There's really nothing in this book that you don't already know (but that's true of a LOT of these 'simplify and declutter!' books), and a lot of the...moreThere's really nothing in this book that you don't already know (but that's true of a LOT of these 'simplify and declutter!' books), and a lot of the advice is just plain ... nonsensical. The author advises, at one point, going part-time and adjusting your expenses. Right. In a time (and economy) when even two parents working a full time job can't support a family. Also, this book would have benefited from an editor: little mistakes like "alinmate," meaning "alignment," really take you out of the book itself.
Ugggggh, this book was so boring and painful to read that making it through the first 50 pages was an actual chore. I gave up after that, which is EXT...moreUgggggh, this book was so boring and painful to read that making it through the first 50 pages was an actual chore. I gave up after that, which is EXTREMELY rare for me; normally I finish a book no matter what. This one was just ... no.(less)
This book is more of a 3.5 than a 4, but I rounded up.
I read this book because I'm a criminal defense attorney and I've handled many cases where the...moreThis book is more of a 3.5 than a 4, but I rounded up.
I read this book because I'm a criminal defense attorney and I've handled many cases where the defendant was excused of a sexual crime against a young victim. They're difficult cases. I saw that this book was by a child victim and wanted to get her perspective.
This is a compelling read, even though it could have benefited from a more thorough editing (some grammatical/spelling errors, minor things but they kind of jump out at you - or at least me - while reading). It's engaging and thorough, and yes, graphic. I saw that a lot of people complained about that. I think that graphic nature is consistent with the nature of this sort of experience and certainly an ongoing experience like this one.
I do not want to detract from this book. It does a great job exploring the motivations as to why one might groom a child for sex, and different things that are more nuanced and complicated than the simple "he's a monster!" rhetoric. (Although I certainly think that anyone who forces sex on a minor, no matter how "willing" the minor is, is a monster.)
What was interesting to me is that the author resists blaming Gary, and she tries to dig deeper than that. I think that was particularly noteworthy.
But there's one thing about this book that I could not get past even after I'd read it. WHAT THE HELL WERE HER PARENTS DOING.
They KNEW this was going on! They let their 15 year old daughter travel from Australia to London to live with this man! Why? Because she was upset and crying adn saying she wanted to go?! BIG FUCKING DEAL. When your 15 year old cries about how she wants to go live in another hemisphere, on another continent, with a 29 year old man, guess what you do? You take away her phone, you keep her on a short leash, you change your phone number, you call your phone company and block his, you pack her up and go on some retreat in the mountains (since her family was wealthy and could easily do that), oh, and YOU CALL THE COPS, who would naturally coordinate with police in England and lock that fucker up.
Instead, her parents let her travel there and live with him. As a 15 yo. And they paid him. And they visited her there and let her stay with that man. Despite seeing the condition she was in - having very little food, ratty clothes, and none of the money that they routinely sent her. She's a fucking minor! That's when you shove her in a taxi, get her on a plane, and never let her go back. Instead, her dad was staying at some hotel in London for a business trip, met her for lunch, hugged her, and walked away crying. Um, what? She's only sixteen at that point! Her father would have been WELL within his rights to grab her arm, drag her back to his hotel, call the cops, and get the hell out of the country and back to Australia.
And there's no mention in this book about her ever talking to her parents about this. There's no mention of her asking her parents how they coudl have let her do that, why they didn't stop her and why they caved in because she was crying and upset. There's no resolution of that. They're awful parents. Your ONE job as a parent is to keep your kid healthy and safe, and they failed miserably at that. Awful parents.
And the evolution of Gary is interesting. He's a pedophile, and he's a cross dresser, and he's obviously a rapist and all around loser. And then ... he just lets her go? He lets her buy a bike? He lets her leave the apartment on her own? He just ... lets her go? I think the author meant to illustrate that he let up because she had grown too old for him to care about anymore, but there wasn't much of an explanation of that. It seemed REALLY abrupt - one moment, she's a captive in her own 'home,' and the next she's going on bike rides around London and having a separate bank account and working and then she's free. Not that I'm saying that she's lying, because I'm absolutely NOT. It just feels like the pace of the storytelling speeds up incredibly at that point. A bit more explanation would have been nice, so the reader could follow along smoothly.
In conclusion, it's engaging, but disturbing. I don't care how tough or stoic you think you are - this book will affect you. Read with caution. And again, yes, it's graphic. It describes sexual acts between a child and an adult. If you're offended by that, stay away. (less)