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Reviewed by Romuald Dzemo for Readers' Favorite
Don’t Expect Me to Cry: Refusing to let Childhood Sexual Abuse Steal my Life by Janet Bentley is a poignantly written memoir that explores one woman’s journey from the harrowing pain of sexual abuse to healing and self-worth. Abused by her father and other predators in childhood, Janet grew up building defensive walls and keeping a secret that almost destroyed her life. She shares her terrible childhood experiences, and moves on to her therapy, the trying moments, the fear and the uncertainty. The narrative shows her healing path and the incredible courage she had to face the child she once was — broken and terribly hurt. The journey from being a victim to self-acceptance to finding true love is an inspiring one.
The narrative is strong as, with skill, the author unveils the world of the abused child, allowing readers to hear a whimpering, scared voice. Many people who suffer sexual abuse keep quiet and some never get the chance to tell their story. In Don’t Expect Me to Cry: Refusing to let Childhood Sexual Abuse Steal my Life, the author tells a story that is repeatedly recreated in some corner of the world. Janet’s memoir gives a powerful voice to the voiceless. Written in a style that is conversational and told in an irresistible voice, the author's story allows readers to see her wounds and to listen to her cries of pain. But it is a journey of hope, a story that reminds anyone who has been abused that they are not cheap and worthless, and that they can reclaim their inner freedom. I loved the beauty of the prose, the insights into the world of childhood, and the compelling narrative voice.