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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on June 10, 2010
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.
Thoughts

* 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
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
on September 16, 2010
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
on February 7, 2012
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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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on April 27, 2011
In giving voice to her wounded inner child, Witte's gift is also giving voice to a wounded collective. She is a true healer in that she makes the tough choice to drop the habit of looking for a quick-fix and take up the heroic journey that the healing process often demands. She does not oversimplify healing, but does give hope and inspiration, as she guides her readers through a horror story to a place of self-discovery, transforming her hardship into resource. Witte's work, which is as raw as it is eloquent, is a truly soulful offering to the individual and collective desire to make peace and open to lovingkindness within ourselves and extend it to others.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on August 5, 2010
Having read Marion Witte's book (Little Madhouse on the Prairie) I feel compelled to post a review. For any child, living within a dysfunctional and abusive family is never a choice, it's their misfortune. The choice, however, to not only move beyond a horrific childhood, but to change one's destiny shows not only the power of optimism, but courage and strength of heart. I was blessed as a child to be raised within a family where evident love and support was a way of life. I never experienced any manner of abuse and as an adult today, I still can't comprehend how any parent could abuse or neglect their children, or allow others to inflict physical or emotional pain. I can only imagine how difficult it was for Ms. Witte to not only rise above the abuses she suffered, but to become a success in spite of the odds. Heartfelt thanks to Ms. Witte for her willingness to examine her painful past and share it openly in order to promote her own healing, as well as raise the consciousness of the abused, the abusers, and those of us that need to serve as protector and advocate to suffering children. I view this book as "The Handbook for Hope"; it should be required reading for anyone who works with youngsters who are the victims of abuse, and it can help those who have suffered emotional and physical cruelty understand the importance of healing and living their dreams instead of being haunted by their childhood nightmares. Thank you Ms. Witte, for having the courage to relive, examine, and confront the covert abuses you suffered, and for sharing your long path to recovery with the public. Your book is a moving tribute to the power of hope and the determination to overcome.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on April 6, 2011
I am not a big reader and I must admit I had your book for about two weeks before I actually picked it up and read it. I have heard you speak on about three or four different occasions. When I finally picked up your book, I couldn't put it down. At times it brought tears to my eyes. I felt like I was there with you. I could relate to much of it. The emotional abuse,the family looking good on the outside to others, the brother who tormented you, babysitting, staying busy so you wouldn't have to go home, your friend Beverly, and your dad was my dad. When you talked about the families on TV...that hit home. I used to think that those kind of families were only on TV. I used to watch the Cosby Show and wish I was in that family. Reading your book and hearing what you have to say has opened my eyes. It gave me a little more understanding of myself. I removed the blinders and am much more aware of what is going on around me. I admire your open mindedness, to whatever works (hypnosis) for the healing process. I am one who wants to save the world but like you say, "one person at a time." Thank you Marion for being you and helping me to be a better me. You are an inspiration and I hope to follow your lead.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on August 18, 2010
Honest and inspirational,"Little Madhouse on the Prarie" chronicles Marion Witte's triumph over an abusive childhood. Written in a straight-forward and engaging style, the book begins by Marion poignantly recalling the double-tragedy that took place while she was growing up. Not only did she suffer unspeakable abuse by family and friends of family, but she also suffered tragic neglect from those who knew about it and were supposed to protect her, but did nothing stop it. It is hard to imagine that a parent could do either, but Marion's story shows us that this dark cycle can be broken and a new legacy of hope can grow.
In later chapters, Marion outlines the hard work she did to overcome the scars of her abuse and the important role of forgiveness. She outlines various options that an individual can take to not only survive, but to absolutely thrive as she did!
This is an important book for anyone that is a parent, works with children and especially to those who share this type of unfortunate history. Thank you Marion for bravely reaching out to those who need help, as well as for such a powerful reminder on the importance to love and advocacy for all children.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on September 14, 2011
"Little Madhouse on the Prairie... is a creative and honest autobiography. Marion Witte's artistic work of non-fiction is powerful. Her story will move readers.

Ms. Witte dares to reveal her intimate exposure to early domestic violence. Marion describes her experiences as one lonely feminine journey, in an interesting, informative, and non-violent manner. Marion Elizabeth's story is truthful, yet hopeful.

In spite of a turbulent beginning, Marion created herself into a successful Certified Public Accountant. In college, Marion E. Witte graduated with honors, before becoming one among the first female audit managers in an internationally renowned financial services firm, a field historically dominated by males.

Remarkably, Marion Witte was able to transform these painful childhood wounds she sustained from within her family. Creating a non-profit organization, Ms. Witte is now helping other wounded people as well. In healing herself and writing about it, Marion Elizabeth Witte manages to heal her readership, too.

This book is a must read!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on March 29, 2012
I really don't like to read but after reading this book I sense how lonely and scared Marion felt at different times in her life . Life is scary for who is not shown unconditional love in her life. In giving voice to her wounded inner child, Witte's gift is also giving voice to the wounded. She is a true healer that she makes the tough choice to stop the habit of looking for a quick-fix and take up this journey that the healing process often demands. She does not find healing too easy, but does give hope and inspiration , as she guides her readers through this sad story to a place of self-discovery, transforming her hardship into resource. Witte's work, which demonstrates raw pain abuse causes is a soulful offering to the individual and desire to make peace and open to loving kindness within ourselves and others.
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