Top critical review
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Anelisse: A True Story of Child Abuse
on 26 April 2014
Real rating 3.5
Another heart breaking account of adults' cruelty towards children . Anelisse is the account of a survivor who lived through abuse from her alcoholic stepfather. The abuse was physical in the sense that she got beat up a few times but in her case, the worst abuse was the emotional one. It left scars deeper than the physical abuse. Because the ones who should have protected her and her siblings let them down and this was a bitter betrayal.
Anelisse had a few good people to help her along the way so, it might have made a difference. Some have no one had go through more disturbing psychological damage and destroying cycles.
I can only command the author for the work she has done.
I have only two little things that I would like to add: that this book should not just be an account of her survival but also a tool for others who went through the same ordeal. I was surprised that no help groups like Al Anon was mentioned at the end or other places where teenagers can get help.
I will also comment on the writing style. While I like the straight to the point approach, it is a bit rushed, it reads a bit dry and devoid of emotions. As a reader who knows the problem of child abuse well, I could not feel the emotions running deep. I knew them so I could imagine them, but I could not feel them. So, I can imagine others who may not know the battle of surviving child abuse may not find Anelisse's ordeal as traumatic as the title make. I am saying this as I have read the one star review which in my opinion, totally missed the point, but on the other hand, the writing style might have contributed to this comment.
If I had an advice, it would be to take a good look at the book and input a bit more emotions with a few impact words. And have a list of groups or places or help lines where teenagers could find help. Many teenagers do not know where to turn and there isn't a guardian angel on everyone's path, unfortunately. As the story is now, the words do not do justice to Anelisse's ordeal as they should and the story could be so much more than just an account of childhood abuse.
If this could be done, then it would get the full five stars from me. 5 for the story, 5 for the bravery and 5 for the resources.
I long hesitated between a 4 and a 3.