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A Brother's Journey: Surviving a Childhood of Abuse    by Richard B. Pelzer order for
Brother's Journey
by Richard B. Pelzer
Order:  USA  Can
Warner, 2005 (2005)
Hardcover, Audio, CD

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* *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

If you have read A Child Called It, you will remember David's little brother, who tormented him in addition to the abuse inflicted on David by his mother. When David was removed from the home by authorities, Richard became the recipient of abuse by his alcoholic, mentally ill mother. The father walked out on the problem, and subsequently ignored it. Why the powers that be would take one child from an abusive home and not remove the four remaining children is beyond belief.

In A Brother's Journey, Richard Pelzer shares his memories of the incredible cruelty with which his mother tortured him. How he survived is a monument to the desire to live ingrained in us all. He does tell, though, of his frequent thoughts of suicide, or of killing her. He talks of these times and of how people around them didn't get involved. School personnel and neighbors were aware of what was going on and did nothing. Pelzer says that today, that has changed. Abuse is not tolerated. But his story takes place in the 1970s! It's hard to believe the world chose to be so blind those few short years ago.

A Brother's Journey is a sad book, one that's hard to read. Unfortunately, Pelzer does not relate how he endured the final years with his mother. Or what were his brothers' fates. His book left me curious and concerned. I would like to think they survived unscarred, but can't imagine that would be possible.

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