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Sister of Silence (Appalachian Families) (Volume 1) Paperback – February 18, 2011
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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.
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I am glad that in the end, she was finally able to realize that he was never going to change and that if see stayed, it would drive her farther into depression, anger and regret. And no one should have to live like that and more importantly, no child should have to live in that type of environment. If there are any women out there who are victims of abuse, please read this book and realize you're not alone. It's never too late to ask for help and there's no shame in that.
NOTE: Possible minor spoilers to follow
The book has an abundance of events depicting the control exerted by Eddie over Daleen. You are begging for her, in your mind, to find the courage to get out. She paints a picture of growing strength and independence but never quite gets to the finish line. The story ends on a seemingly hopeful note, but without concrete evidence of a resolution. We never know if Daleen truly left this man once and for all. There was talk of a divorce but no mention of its finalization. All along, Eddie was simultaneously stalking her and trying to get her to take him back. For all the times she failed to stand up to him throughout the book and just ended up giving in, I feel like it is perfectly plausible that she might have indeed gone back to the marriage, at least for a while. The submissive victim role was familiar and comfortable in its own twisted way. But we just don't know. After all the struggles depicted as Daleen seeks her own voice and independence, it does a disservice to the story when there is no definitive resolution. I get that she has a lifelong journey of growth after so many years of oppressive abuse; however, I was not quite convinced she was really on the right path for good when this book ended.
Leaving an abuser isn't as easy as just walking out the door, especially when children are involved.