Beyond Don't: Dreaming Past the Dark


158 pages
ISBN 0-921881-40-1
DDC 306.877'092






Reviewed by Ashley Thomson

Ashley Thomson is a full librarian at Laurentian University and co-editor or co-author of nine books, most recently Margaret Atwood: A Reference Guide, 1988-2005.


In 1988, Elly Danica published her first book, Don’t: A Woman’s
Word, which recounted the sexual abuse she had suffered at the hands of
her father, beginning at age 4 and lasting until she left the house in
her teens. While some reviewers dismissed Don’t as fiction, Danica’s
story struck a chord with others, among them Peter Gzowski, who
interviewed her in her Saskatchewan home. As her book drifted slowly
into public consciousness, Danica became sought-after as a speaker.
Beyond Don’t recounts her travels both in Canada and abroad. Her
experiences had left her stronger and more determined than ever to speak
out against abuse. As this book painfully reveals, the impact of Don’t
on Danica’s immediate family was less positive (none of her siblings
believed her). Ultimately, Beyond Don’t constitutes a powerful and
effective challenge to the notion of false-memory syndrome.


Danica, Elly., “Beyond Don't: Dreaming Past the Dark,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed June 13, 2024,