I ordered "A Beautiful World" through amazon.com after we corresponded last October. I finally got around to reading it, fittingly, over the Easter weekend.
It is a powerful book. While reading it the thought kept flashing through my mind that what is most particular about your book is that you have carefully documented in a factual, neutral and objective manner the relentless brutality that millions of children across the globe have to endure on a daily basis. Because of the sacrosanct rights of the family, and especially the mother, who is supposed to be the main source of human nurture, it is an (unfortunately) common human instinct to look the other way when confronted with a cruel reality such as yours. This makes it all the more important that stories such as yours are carefully documented and presented to the world, so that the world cannot deny this terrible reality.
When I visited the Nazi concentration camp in Auschwitz some years ago, I was struck by the discovery that some of the campÂ´s inmates managed to write their stories down and bury their transcripts in the ground, only to be unearthed and published posthumously many years later. These inmates knew that they would inevitably die in the camp, and wanted to document the brutal reality of their final days, precisely so that one day the truth would be exposed. One of the gifts that the survivors of the Jewish Holocaust - probably the most educated group of genocide victims that the world has seen - have given humanity is that they have carefully documented the Holocaust, through continuous books, films, historical research, and so on. As a result we cannot deny the reality of genocide, no matter how much we want to look the other way.
I see your book in a similar light. It is part of a historical process currently underway to bring the harsh, age-old reality of child abuse into the open, including mother-child incest and rape, child prostitution, physical abuse and neglect, and the consequences of parental alcoholism. You have placed a high value on educating yourself in order to transcend this reality, and your achievement in this respect is well reflected in your clear, concise literary style. This educational achievement has in turn enabled you to be part of this historical process.
You say that you will never figure out why sometimes parents hurt their own children and make them do terrible things. To me, the answer to this question is already contained within your book. Your mother told you that her father died in a mental institution, wearing a straightjacket because he would try to dig his eyes out and punch himself in the balls. You say that your fatherÂ´s father was a sadistic, alcoholic, barroom brawler who beat his wife. The reason why parents so often hurt their children is because they themselves were hurt in the exact same way as children by their own parents. And so the sins of the parents are visited upon the children, from generation to generation, over a period of thousands of years. I believe that the only way out of this vortex is to undertake the kind of healing journey that you have undertaken, breaking the cycle of abuse in your generation and your time.
On a more personal note, I loved the story of Sam, and of your struggle to find love among the ruins. Only when I read this part of the book did I understand the special meaning of the photograph on the back of your book.
I hope that you will overcome your nightmares of you doing terrible things to the people you love and who love you back. I hope that you will face down your fear of whatever that something is that is lurking behind the terrible things in your mind. I hope that you will overcome your shame enough to ask someone to hold you while you cry really hard. I hope that you will expel the demons left inside you from the abuse once and for all.
I pray that God's blessings will be upon you. That His Spirit will fill your mind, giving you the strength, grace and courage that you require. That His love will fill your heart, bursting the dam that holds back the tears of healing and acceptance. And that His body will merge with yours, making your healing complete.
Many thanks again for your book."