The Magic Castle: A Mother's Harrowing True Story of Her Adoptive Son's Multiple Personalities-- And the Triumph of Healing

Carole Smith, Author St. Martin's Press $23.95 (288p) ISBN 978-0-312-17196-4
In a shocking drama of satanism, ritual sacrifice and child sexual abuse at its most sadistic, Smith (a pseudonym) seems to spare readers no horrific detail, actual or embellished. She presents herself with saintly heroism as she recreates her experiences with ""Alex,"" the 10-year-old special-needs foster child she and her husband, Sam, took into their home in an unidentified Massachusetts town in 1984. Smith relates events through early 1992 when Alex finally integrates his ""alter"" selves and is able to articulate the sexual abuse inflicted on him during his family's satanic rituals. During his calm periods, the hyperactive boy became a karate expert, a trophy-winning horseback rider and a Little Leaguer. Institutionalized on occasion because of his violent behavior, Alex was helped in therapy by hypnosis to recall abuses graphically related here. Rather than an inspiring look at a salvaged life, in Smith's overheated telling, the memoir strains credibility. Illustrated. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 12/29/1997
Release date: 01/01/1998
Mass Market Paperbound - 336 pages - 978-0-312-96820-5
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