Donald Dempsey’s memoir, Betty’s Child, is a poignant read depicting a child’s necessary construction of a thick emotional armor. There are many books that detail how adults learn to break down similar boundaries within themselves, stories about coming-of-age, of learning to let go of the wounds of the past. It is a popular fantasy in our culture that anyone can overcome a troubled childhood and make peace with their past. We need this fantasy, because it is too painful to think of a human being fully and completely damaged. We prefer to experience the uphill battle, rising from the ashes – a visceral need to satisfy our own barely healed wounds through voyeurism.
Dempsey’s memoir bypasses this fantasy and looks directly at the process by which a child builds up barriers, the world and life in which a child learns only to identify with pain. This memoir is for everyone who has ever known someone abandoned, someone unloved, someone with barriers that seem impenetrable. We all have scars to hide. With wit and delicacy, Dempsey exposes wounds that we would prefer to ignore, without ever pushing the reader away with any sense of melodrama. This is no fairy tale with easy answers, but a Real account of something we prefer to keep hidden. His tone and honesty draw the reader in, allowing – rather than forcing – a connection with his story.
A truly unforgettable memoir.
|Page Count||436 pages|
|Publisher||Dream of Things|
|Bookshop.org||Buy this Book|
|Category||Biographies & Memoirs|