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Sister of Silence Paperback – February 18, 2011

4.3 out of 5 stars 200 customer reviews

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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!

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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: 5.2 x 0.9 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (200 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,412,286 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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: daleenberry.com.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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By Lisa on June 8, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Honestly, with all the 5 star reviews, I was sure this was going to be a great book about survival. The writing is boring, dull beyond words, very subjective and superficial. The subject matter had potential, unfortunately, the author does it a great diservice. She jumps all over the place, is repetitious, inconsistent, ah - let me just leave it there. I am very disappointed that people seem to find this book worthy of even touching such a horrific on-going "silent" crime in our society.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Two stars -- One because a star is required to review and the second because it may encourage a reader who is either abused or who knows someone who is abused to change situations. But read it on your Kindle or at the library and save the money for your escape.

The First Star: I accepted this book as a free release for Kindle and I'm glad I didn't pay for it. Why? As I read the whole thing, I found it more and more disturbing because of unbelievable 'detail'. I came here to check before writing a review to be sure it wasn't fiction, speed written and poorly edited with some snarky author laughing up a sleeve about how the readers bought the whole tale. The story is so poorly presented that before I read these other reviews and the Author's testimony, I was suspicious it was true-fiction about the ugliness of abuse at all levels in a labeled (Appalachia) culture that tolerated and supported both the manipulative and the submissive behaviors. There is not doubt the villain husband is a creep, but the heroine author must have had 26 hours in an eight day week to accomplish all she claimed. Spoiler: Almost all of the men are villainous and the women paragons of virtue.

Books like this, with 3 authors, sent speedily off to the printer give serious repressed memory more of a bad name. As a journalist and professionally acclaimed writer,Ms, Berry, you owe your audience more. You owe the abused whom you desire to support more. The voice that someone recommended isn't 'raw' and in the moment, it is confusing, quasi-sensational and misses the mark. Journalistic writing doesn't have to be dry and uninteresting. Perhaps the intended statement is "See, you can be dumb as a rock and still escape." I am still disturbed that someone could accept money for writing this.
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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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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Based on other reviews I was really expecting more from this book. I felt bad for the author in the beginning, no child of 13 should be subjected to that and the guy should have been locked up. As it goes on, I began to get annoyed with the writing style and even more annoyed that in every chapter people are telling her what an amazing writer she is. When she starts describing the "rapes" she endured by her husband I was flabbergasted. I'm sorry, but not really wanting to have s*x when your husband does, then giving in anyway even though you're tired, is NOT rape and it's a disservice to every rape victim to call it that. When she continually describes the way he was always looking at other women, then the times he inappropriately touched other teenagers and nobody did anything (except for Daleen, of course she always "stood up to him" and "put her foot down this time", but the next day she had always forgiven him). I was disgusted by the whole lot of them. This woman ceretainly has issues, but not because she was a battered woman. She could not sound any more self righteous, and reading this book was like watching a movie with terrible acting.
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