books I've read

Anne Hawn's books

Who Moved My Cheese?
If Democrats Had Any Brains, They'd Be Republicans
Scientific Secrets for Self-Control
Just One Damned Thing After Another
The Vanishing
Exercises in Knitting
The Good Dream
The Very Best of Edgar Allan Poe
The Chosen
BT-Kids' Knits
Talking God
The Professor
The Christmas Files
The Finisher
Home Decor for 18-Inch Dolls: Create 10 Room Settings with Furniture and 15 Outfits with Accessories
Dracula and Other Stories
A New Song
All Quiet on the Western Front
File Under: 13 Suspicious Incidents

Anne Hawn Smith's favorite books »

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Friday, October 04, 2013

Call Me Cockroach

Call Me CockroachCall Me Cockroach by Leigh Byrne
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book is the sequel to Leigh Byrne's Call Me Tuesady. It is her own account of the abuse she suffered from her mother between the ages of 8 to 14 when she finally went to live with her aunt. Only Tuesday was singled out for abuse, and her father, while aware of the about did little to prevent it. He did send her to her grandmother and aunt's for summers, but when contacted by Social Services, he maintained that Tuesday was not being abused. Her brothers, two older and one younger, maintained a distance from Tuesday and were complicit by their silence.

While Tuesday did get away from her mother and had a very loving and supportive relationship with her aunt, the scars of her early life effected her in every way. The book gets its title from the concept that the cockroach, despised and hated, will still be in the world even if civilization is destroyed because they are survivors. It is hard for people who have never been abused to understand the depth of damage done to a child like Tuesday. This book pulls away the curtains and allows us to get inside the damaged psyche of someone who has been told she is a worthless. It wasn't enough that Tuesday was forced to stand with her nose to the wall for hours, locked in her bedroom with only a bucket for her waste and starved; she was sent to school dressed in rags and filthy so that her classmates would continue the abuse at school. When Tuesday attended school at her aunt's, she was clean and dressed in fashionable clothes, but she expected to be rejected and by her classmates. Her early decisions were made from a terrible sense of self worth. The ordinary person would look at someone like Tuesday when she was finally surrounded by love and expect her to suddenly change. This book was an eye-opener.

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