Holding My Hand Through Hell

Susan Murphy Milano, Author
Susan Murphy Milano, foreword by Diane Fanning. Ice Cube (www.icecubepress.com), $21.95 trade paper (306p) ISBN 978-1-888160-67-3
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In 1989, Milano's father murdered her mother before killing himself. It was the gruesome end to a long history of abuse that Milano recounts in graphic and heartbreaking detail. Her father regularly raped her when she was a teenager, and beat her mother bloody. Though Milano tried to tell school authorities, no one believed that her father, a decorated police officer, was capable of such acts. To make matters worse, Milano learned after her father's death that he had also been molesting her brother, Bobby, who experienced a psychotic breakdown, as well as neighborhood boys. Milano found some meaning as an advocate for domestic violence victims, speaking for them in court, finding temporary living arrangements, and speaking to the media on their behalf. She posits that she lost custody of her son to his father, Milano's second husband, who abused cocaine, because she angered city authorities by filling a class-action lawsuit on behalf of abuse victims. She married a third time to a man who turned out to be a controlling alcoholic. While difficult to read, Milano's is an important story of the long suffering caused by domestic abuse, yet also inspiring in her belief that God is always with her. (Oct.)
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