I have to admit, I was skeptical of my decision to keep reading this book at first, thinking that somehow, someway, the stories would relate back to each other at the end. Although the genre of mystical/fantasy isn't my favorite, I did enjoy several of the stories as stand-alone pieces. I would say to give this book a chance; several of the selections are well-written and even comical at times. My favorites were the long-form poetry, especially those with a contemporary connection.
Child Molestation Stories presents the reader with a variety of types, scenarios, and effects of childhood sexual abuse. I applaud the author for including stories by young adults as well as one by a 4-year-old child. Although the stories are brief and do not give an explanation as to how interviewees were chosen for this selection, all are powerful in their unique, painful ways. The author does not seem to editorialize on sexual abusers or their victims, and that is refreshing when reading about a subject that inspires harsh judgments and bitter emotions. I finished the excerpts with a more complete understanding of the thoughts and feelings of victims. I think it would be interesting to read interviews with sexual abusers in this episodic format. Many thanks to the author for tackling this harsh reality that occurs with more frequency in America than most would like to admit with dignity and wisdom.
I really enjoyed the plot and story development in "Dirty Little Angels." The main character, Hailey Trosclair, is trying to cope with a troubled family life and growing up among people with their seductive vices. I thought the topic of mental illness could have been explored more deeply, however, I applaud the author for discussing it in his novel. The story kept me very interested in the characters, but I would have liked some more development about the characters' inner lives and thoughts. The characters operate in a reactive manner throughout the story. I would also have liked the author to tie in the title, "Dirty Little Angels," into the plot--seemed to be an afterthought with how it is explained toward the end of the story. Overall, I did enjoy this read and would recommend it to others looking for a more "real" glimpse of what it's like to be a troubled teen growing up and being her own parent.