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Little Madhouse on the Prairie: A True-Life Story of Overcoming Abuse and Healing the Spirit Paperback – March 22, 2012

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 238 pages
  • Publisher: Wise Owl Publishing Inc (March 22, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0982225431
  • ISBN-13: 978-0982225431
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (57 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #593,273 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


The title alone is enough to make you want to pick up the book and read it. It is a heartfelt and often painful to read account of a childhood weighed down by abuse, alcoholism, incredible hardship and abandonment. The book is extraordinary in that it shows very clearly that it is possible to overcome such a dismal and unpromising past and go on to achieve a happy and normal life. Whether you are yourself the victim of childhood abuse or you know someone who is, this book will help you realize that there is a way out of the painful past. -- Addiction Recovery Magazine, November 2011

Growing up as a farmer's daughter on the prairie, surrounded by lush green fields, should have been idyllic. Instead, generations of family dysfunction and fear created a nightmarish childhood of abuse and abandonment that took Marion a lifetime to overcome. Here is her life story, told with soul-baring detail, about the journey from anger and shame, to awareness and acceptance, and eventually -- forgiveness. This heartfelt tale of recovery is told with a loving spirit that proves to the reader that yes, there is always hope, and always a pathway back to grace. --Independent Publisher Magazine, December 2010

Life on the farm is not always the serene and happy picture it was on television. "Little Madhouse on the Prairie" is the memoir of Marion Witte, telling her own story of growing up in a small farm house, where she faced abuse from her mother on a regular basis, and which took her years to recover from. Stating how she overcame her own traumatic childhood, and with plenty of wisdom for those now facing the same, "Little Madhouse on the Prairie" is an insightful look at the dark side of rural life. --Midwest Book Review, October 2010

From the Author

Why I Wrote This Book. My wish is that others will come to understand there really is no amount of pain or suffering that the human spirit is unable to overcome. It is possible to heal your life, and to reach a state of peace and joy, no matter what your present or past circumstances. With deep humility, I offer my life and my journey as an example of how awareness, acceptance and forgiveness can lead to compassion, understanding and healing.

More About the Author

Marion Witte is an author, public speaker and Certified Public Accountant, with a life-long career of managing and owning business ventures.

In 2012, Ms. Witte's award-winning memoir was published - Little Madhouse on the Prairie - which relays the story of her life. By shedding light on the cultural roots of her own abuse, she sets the stage for a way out of the cycle of violence against all children.

She founded and manages the Angel Heart Foundation, a non-profit organization devoted to parental assistance and empowering youth. She is also the Editor in Chief of the Foundation's sister websites - Next Generation Parenting and Brave New Leaders.

Marion resides in Ventura, California, where she pursues her Foundation, writing and speaking activities.

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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See all 57 customer reviews
This is in incredible book that I would recommend to everyone to read!
Carolee Kondra
The true life story of Marion Elizabeth Witte, Little Madhouse on the Prairie is an incredibly informative and eye opening book.
Concerned teacher
In showing us her pathway to healing from childhood abuse, Marion gives a gift of hope.
Kathleen Pooler

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By George Angus on June 10, 2010
Format: Paperback
Little Madhouse chronicles the life of the author. Most of this memoir is spent reviewing recollections of the abuse Marion sustained while growing up on a small farm in North Dakota. It is heart-wrenching. The book helped me to realize how thankful I am for growing up in a loving and supportive household. As a father to a wonderful daughter, it broke my heart to think that anyone could treat their daughter the way Marion was treated.

I thoroughly enjoyed the author's writing style. She captivated me with her story. The tone and voice was conversational and clear. These kinds of things make a difference to me when I read a book.

* This is not really a self help book. It is primarily a memoir. The first two thirds or so give a vivid picture of Marion's home life. The last third describes the impact those early events had on her life and how she has managed to work through most of the issues that surround her abuse.
* Pay close attention to the players in the first couple of chapters. It gets a bit complicated so you may have to go back and reread a few sections. I found that skipping ahead to the pictures helped me to keep the players straight in my head.
* If you suffered abuse as a child, I believe this book may help you to sort out some of the many issues that result from the abuse. Chances are you are experiencing the same kinds of difficulties in your adult life that Marion has faced. You may be heartened by her successes in dealing with her issues.
* If you did not come from an abusive home, this story will still touch you. The determination of the human spirit shines through and that is one of the reasons I found this book to be so inspiring.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Claudia L. Meydrech on September 30, 2010
Format: Paperback
It has been about a month since I read Marion's book, Little Madhouse on the Prairie: A True-Life Story of Overcoming Abuse and Healing the Spirit, and must agree with the many positive things that others have written in their reviews about the book.

As I stated in a post to [...], Marion "takes us on a very personal journey into her past as an abused child growing up in a farmhouse in the prairies of North Dakota. Her childhood was not only cold and harsh on a physical level because of the cold winters in a home that didn't have adequate heat, plumbing and more, but cold and harsh because of the upbringing that she had to endure".

Early in the book there is a beautiful picture of her as an innocent child. Like any child, she comes into the world ready to learn what it has to offer her through home and family...what would happen to this sweet child in the pages that followed is anything but innocent and often painful to read.

I also shared in my post that; "Her story details her abuses, the history of abuse in the family in previous generations, and how she compensated for her needs in her adult life. But compensation is not healing. Marion shares the various places of healing that took place in her journey."

Marion has turned her pain into blessing by helping children who have experienced what she has in a very special way.

Claudia Meydrech

PS - It was great fun to receive a comment to my blog which connected Marion to a childhood friend.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By S. Sharp on September 16, 2010
Format: Paperback
This is the story of Marion the child who grew up in a farmhouse in North Dakota; it was far from a happy home. It is also about Marion the grown-up dealing with the after-affects of being abused. What sets this book apart from other books about abuse is it doesn't detail all the abuse she suffered, yes she tells us about some of it, but it is more about her journey to recovery.

This book touched me in so many ways one, because it is set in my home state of North Dakota the farmhouse she describes is so much like the one my grandparents had although luckily for me our farmhouse was full of love.

The journey to self-awareness Marion goes on is powerful and heart wrenching, the pain she suffered at the hands of her mother, brother and alcoholic emotionally absent father follow her through everything she does even when she doesn't realize it. As we go on this journey with her, to psychotherapy, hypnotherapy and even a shaman to help her deal with the demons left inside by years of physical and emotional abuse. We finally meet the amazing woman Marion becomes, because of what she has gone through. We see a woman who has come to self-realization, healing and forgiveness and came out of it a better person.

If you were touched by the books Child Called It or The Glass Castle this is a must read.

5 Stars

Full Disclosure- I won this book through Goodreads Giveaway
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Nicole Moore on February 7, 2012
Format: Paperback
It's hard to say that you enjoy a book that deals with serious topics such as child abuse. But, I definately had a soft spot for this engaging read. You can't help but think back to your childhood while reading the account of her own. This book deals with subject matter that touches every human emotion and takes you all the way through the darkness to the authors ultimate redemption and forgiveness. Forgiveness not only of those responsible for her abuse but for herself as well. The truths she shares so openly give insight into a world of both dread and fear in navigating her own childhood as well as her experience as a mother herself. An excellent read for both those who have suffered abuse and seek the road to recovery and those who wish to understand the nature of abuse from someone who has been there and made it through. I Highly recommend picking up this book.
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