The author, Viga Boland, does something akin to carving herself open for the reader. In a matter-of-fact way, she reveals the gripping account of her father’s controlling criminal mental and sexual abuse which persisted into her early adult life. She makes sure the reader doesn’t get too far by accident, there are numerous warnings before the story begins in earnest. She graphically spares herself very little in the account. I hope the telling provided some modicum of catharsis for her and her loved ones. By the time you’ve read to the titular passage, you applaud a recovery which took more than four decades.
As a father of a grown daughter, who becomes more beloved as time passes, I cannot imagine the thought process of the author’s father. We start with ‘narcissist’, but quickly run out of diagnostic labels for a true monster who never really paid society’s price for such crimes. The book doesn’t really get us to “why”, but it does depict the “what”. Monsters like this are out there, we need to watch for those signs, as I suspect most victims of such abuse don’t make it through to the sunlight without help.
This is an important book. Not all books are meant for entertainment, sometimes they must be read regardless.