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Call Me Tuesday Paperback – February 15, 2012

4.5 out of 5 stars 574 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"...a horrifying story inspired by true-life experience...well-written...the prose so vividly and evocatively portrays suffering." ~ Kirkus Reviews

"Despite the disturbing subject matter, the writing is well-crafted but never emotionally manipulative or maudlin, which made this a surprisingly enjoyable read." ~Online Book Club

From the Author

When I was a kid, I refused to believe my mother hated me. No matter how many times she said it, my young, optimistic mind simply would not allow it to be true. It wasn't until the day I felt her grip tighten at the back of my neck, as she submerged my head in scalding water and smashed my face into the bottom of the bathtub, that the terror of drowning grabbed me by the shoulders and shook the truth into me.

This, and all the abuse described in Call Me Tuesday is 100% true, and I, the author, am the one who endured it. Other parts of the book, like the names and locations, were fictionalized. I decided to do this out of respect for the people involved, but also, on a more personal level, I found it easier to write about the horrific and humiliating things that happened to a fictitious child named Tuesday than to write about the horrific and humiliating things that, in reality, happened to the little girl I used to be.

I'm adding this note because I feel it's important to make it clear that the abuse part of the book is true, so while reading the story you can keep it in the back of your mind that the kind of extreme maltreatment of a child at the hands of a parent, as detailed in Call Me Tuesday, does actually happen--something I believe everyone needs to know.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 328 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (February 15, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1463690029
  • ISBN-13: 978-1463690021
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.8 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (574 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #301,721 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition
This is a book which is difficult to read at times - for the pain in the writing is so poignant and artfully expressed. A pain that most people would probably want to forget and leave behind. But the author knows that she has a story to tell, a story that needs to be told, so that others may be spared the trauma that Tuesday went through. Which requires remarkable courage, in going through it all - not once, but twice - this second time page by written page.

We usually view motherhood as something sacred, but in "Call Me Tuesday" motherhood is anything but that. The book begins with a pivotal event, where her mother appears as an inhuman monster and Tuesday is at the height of her despair. We are then taken back to a much earlier time, when her mother was still a loving parent and Tuesday had not yet been robbed of her childhood. This is skilfully done, for we know that at some point in the book, we will reach that point again. But for now, it is for us to try and put the pieces together, in such a way that may somehow explain the change in her mother, and in her life. And as we go through a journey of mental and physical abuse together with Tuesday, witnessing the world through her eyes, we are unable to find the answers. Even after Tuesday has managed to break free, neither she nor we are any closer to understanding how such a thing can happen.

For how can a mother abuse her child? Day by day, year by year. Mothers are supposed to protect their children, care for them and nurture them. Children trust and believe in their parents, and when a parent turns on them, the child is helpless, with nowhere to turn. In most cases, the people nearby: neighbours, relatives, teachers...
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I would recommend this book to anyone who has suffered extreme childhood emotional and physical abuse. Though hard to read at times- the majority of the time actually- it identifies the survivor in all of us. It shows the strength we have to reclaim our name and our identity.
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This book reminded me of 'A Child Called It'. I couldn't put this book down, it was so well written. The little girl (named Tuesday)'s mum suffers a head injury and looses a daughter due to polio, which turned her violent and abusive towards Tuesday. The abuse suffered by Tuesday was horrific child abuse. She suffered from starvation, beatings, humiliation, seclusion by being locked in her room for days at a time. Harsh workloads and belittling and singling her out from her brothers. Tuesday's Dad was in a difficult situation but he should have taken his wife to hospital the moment he realised she was beating her child. They could have institutionalised her for a few weeks or months with meds and counseling. He let Tuesday down massively by not protecting her. Not talking about her sister's death didn't help things either.
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It used to be that no one discussed child abuse. Now, it is a topic that is frequently touched upon. In the child abuse genre, there are three sub-categories: the author needs to write a memoir for a catharsis; the author writes a thinly veiled novel based on their own experiences; and finally, the author tells a story of getting a law passed or becoming a therapist and helping future children. This book falls into the second category of a thinly veiled novel/memoir.

The book is written in the style of a memoir, and I wish it had been an actual memoir. There was no reason to disguise the story. But for a first book, Ms. Byrne did a great job. She has writing talent.

If you're new to the genre, this is a good starter book since it is so well-written. It is easy and flippant to say that the victim, in this case, Tuesday, wasn't assertive enough, or didn't press other adults hard enough. But when a child is in the situation, a child can instinctively realize that any roof over your head is usually better than running away, being out on the streets all alone, sleeping on park benches, etc. Tuesday didn't leave until she was 15, when her father finally transplanted her into the care of a wonderful relative. Ms. Byrne delineates the normal reactions of outsiders: disbelief, fear of involvement, and the presumption that the child is bad. She also did not forget to detail the after-effects of abuse that continue long after it's over, and the strange ways they can manifest.

I received this book for free in order to review it for The Kindle Book Review. I am in no way affiliated with either the author or any publisher(s).

-- Java Davis, the Kindle Book Review
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The day after I finished this book (in two sittings), a very unusual obituary made the news. In it, a dead Nevada woman's children welcomed her death and described their utter contempt for her after years of physical and mental abuse, in the hopes of getting people talking about the problem of child abuse. It was a horrific reminder that child abuse is all too real, and it happens in all walks of life. When you read "Call me Tuesday," you'll realize very quickly that you simply cannot make this kind of story up.

Behind a seeming normal, middle-class Southern facade, the author, known as Tuesday (for the actress Tuesday Weld), describes an unenviable childhood that turns unbearable after severe head trauma transforms her mother into a sadistic jailer who denies not only love and comfort, but food and most other basic needs. Her mother revels in the way that other children ignore and mistreat her daughter, as it only confirms her belief, which she drums into her daughter, that the girl is ugly and defective. Even her father, who makes some gestures to help her enjoy brief moments of normality outside the home, is caught up by his own helplessness in the wake of this tornado of an abusive woman. He isn't the only adult who fails to help, either.

I don't think for a moment that Rose, the mother, was "normal" to begin with. As the story unfolds, we learn she always had a cruel streak, and very likely enjoyed, Munchhausen by Proxy-style, being the pitied mother of a sickly child. It seems likely that Tuesday was always the discounted one, an afterthought (not to mention, free labor) whose distress at the belief that she was responsible for the death first of a family pet and then her polio-stricken sister was roundly ignored.
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