REVIEWS

 

December 13, 2009

Amazon.com Book Reviews, Cleveland, OH

5.0 out of 5 stars: A beautifully written memoir proving there is life after abuse

 

"Milligan's vividly raw depiction of the abuse he endured as a child is chilling and eye opening. A phenomenal book, which gives the public an inside view on what happens behind closed doors, and the impact of child abuse.

 

And that is just the story! Milligan's writing is reminiscent of Hemingway's clear and concise sentences, and earth shattering imagery. There are lines in this book amongst horrific child abuse that allow you to see the beauty of Milligan's heart and creativity which simply take your breath away.

 

This book will make you cry, and see the world differently, two things which great literature intends to provoke."

December 7, 2009

Albuquerque, NM

"Gregg,

 

I finished your book over the weekend.  It's a very powerful book.  Thank you.  

 

Thank you so much for sharing your pain and your escape.  I have a pin I wear that says, "Speak your truth."

November 4, 2009

Detroit, MI

"Hi Gregg,

 

I finally got a chance to read your book.  I thought it was well done - and to be honest I was shocked and saddened by the amount and severity of the abuse you endured, even though we had talked about some of it during the interview. I still find it nothing short of amazing that you overcame so much to become successful - what are the odds?

 

A couple parts of your book stirred up memories for me:

 

One was the search for your sister that led to the attic (which, by the way, I like the way you used the duration of the search to reflect on things that had previously happened).  As many children are, I was scared of the attic in the two-story house where I grew up in Kentucky. To get to my upstairs bedroom, I had to climb the stairs and pass down a short hallway where the floor-level door to the attic was located. I used to wonder what lurked behind that door and, more importantly, would it come for me ... the imagination of a child, I suppose, or too much time spent watching scary movies.

 

I also could relate to your kitten. While I was in college, my roommate and I had taken in a stray cat that kept coming to our door. She was pregnant (we discovered after the fact), and one of her kittens was near death upon birth. We took it to a veterinarian who told us the kitten had a small chance of living, but we could try to keep it alive by feeding it from a doll's bottle. We actually took turns missing college classes to get this kitten on the mend, and it worked. Fortunately, our college grades survived too.

 

I know those two recollections stray far from the subject of your book, but it just goes to show how a good book can - and should - stir memories that in some way help readers relate to the writer.

 

I wonder: Will you at some point write a sequel. Perhaps you're not sure yet.

 

Take care, and best of luck to you."

October 22, 2009

Hastings, MI

"Hi Gregg, 

 

I read your book in one night.  FABULOUS!! Really touched my heart.  Wonderfully written.  Just amazing to read all of what you and your siblings endured.

 

I thank you from the bottom of my heart for contacting me, sharing your story and sending me your incredible book!!

 

Many thanks and congrats on the feature!!  You and your book certainly deserve the recognition.  I am positive that as more people learn about your strength they too will become empowered."

September 19, 2009

Ypsilanti, MI

"Hey Gregg,

 

I just read your book don't even know what to say I laughed, I cried, I prayed and cried some more!!!  Everything makes so much more sense now.  I wish we had known so we could be more help I am glad we were able to be what little help we were I am so glad you grew up to be a good father and a good person with all the shit you went through   I am amazed!! GOD is with you . I am grateful to have been your friend and hope me being there was some help, I will always cherish the good times we had together.  You were a great friend.  [...]  I will continue to pray for all of you guys.

 

Anyway, I just wanted to let you know I am thinking about you and as always wish you the best.

 

Take care and god bless you.  I hope writing the book helped you with your feelings.  It really cleared things up for me.  I wish I could have helped more."

 

Your friend always."

September 9, 2009

Amazon Blog, Fredericksburg, VA

5.0 out of 5 stars: The most powerful memoir ... This story takes the 'truth' of child abuse to profound depths

 

"I've read several memoirs by survivors of child abuse ... including A Child Called It, Lost Boy, The Tricky Part, Somebody's Someone, etc ... and this book, A BEAUTIFUL WORLD, really stands apart.

 

First off, A Beautiful World has a unique structure. While most memoirs keep a linear year-by-year structure, A Beautiful World is more like four literary narratives. Instead of looking at a timeline, I felt like I was teleported into specific experiences, standing in the corner of the worn down living room, watching these horrific experiences unfold.

 

Secondly, the writing is amazingly poetic. Here is an example "Our neighborhood was a contorted dirty forgotten place. The last vestige of humanity unwashed. At the center of this life was Mother. She built a relationship with her children based on unadulterated guilt, manipulation, and violence. And as long as I can remember, I was her caretaker. I would spend hours in quiet waiting, at the edge of visibility. It was a worrisome devotion. A strong and ugly love." That poetic voice carries through the most graphic experiences, which I can't include here.

 

And finally, the most profound aspect is the ending. I won't say too much because I know my description won't do it justice, but if there was ever a 'literary device' that could capture the depths of how child abuse affects not only the child (by placing the most unbelievable, life-long, psychological burden) but also society as a whole, Mr. Milligan has perfected that with his ending. I bet the ending will frustrate some, leave others in disbelief, but for those who have been exposed to abuse, you will feel the 'truth' of how this story 'concludes' ... and you'll know that any other ending, any 'whitewashing', would have been a lie.

 

I hope millions will read this book, so we as a society can continue understand the profound and destructive effects of child abuse and we can find a way to stomp it out."

September 13, 2009

Book Reviews on Amazon.com (A Beautiful World)

5.0 out of 5 stars: In the midst of overwhelming adversity stands a young boy . . . You won't be able to put this book down

 

"From the first six words of the Introduction, you are drawn into the world of the author, Gregg Milligan, as he delves back into childhood and the last three years spent in his mother's home. Before Gregg's story even begins, the message of the book is as clear as if it were spoken - he shares his experiences hoping to help others "buckle down and bear the ride" through their own hell - and know that they are not alone.

 

Chronicling a young boy's endurance of incredible abuse, A BEAUTIFUL WORLD is a tribute to hope. Through the years of brutal molestations, beatings to the brink of death, horrific manipulation, and severe mental abuse - this young child keeps his hope alive. As time passes, seeds of awareness and independence slowly begin to grow inside Gregg's heart - molding into a plan of escape to save himself and his siblings.

 

The narrative is written with an exceptionally visual style, which plunges you deeply into the story alongside young Gregg. (FYI- If you research the author's background, you'll find that he is actually an award-winning writer - with his work winning first place in the Memoirs/Personal Essay category of the Writer's Digest Annual Writing Competition, in addition to several other awards garnered over the years.)

 

Readers who join Gregg's journey will find themselves carried in the momentum of events, including a frenzied search for Gregg's younger sister while the children are left home alone. The night ends in unexpected chaos, and the story hurtles forward, opening the lens on Gregg's world to a full view of the horror endured.

 

In the face of the physical, mental, and emotional anguish, a valiant heart shines forth. Readers will feel the binding devotion Gregg has for his mother despite her abuse, and the lengths he goes to in order to care for her. And - with all the strength he has - Gregg does his best to also care for his siblings. He even takes in a young kitten cast away from its mother. His kind, loving spirit remains unbroken in the cruel torrent of abuse.

 

As the years progress, desperation builds - and readers follow Gregg to the absolute edge of sanity and survival.

 

This is a book you won't be able to put down. It's an incredible account of the perseverance of the human spirit with the resounding message to never give up - whatever adversity you may face.

 

From the Epilogue of A BEAUTIFUL WORLD: {What I do know is that I tried and I am still trying. I will not quit. It is my anchor that holds me in place, so the world (sometimes ugly . . . sometimes beautiful) does not bowl me over. It is my anchor keeping me in place waiting for you.}

 

Bottom line - read A BEAUTIFUL WORLD and find out for yourself."

September 8, 2009

Book Reviews on Amazon. Com (A Beautiful World)

"I've read several memoirs by survivors of child abuse ... including A Child Called It, Lost Boy, The Tricky Part, Somebody's Someone, etc ... and this book, A BEAUTIFUL WORLD, really stands apart.

 

First off, A Beautiful World has a unique structure. While most memoirs keep a linear year-by-year structure, A Beautiful World is more like four literary narratives. Instead of looking at a timeline, I felt like I was teleported into specific experiences, standing in the corner of the worn down living room, watching these horrific experiences unfold.

 

Secondly, the writing is amazingly poetic. Here is an example "Our neighborhood was a contorted dirty forgotten place. The last vestige of humanity unwashed. At the center of this life was Mother. She built a relationship with her children based on unadulterated guilt, manipulation, and violence. And as long as I can remember, I was her caretaker. I would spend hours in quiet waiting, at the edge of visibility. It was a worrisome devotion. A strong and ugly love." That poetic voice carries through the most graphic experiences, which I can't include here.

 

And finally, the most profound aspect is the ending. I won't say too much because I know my description won't do it justice, but if there was ever a 'literary device' that could capture the depths of how child abuse affects not only the child (by placing the most unbelievable, life-long, psychological burden) but also society as a whole, Mr. Milligan has perfected that with his ending. I bet the ending will frustrate some, leave others in disbelief, but for those who have been exposed to abuse, you will feel the 'truth' of how this story 'concludes' ... and you'll know that any other ending, any 'whitewashing', would have been a lie.

 

I hope millions will read this book, so we as a society can continue understand the profound and destructive effects of child abuse and we can find a way to stomp it out."

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