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Empty Chairs: Much more than a story about child Abuse

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

8 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

This will open your heart - and your eyes - to the truth of child abuse

I have wanted to review this book for a very long time, but needed courage. A while ago I featured Stacey on my blog, with the first chapter excerpt of her book Empty Chairs.

The first chapter is brutal. It churns your insides and makes you feel like you've lived on ...
I have wanted to review this book for a very long time, but needed courage. A while ago I featured Stacey on my blog, with the first chapter excerpt of her book Empty Chairs.

The first chapter is brutal. It churns your insides and makes you feel like you've lived on a strict diet of broken glass for the last six months. This is a true story about the abuse Stacey lived through, starting very very young. And I expected the rest of this book to be that gut-wrenching. Which is why I've stalled this long to read it, as I expected to cry my way through each chapter.

However, that is not the case. Instead this details Stacey's life of fear to the snapping point at the age of eleven when she finally turns the tables and leaves home for good. Most of this book is about her life as an eleven year old, surviving on her own, homeless.

A lot about this makes me want to cry and get emotional. Only *some people* can understand that brutality may not shock you, but it's kindness that makes you cry. And it was the kindness she was shown by a biker known as *Animal* that makes me cry in this book (on more than one occasion).

The injuries her developing body sustained from her mother were compounded by the brutal methods used to frighten street children into prostitution. Unfortunately the children this information would most benefit will never get to read this book when it could save their lives. But Stacey has lived with a compromised body her entire life because of the abuse she suffered.

I wish everyone would read this book, just to sew their mouths up when they're about to complain. I have issues with people who complain, because those that do rarely have a very good reason for it. Read this book and you'll be grateful or every single day you've ever lived (okay maybe not every day as there are some days none of us would ever like to relive - but you know what I mean).

Despite the subject, Stacey's book is well written, it gives you insight and understanding, and at times you can see her on the page staring back at you. The smell just before rain, she likens to the earth greeting the rain. Those who have known extreme pain, find beauty in the little things. Maybe that's what bonds them together. Put a crowd of abused people in a park, and they'll ignore each other and be captivated by the freeness of the birds and how they manage to sound so cheerful each and every day no matter what the weather, without a larder, scavenging for food each day, they're still happy, and that's what an abused person sees. Not the park, but the smells, and the freedom, the beauty of what it means not to be caged physically, mentally, or emotionally. Many people escape their abuse, but they don't escape the mental cage that comes with it.

Stacey has. Writing this book, I believe she's taken the final step to freedom. And I am so proud of her! Please read it, it will change your life.

posted by Poppet38 on May 14, 2011

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Most Helpful Critical Review

2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

Nothing to do, good book to read

This book is ok worth the price you pay, bad thing there is no end you dont know what happens it just stops .........

posted by 6794890 on August 9, 2011

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  • Posted May 14, 2011

    This will open your heart - and your eyes - to the truth of child abuse

    I have wanted to review this book for a very long time, but needed courage. A while ago I featured Stacey on my blog, with the first chapter excerpt of her book Empty Chairs.

    The first chapter is brutal. It churns your insides and makes you feel like you've lived on a strict diet of broken glass for the last six months. This is a true story about the abuse Stacey lived through, starting very very young. And I expected the rest of this book to be that gut-wrenching. Which is why I've stalled this long to read it, as I expected to cry my way through each chapter.

    However, that is not the case. Instead this details Stacey's life of fear to the snapping point at the age of eleven when she finally turns the tables and leaves home for good. Most of this book is about her life as an eleven year old, surviving on her own, homeless.

    A lot about this makes me want to cry and get emotional. Only *some people* can understand that brutality may not shock you, but it's kindness that makes you cry. And it was the kindness she was shown by a biker known as *Animal* that makes me cry in this book (on more than one occasion).

    The injuries her developing body sustained from her mother were compounded by the brutal methods used to frighten street children into prostitution. Unfortunately the children this information would most benefit will never get to read this book when it could save their lives. But Stacey has lived with a compromised body her entire life because of the abuse she suffered.

    I wish everyone would read this book, just to sew their mouths up when they're about to complain. I have issues with people who complain, because those that do rarely have a very good reason for it. Read this book and you'll be grateful or every single day you've ever lived (okay maybe not every day as there are some days none of us would ever like to relive - but you know what I mean).

    Despite the subject, Stacey's book is well written, it gives you insight and understanding, and at times you can see her on the page staring back at you. The smell just before rain, she likens to the earth greeting the rain. Those who have known extreme pain, find beauty in the little things. Maybe that's what bonds them together. Put a crowd of abused people in a park, and they'll ignore each other and be captivated by the freeness of the birds and how they manage to sound so cheerful each and every day no matter what the weather, without a larder, scavenging for food each day, they're still happy, and that's what an abused person sees. Not the park, but the smells, and the freedom, the beauty of what it means not to be caged physically, mentally, or emotionally. Many people escape their abuse, but they don't escape the mental cage that comes with it.

    Stacey has. Writing this book, I believe she's taken the final step to freedom. And I am so proud of her! Please read it, it will change your life.

    8 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 20, 2011

    Must Read

    When I began reading Empty Chairs by Stacey Danson I was completely unprepared for what I would find. If it were a novel, I would have put it down. The matter-of-fact narration depicting extreme sexual exploitation of a small child by her mother turned my stomach. But Empty Chairs isn't a novel. It is Stacy Danson's life story. I read on through tears; my heart filled with horror, sympathy, and anger. But I read on. In her superbly written auto-biography, the author unfolds a vision of hell that few can imagine, but is the life of far too many innocent children in our society. Stacy was beaten brutally and repeatedly. She was forced to service a stream of men who paid her mother - not occasionally, but every day. When her mother wasn't pleased with her performance Stacy was locked away in a dark closet where claustrophobia threatened her sanity. Stacy was only three. Her earliest memories are of abuse. Stacy was only five when her mother sold her virginity to the highest bidder and she was brutally raped. The daily torment continued until Stacy, in an amazing act of defiance, at last said no and ran away. She had only been allowed to attend three years of school, between six and nine years old, and at eleven was alone on the harsh streets of Kings Cross in Sydney, Australia. But Stacy survived. In her short time attending school she learned to read. Her love of reading, and her hunger for knowledge, has continued for over forty years, as is apparent in her masterful writing. Horrific details of her life are delivered in almost emotionless, matter-of-fact clarity, and her dark humor is equally dead-pan. Yes, I laughed at times, in a very somber way. But without that detachment and humor the story would be too tragic to read. I am friends with the author on facebook, as I am with many fellow writers. We rarely interact, but I saw a post that her blog was nearing two-hundred followers and she was giving away copies of Empty Chairs once she reached two-hundred. I went to her blog and followed it. I was number two-hundred. She emailed the book and told me it was her auto-biography and might be hard to read. I never imagined. It was the hardest thing I have ever read. I can not possibly understand how hard it was to write. Though I think this book should be read by every adult on the planet, I must warn you it is a glimpse into hell. Stacy carries the emotional and physical scars, some severe, to this day, but I am amazed she even survived. It is far more unfathomable that she grew into such a strong and beautiful human being, and equally wonderful writer. I am quite honored now to be on her friends list. But as she says, she didn't just survive, she choose to live, and she choose to speak out and shine a light into the dark corners of our world that most of us chose to ignore.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 25, 2011

    A book that simply must be read.

    It is sadly not uncommon to pick up a book written by a survivor of child abuse. What is uncommon is the frank and open discussion of this womans childhood, written from the child's perspective. You are there with young Stacey throughout the brutality, and you cheer her on as she fights back. You live the fear with her when she finds herself alone on the streets of Sydney, at the age of eleven. You cry with her, laugh with her, and dream of something better right along with her. The book left me shaken. The hope left me satisfied. I would recommend this book to every person that has ever heard a child scream and wonder why. It is relentlessly un put down able.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 14, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Highly Recommended

    If you only buy one book of non-fiction in your life,then make it

    Empty Chairs by Stacey Danson

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 11, 2012

    Stacey Danson's The Empty Chair is a deep and touching story tha

    Stacey Danson's The Empty Chair is a deep and touching story that stirs all the raw emotions. Through Stacey's account we are introduced to the hell she went through, the battles she fought to stay human, the people she lived in the streets with who could gave up on themselves and the world that had been so unjust to them, and learn how not to allow ourselves to be crushed by adversity. The accounts are horrific, and we can all learn something from those horrors and make the world better for our kids. Like in Janvier Chando's The Grandmothers, we find that even family could contribute to the physical and mental damage of a child. Stacey's determination to live stand out in this account of his life. That, I think is the great side of the story.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 29, 2011

    very good read

    I read this book in 2 days, I just couldn't put it down. The story is heartbreaking, and the way she tells it has you hanging on her every word, fighting for her to pull through. I only wish it continued, the way it ended just left me hanging and I desperately want to know what happened next. I can only hope she will write another book and pick up where this one left off.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 10, 2012

    Empty Chairs ??????

    Loved the book just don't get the title

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 2, 2012

    It's a amazing book. I just can't beleive that a mother could do

    It's a amazing book. I just can't beleive that a mother could do such thing to he child.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 29, 2012

    amazing

    Wow... thats all i can say

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 4, 2012

    very sad but good

    so sad what kids have to go through in this world. nicely written.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 3, 2012

    Great read!

    Left me wanting to know more! Second book?

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted April 10, 2011

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