, February 20, 2012
(view all comments by The Cybrarian)
Unfortunately the beginning of Daleen Berry's story is not unique. Sexually abused from the age of thirteen, she became pregnant in high school and by the age of twenty-one found herself the mother of four children, trapped in a joyless marriage to an abusive alcoholic. The important part of Daleen's story is what happened next.
Repeated fantasies of harming one of her children leads her to seek help and she eventually discover that the intense stresses of her life have left her mentally ill. By the end of this chapter in her life Daleen is in treatment, having ended her relationship with Eddie, and on her way to changing nearly every aspect of her life.
The book is not without its flaws. Early on, the pace is slow and the chronology is sometimes patchy. There are some grammatical and spelling errors as well but the story Daleen tells is so intense and so important we are willing to overlook these small problems and focus on the more important story of the prevalence of abuse in our society. Indeed, as the book progresses the writing seems to improve, making Daleen's transformation from a victim to a survivor all the more evident.
Berry pulls no punches. She admits that she is not perfect. She has made some mistakes. What is important to her and evident to the reader is her drive to move forward, to purge the negativity of the past from her life and to tell her story in such a way as to make other young women in similar situations realize that they too can break free, save their own lives and thrive.
Daleen's second book 'Children of Silence', which deals with the emotional struggle faced by her children due to their experiences with abuse, is soon to be published. Her life will have changed for the better but for Daleen, struggle and challenge are never far away. The future will undoubtedly be have its difficulties but through the exercise of her own emotional courage Daleen is able to face them not only as a survivor but as a warrior and a spokesperson for abused women and children everywhere.