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95 of 96 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A tough story you ought to read
Empty Chairs is a true story. It is horrific, it made me cry and it made me very angry.

It tells Stacey's story from an early age when her mother arranged for her to be physically and sexually abused through to her life on the streets when she ran away as a teenager and on to her eventual move to something approaching normality.

There are many...
Published on January 23, 2011 by Mr. John Booth

versus
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Leaves you wanting to know more about her as an adult.
My heart goes out to the author of this heart breaking story of her early childhood. Would like to know more about how she turned her life around as a young adult and into later adulthood.
Published on September 21, 2011 by deb


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An outstanding, gritty memoir, August 4, 2011
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This review is from: Empty Chairs (Kindle Edition)
This story touched me in so many ways. It made me cry, get angry, and feel compassion. It opened my eyes even more to the horrors of child abuse. The author's descriptions were so vivid that I felt as though I was right there with her. The obstacles and first-time experiences that this young child endured while trying to survive life on the streets were incredible.

I learned much, and I praise the author for her courage to relive and share her story.

Read this book--you will not want to put it down.

Blanche Winton
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars stunned, August 3, 2011
By 
Karen S. Hebert (Picayune, MS USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Empty Chairs (Kindle Edition)
it is difficult to comprehend a mother treating her child in such a horrific way. to think she may never have been charged for the crime angers me. i commend ms danson for the courage to relive her abuse to try and help others. a remarkable survivor. i hope she will write a continuation novel.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars So honest...wish there was more!, July 20, 2011
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This review is from: Empty Chairs (Kindle Edition)
So honest, and such vivid descriptions, I could clearly picture these streets of Australia as she described them. I do hope that the story is finished, the book did end too abruptly. Please write more, Ms. Danson! Your story is amazing and heartbreaking. My favorite was when she tells the potato to "F*&K off" and Jamie hears her....I laughed out loud, which you would never expect to do while reading a story like this, but that's what made the story so real.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Courageous Author Wins My 5* Vote, June 26, 2011
By 
Glynis Smy (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Empty Chairs (Kindle Edition)
I applaud the author Stacey Danson for her courage to pen these words. The memoir is a heartbreaking read but fascinating at the same time. At the age of eleven a young girl leaves home. Not a pre-teen tantrum runaway moment but a complete escape from the hell she lived in. She runs from a mother who put money above love, who put sex -in any form and with anyone- above education and sustenance. The author shares her time on the streets of Australia, not as a prostitute but as a young child fighting for survival. The abuse of this child is described in detail and tears at the very soul of the reader. On the streets she is named Sassy and I fell in love with her spirit.

Strong language runs through the book but do not read it as cursing, it is the only language Stacey knew. It is all she heard and learned in her home. Life was gleaned via limited TV programs and visiting 'clients'.

The story ends abruptly at a point where I wanted to know Sassy was safe. The ending left me wanting more not because I am morbid in mind, but because I needed closure for the author. I was thrilled to learn there are to be two more books. According to the author one takes up from where this one leaves us hoping and the other takes us into the present day.

I recommend this well crafted memoir and await to read more from the woman who rises above her horrific childhood. Again, I applaud her courage it must have been hard to write such dark memories without bringing back nightmares.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Too Short!, June 20, 2011
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This review is from: Empty Chairs (Kindle Edition)
I was absolutely enthralled by this book. However, just as others have stated, it seems as though it just stopped in the middle of her teenage years. Could this possibly be a Kindle error?
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars empty chairs, June 2, 2011
Empty Chairs is a book I did not want to read, but felt compelled to. I had to remind myself this is a true life account, if this woman had to experience these dreadful atrocities, surely I could bring myself to read her telling of the story. And it is the telling of the story that strikes home, the writing is beautiful and eloquent...the child that was Stacey is real and vulnerable, but strong and brave, as she copes with her awful existence. When she finally makes her escape, I could practically see this girl in her colourful clothes, crazy hat and huge sunglasses riding the ferry across Sydney Harbour, as she experiences her first taste of freedom; my heart soared for her. Most of the account takes place during the year Stacey is eleven going on twelve. There must be a sequel to this book, I need to know how she moved on from the ending of Empty Chairs. Every adult should read this book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A hard book to read, but worth the tears, May 20, 2011
By 
When I began reading Empty Chairs by Stacey Danson I was completely unprepared for what I would find. If it were a novel, I would have put it down. The matter-of-fact narration depicting extreme sexual exploitation of a small child by her mother turned my stomach. But Empty Chairs isn't a novel. It is Stacy Danson's life story. I read on through tears; my heart filled with horror, sympathy, and anger. But I read on.

In her superbly written auto-biography, the author unfolds a vision of hell that few can imagine, but is the life of far too many innocent children in our society. Stacy was beaten brutally and repeatedly. She was forced to service a stream of men who paid her mother - not occasionally, but every day. When her mother wasn't pleased with her performance Stacy was locked away in a dark closet where claustrophobia threatened her sanity. Stacy was only three.

Her earliest memories are of abuse. Stacy was only five when her mother sold her virginity to the highest bidder and she was brutally raped. The daily torment continued until Stacy, in an amazing act of defiance, at last said no and ran away. She had only been allowed to attend three years of school, between six and nine years old, and at eleven was alone on the harsh streets of Kings Cross in Sydney, Australia. But Stacy survived.

In her short time attending school she learned to read. Her love of reading, and her hunger for knowledge, has continued for over forty years, as is apparent in her masterful writing. Horrific details of her life are delivered in almost emotionless, matter-of-fact clarity, and her dark humor is equally dead-pan. Yes, I laughed at times, in a very somber way. But without that detachment and humor the story would be too tragic to read.

I am friends with the author on facebook, as I am with many fellow writers. We rarely interact, but I saw a post that her blog was nearing two-hundred followers and she was giving away copies of Empty Chairs once she reached two-hundred. I went to her blog and followed it. I was number two-hundred. She emailed the book and told me it was her auto-biography and might be hard to read. I never imagined. It was the hardest thing I have ever read. I can not possibly understand how hard it was to write.

Though I think this book should be read by every adult on the planet, I must warn you it is a glimpse into hell. Stacy carries the emotional and physical scars, some severe, to this day, but I am amazed she even survived. It is far more unfathomable that she grew into such a strong and beautiful human being, and equally wonderful writer. I am quite honored now to be on her friends list. But as she says, she didn't just survive, she choose to live, and she choose to speak out and shine a light into the dark corners of our world that most of us chose to ignore.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This will open your heart, and your eyes. It's a must read, May 14, 2011
This review is from: Empty Chairs (Kindle Edition)
I have wanted to review this book for a very long time, but needed courage. A while ago I featured Stacey on my blog, with the first chapter excerpt of her book Empty Chairs.

The first chapter is brutal. It churns your insides and makes you feel like you've lived on a strict diet of broken glass for the last six months. This is a true story about the abuse Stacey lived through, starting very very young. And I expected the rest of this book to be that gut-wrenching. Which is why I've stalled this long to read it, as I expected to cry my way through each chapter.

However, that is not the case. Instead this details Stacey's life of fear to the snapping point at the age of eleven when she finally turns the tables and leaves home for good. Most of this book is about her life as an eleven year old, surviving on her own, homeless.

A lot about this makes me want to cry and get emotional. Only *some people* can understand that brutality may not shock you, but it's kindness that makes you cry. And it was the kindness she was shown by a biker known as *Animal* that makes me cry in this book (on more than one occasion).

The injuries her developing body sustained from her mother were compounded by the brutal methods used to frighten street children into prostitution. Unfortunately the children this information would most benefit will never get to read this book when it could save their lives. But Stacey has lived with a compromised body her entire life because of the abuse she suffered.

I wish everyone would read this book, just to sew their mouths up when they're about to complain. I have issues with people who complain, because those that do rarely have a very good reason for it. Read this book and you'll be grateful for every single day you've ever lived (okay maybe not every day as there are some days none of us would ever like to relive - but you know what I mean).

Despite the subject, Stacey's book is well written, it gives you insight and understanding, and at times you can see her on the page staring back at you. The smell just before rain, she likens to the earth greeting the rain. Those who have known extreme pain, find beauty in the little things. Maybe that's what bonds them together. Put a crowd of abused people in a park, and they'll ignore each other and be captivated by the freeness of the birds and how they manage to sound so cheerful each and every day no matter what the weather, without a larder, scavenging for food each day, they're still happy, and that's what an abused person sees. Not the park, but the smells, and the freedom, the beauty of what it means not to be caged physically, mentally, or emotionally. Many people escape their abuse, but they don't escape the mental cage that comes with it.

Stacey has. Writing this book, I believe she's taken the final step to freedom. And I am so proud of her! Please read it, it will change your life.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Compelling, April 9, 2011
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This review is from: Empty Chairs (Kindle Edition)
After my usual reading diet of Chick Lit and Womens Fiction, I was astounded by how quickly I got into this book. The abhorrent events surrounding the young Stacey, causing her to run away from home, were too revolting not to be true. Nobody could make up such a life. I was so drawn into this I relayed the whole story to my husband as I went. Though at times I had difficulty with the narrative, I was utterly compelled to keep reading and would have liked the story to continue past the ending that the Author has given it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An intense study in firsthand account of child abuse, March 6, 2011
By 
Anne (Pennsylvania) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Empty Chairs (Kindle Edition)
An intense study in firsthand experience of child abuse, Stacey Danson's Empty Chairs is not a book for the faint hearted.

This is not a work of fiction, but a brilliantly - albeit painfully - written account of a woman who was turned out as a prostitute as early as age three by her own mother to many men, including the family doctor. At eleven, she escaped her years of horror by taking to the streets and was taken in by a group of people, where she learned for the first time what it was like to be loved and wanted.

Stacey Danson wrote Empty Chairs not only as a promise to a friend named Jenny (who since committed suicide), but also to tell her brave story of survival and to educate others who have been abused. There's many times her story brings tears to readers' eyes, and other moments relief that she survived such appalling conditions that no one should be subjected to - ever.

Empty Chairs is written with a blend of brutal honesty and true compassion, a true story of child abuse that is neither sugar coated nor beats around the bush. It's not an easy book to read, but Empty Chairs does open the eyes of an ongoing problem that is more common than we tend to think. There should be more survivors who discuss this epidemic as well as Stacey Danson does.
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Empty Chairs
Empty Chairs by Stacey Danson
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