Saturday, March 28, 2020

Review of "Portrayed Crazy: A Memoir of Spousal Abuse," by Kate Klaver

Review of

Portrayed Crazy: A Memoir of Spousal Abuse, by Kate Klaver ISBN 9780997684971

Four out of five stars

 The first point is made in the prologue, where it is stated that “For security purposes and legal reasons, efforts have been made to disguise names, addresses and towns in order to protect the innocent as well as the guilty.” Yet, written in ink inside the front cover is a message clearly written in a female hand giving the town in Iowa as well as the name of the author. While one can be sympathetic to the author that has experienced spousal abuse, this does come across as a serious action of duplicity. I purchased this book at a library bookstore and there were several others, all of which had the internal writing.

 That aside, this is an all-too-common theme of books that are self-published. As a well-known reviewer, I have received many requests from the victims of abuse to read and review their books. All have stated in print and privately that the writing of the book was very cathartic. That is clearly the case here as well.

 The rendition of the abuse is written in plain language and is not presented in anything approaching a riveting style. Like so many stories of this type, it starts with an alcoholic father, meeting a heavy-drinking man that pays attention to her, satisfying a need in the minimal way, followed by a marriage that is fundamentally loveless and unsatisfying. The author eventually goes through a bitter divorce and this book was written seven years after that.

 There is only one real revelation in the book and that has to do with the social atmosphere of a small town. Nearly everyone knows everyone else, so rumor mills run strong and can be surprisingly effective in protecting the guilty and diminishing the innocent. If you have not experienced this environment, then it will be new to you.

No comments:

Post a Comment