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Sister of Silence Paperback – February 18, 2011

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 342 pages
  • Publisher: Nellie Bly Books (February 18, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0615388604
  • ISBN-13: 978-0615388601
  • Product Dimensions: 0.9 x 5.1 x 7.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (182 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #651,124 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


Daleen Berry thought she was happy--until Eddie. Berry doesn't present herself as a saint, nor Eddie as a complete monster. A former FBI agent sets the theme: Acquaintance or marital rape is still rape. Berry is an engaging writer, her style fluid, with welcome touches of humor and sustained tension throughout. A seldom-seen perspective. --Kirkus

Writing Sister of Silence could not have been easy for award-winning journalist Daleen Berry. Berry reveals her dark secret with clarity and frankness in hopes of saving others from making her mistakes. Berry's story is not an easy read, though her prose is strong and her memory acute. --ForeWord Clarion Review--5 Stars, by Barbara Bamberger Scott

From the Author

It took me twenty years to write this memoir, but it wasn't until 2007, when I interviewed Jeannette Walls (The Glass Castle) and she told me I was writing too objectively (like the reporter I am)--and that my writing didn't go deeply enough into the emotions I was feeling--that I really got to the heart of this story. 

The reason it took me twenty years to write is because for much of that time, I was a single parent and I was rearing my four children. I lost the computer files my early manuscript was saved on at least three times--forcing me to stop writing just so I could retype the manuscript from the paper copies I had saved. (A word to the wise: NEVER rely solely on electronic files. Always have a back up!) 
After I completed Sister of Silence, I still waited to publish it, because I wanted to ensure my children were well on their way to adulthood when that happened. And I wanted their blessing, any input about changing their names, and so on. Happily, they gave me all of that and more in 2006, when we convened a family meeting about "The Book." 
I didn't write this memoir as a sordid "tell-all." I wrote it instead to help people understand the dynamics involved in inappropriate and psychologically damaging adult-child sexual relationships. I also wanted to show how alcoholism and absent parents lead to "at-risk" children and domestic violence. Finally, I hoped other people will see how powerful these forces are--because I don't think society understands them even one-tenth of what it should, when it comes to the dynamics involved. 
But more than that, I wrote Sister of Silence to help parents understand they are doing their children no favors when they themselves are too squeamish to discuss sex. If anything, children today are as susceptible to the charms of a child molester as they ever were--because parents refuse to accept that these dangerous adults look and act just like we do. In fact, if anything, what is often said after someone is charged with harming a child sexually, is that "he was the nicest guy. I'd never have known he'd do anything like that." (Ironically, they say the same thing about men who beat their wives and children.) 
Most important, I hope I've taught you that not only can you escape abuse and survive terrible violence, but you can thrive after the fact, too!

More About the Author

Daleen Berry (1963- ) is a New York Times best-selling author who was born in San Jose, California. Her parents kidnapped her and forced her to grow up instead in rural Preston County and in the suburbs of Washington, D.C. Since 1988 she has been an award-winning print journalist, columnist and editor who recently crossed over to write for online publications such as The Daily Beast, xoJane and Huffington Post. Sister of Silence, a memoir, is her first book. Since then she has written three other books, including the New York Times bestseller The Savage Murder of Skylar Neese, by BenBella Books. Her next book, Pretty Little Liars, will be released July 2014. You can follow her blog here:

Customer Reviews

I read this book in one sitting.
Kathleen Bianchi
Sister of Silence by Daleen Berry is an emotional story of one truly amazing woman's transformation.
A true story, and very well written.
Ruth Bowden

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

27 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Costas F. on July 5, 2011
Format: Paperback
Even though I myself am an 18 year old young man, I have been exposed to abuse and found this book unable to put down until I read it all the way through. Read this book whatever your circumstances are; read it if you are a man, woman, older, younger, abused or not abused. This book definitely opens eyes to the deadly circle of abuse and the ways to fight against it.
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39 of 48 people found the following review helpful By Kathy on September 2, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
The saddest thing about this sad tale is that it's so poorly written that the reader--this reader anyway--comes away with very little sympathy for an author whose tone is self-righteous, preachy, and unfortunately vengeful. It is a confused, disjointed story lacking detail where it should be, and repetitious specificity where it has no purpose. And there's too much (repetitious) self-congratulation, especially and ironically in regard to what a "good writer" she is.
This barely proofed, unedited, and inconsistent narrative is rife with incorrect word usage, grammatical and punctuation errors, and a plethora of vagaries, contradictions, and textbook generalities. The five w's might be the reporter's creed, but lots of "showing" and much less "telling" is the hallmark of a decent writer. Despite what she says, I never get a sense of what is really going on in that household.
Domestic violence is passed down through generations, the author says. "I know I'm good because God doesn't make junk," she quotes. Praying and Bible study (all Old Testament references) are ever-present throughout the book. And yet--this author makes no attempt to forgive or show compassion toward Eddie, himself an obvious product of a culture of domestic violence. She dismisses him as--junk.
Ms. Berry has a good story but, despite the hype, entirely misses the mark in this slapdash, amateurish account of what might have been a poignant and compelling look at one case of domestic violence.
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25 of 30 people found the following review helpful By MHagebsuh on May 8, 2011
Format: Paperback
When I started reading Sister of Silence I was worried that I would find it hard to connect with a situation that I've never encountered. Yet as I was drawn further in by Daleen's vivid and powerful words of courage, I realized that you do not have to be a victim of silence in order to understand it. Daleen's book holds a positive message of hope and encouragement for women of all ages and backgrounds.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Miss Barbara VINE VOICE on May 1, 2012
Format: Paperback
Daleen Berry explains "It took me twenty years to write this memoir" and I must admit that it took me a long time to read it. I set the book aside at least a dozen times because it opened up a lot of old wounds that were still oozing emotions into my life at 68. Believe me, time does not heal all wounds but they do get better, yes, little by little they get better.

Daleen is an excellent writer and manages to tell this story that started with sexual abuse at the age of 13 through her marriage to her abuser with heart and soul. Being forced to enter the adult world so young never gave her a chance to mature properly; with teenage angst and loves and breakups. She never developed the tools needed to tell this narcissistic jerk to take a hike. It's easy to ask the questions that so many readers must: "Why didn't you just "tell somebody?!!" but Daleen just wanted to have a little family and be happy so she tried, and tried, and tried some more. Anyone who has ever watched an episode of Dr. Phil will shake their heads wondering why women stay in these circumstances. Again, it's probably because they never got a chance to mature properly.

Daleen, to the chagrin of some reviewers, remains uncritical of her alcoholic and non-connected mother. I simply can't believe that mom was unaware of the troubled life this young girl was living; possibly because she was getting a payoff from the abuser. I think that mom turned off that part of her brain. Maybe I'm just reading my own story into Daleen's but that is what will happen to many readers. This is the kind of story that we tend to insert ourselves into - maybe not in totality but into bits and pieces.
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28 of 36 people found the following review helpful By xlindseylee on June 15, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book is a very long, drawn out and boring read. Daleen is extremely irresponsible and blatantly dishonest throughout. Abuse is always wrong and I feel for anyone that has to endure it, but Daleen had chance after chance to get help and she did not. She instead married her abuser and bore 4 children with him and allowed him to emotionally and physically abuse them as well. And simply turned a blind eye, to their abuse. Once she did finally muster up the courage to leave it was only because she decided that SHE was miserable, that SHE had had enough and then sought help under the guise of "doing it for her children". This person takes zero responsibility for her part in any of this. She failed her children by allowing the abuse to continue for more than 10 years. 10 YEARS! And she's failing them now by blaming this entire situation on their father. Shame on you Daleen!
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25 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Janice on May 31, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
I do feel for any woman suffering abuse. However, reading this book was a case of continuing against my better judgment and getting more irritated with each page. I kept waiting for an original insight. Alas, it was not to be and I was relieved when it finally ended with, predictably, another hurrah aren't I great? Sometimes I found myself disliking Daleen almost as much as Eddie. Although she claimed she was smart and a good writer, what came across with her actions and her journal entries/letters reflected just the opposite, I thought. She also came across as self-centered and self righteous, taking no responsibility herself but blaming only others for getting into such a pickle and letting it continue.
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