Connie Many Stories: A Novel of Abuse and Healing

Description

144 pages
$16.50
ISBN 1-55128-031-0
DDC C813'.54

Publisher

Year

1996

Contributor

Illustrations by Sarah Murphy
Reviewed by June M. Blurton

June M. Blurton is a retired speech pathologist.

Review

Connie Many Stories is an autobiographical novel about childhood
memories in which rape and sexual abuse occur almost daily. The
protagonist is four when the abuse begins. As she grows older, the
images in her mind and the voices screaming obscenities in her head
become too painful for her to accept as her own story. They become
instead the stories of imaginary girls—Connie, Consuela, Conception,
Conchita. But even this device does not allay her fear. “I am afraid
...” she repeats over and over. But she can never finish the sentence,
can never acknowledge the source of her fear and guilt. Haunted by her
past, she goes about the business of daily living— earning a degree,
working, and having children. Knowing that sexual abuse of children
tends to seep from generation to generation, she finds a therapist to
help her work toward recovery. By the end of the narrative, she can
complete the sentence “I am afraid ...” and say with confidence,
“I have never sexually abused a child.”

This book is difficult to read. The writing is poetic, but the
storyline is buried deep in a medley of thoughts and feelings, featuring
incomplete sentences and leaps in time and place. And the subject
matter, of course, is very painful. Readers who have never suffered
abuse gain an understanding of the agony some children endure; those who
have been abused may find inspiration in the heroine’s eventual coming
to terms with her past.

Citation

Murphy, Sarah., “Connie Many Stories: A Novel of Abuse and Healing,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed May 26, 2024, https://cbra.library.utoronto.ca/items/show/4003.