anne rated it it was amazing
The story of a child torn apart by childhood incest, this book shook me awake to the devastating consequences of a life that begins with betrayal, secrecy and terror. Her book gave me the framework to understand my own abuse and her courage inspired me to write about it. Well-written with vivid imagery that evokes the magical world she lived in and survived.
Jun 12, 2010 Cindy rated it really liked it
This book is very stark and shocking. I was amazed by the courage that Ms. Silverman had in opening up all of these horrible secrets in order to write this book. I was glued to the finish. This book is certainly not for the faint of heart. The content is very disturbing, but unfortunately, so is real life at times. I admire the raw honesty that it must have taken to write this book.
Dianna Sandora Sandora
Dec 14, 2014 Dianna Sandora Sandora rated it it was amazing
Wow, so amazing. This book was especially touching because I have a small understanding of the things that happened to her. Thankfully not to get extreme. I am currently working on my own memoir and reading this allowed me to write so much better! The emotion just falls off the pages. Maybe sure you have your tissue ready!
Feb 02, 2008 Liz rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: survivorship
I wanted to like this book, but was disappointed in its actuality. I feel sympathetic for what the author has gone through, but I feel like she presents a memoir that spends most of its book on how horrible enduring child abuse is and then gives an unrealistic portrayal of how easy it is for survivors to heal and forgive.
May 04, 2012 Alyssa rated it liked it
it's hard to say i "liked" or "enjoyed" a book like this - it's neither an enjoyable read nor something i would want to read again. It is, however, and important read for those of us who work i the field of child welfare or those of us who are trying to better understand it. it's not an easy book to get through, but it does give you faith in the resiliency of children as well as adults.
I read this book about 8 years ago. I appreciate the courage and honesty of the writer. I have only been able to read this book once, as it rocked me emotionally. However, it is a very well written book.
Melanie Brooks
Sep 18, 2016 Melanie Brooks rated it it was amazing
A courageous journey to tell her heart wrenching story of abuse. Silverman does not gloss over the details, and reading this book makes me want to wrap the young girl portrayed in these pages in an embrace of safety.
Apr 07, 2011 Melanie rated it it was amazing
This book is distrubing on so many levels. As a sexual abuse survivor I can relate to what she went through. I would recommend ths book to anyone who is on the healing process ofabuse so that they can know they are not alone.
Feb 07, 2011 Heather rated it really liked it
I don't care much for the title of this book, or the last two sections. However the first part was very disturbing. Defintely not for the sensitive. Good writing and an engaging story. I do wish there was a bit more closure though, but I guess in life sometimes there is not.
Oct 14, 2012 richwire rated it really liked it
Well written, but a tough story to read because of the subject matter. If you are interested in the topic, I highly recommend this book. Sorry for what she had to go through. I hope writing this book helped her recovery.
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Sue William Silverman's new memoir is The Pat Boone Fan Club: My Life as a White Anglo-Saxon Jew. Her other two memoirs are Love Sick: One Woman's Journey Through Sexual Addiction (W.W. Norton), which aired as a Lifetime Television original movie, and Because I Remember Terror, Father, I Remember You (University of Georgia Press), which won the AWP award in creative nonfiction. Her craft book is F ...more
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