The boycott campaign had been based on false information, however, and designed to deliberately whip up public hysteria during a Coroner's Court hearing into the deaths of two twins. Now that the book has been published the critics are praising it.
Breaking Silence uses the life story of mother Macsyna King as the narrative to explore the problem of intergenerational child abuse and its impact on modern society. Herself the victim of terrible abuse and abandonment as a child, King's life falls apart when her premature identical twin sons are murdered and the father is charged with the crime.
Although we frequently hear "about" such cases, it is rare to hear "from" one of the key participants in her own words. Breaking Silence is the story of a mother's journey to hell and back, and the search for justice for her twins in the face of a backlash from a society that turned its back on her. It explores and sheds light not just on child abuse and violence in the home, but analyses society's attitude to women in child abuse cases.
The latest forensic debates about child abuse injuries are explored, as are the social choices many of us face every day that can lead to disaster.
"This mammoth book is a top achievement & should be a school text.." - Rachael Ford, psychiatric nurse
"The book so many maligned before it came out reveals a mother we haven't met. When I last wrote about Macsyna King, I said I didn't think I'd like her. I've changed my mind. I certainly think she outclasses the Wellington radio announcer who posted on Facebook that after receiving her advance copy of "Breaking Silence", she had "spat on it, wiped my ass on it, and ripped it up".
"Imagine your life reduced to sound bites of everything you've ever done wrong -and many things you haven't.
"Oh, how we've loved to hate her. But the woman who emerges from the book is a far more complex human being. There isn't the space here to list the ways in which she's been unfairly maligned. Yes, she made incredibly dumb choices. But she's smart, hard-working, big on cleanliness and loved her kids." - Tapu Misa, NZ HERALD
"I feel sad that we seem to have entered a time in society where for many it is acceptable to attempt to ban the sale of a book before knowing its contents and I wonder at the motives of those who have joined efforts to stop bookstores stocking it. Could it be we have reached a point where to make ourselves feel better we have to find someone to hate, to direct our fear and uncertainty about the future of our world towards, and that for now, at least, Macsyna King is that person? Could it be that underlying the public discussions about the need to stop the book being read is a deep-seated fear that reading it will in some way leave us all with the question of what part we as members of society played in the death of these babies? Not in the sense of "Who was in the room?" but in "Have we really reached this level of disconnection in our communities?"
"Ian Wishart's Breaking Silence: The Kahui Case...is not a book to ban, but one to read for whatever it can add to our understanding of child abuse." - Celia Lashlie, NZ LISTENER MAGAZINE
"We are very glad to have read it and thankful that Wishart (and King) have written it. Wishart has done the entire body politic a great deal of good. We would, accordingly, encourage everyone to read it...Breaking Silence will likely enhance Wishart's reputation considerably." - CONTRA CELSUM
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Reviewed by Anne B. for Readers Favorite "Breaking Silence" is the true story of multigenerational abuse and the impact it has on each new generation. The setting is New Zealand. The heroine is Macsyna King, a mother of murdered infant twins. I must admit ignorance to this case before reading this book. I had never heard of Ms King or the tragedy she suffered. Her background is one of abuse at the hands of those that are supposed to love and protect you, your parents. She was abandoned by her mother more than once. Her mother’s boyfriends were abusive. The more I read the more shocked I became at the plight of this intelligent and courageous young woman. She wasn’t innocent, she made grave mistakes but eventually she did learn from her many mistakes. Ms King had several children by more than one father. Each of the fathers were pretty much losers. At this point the tone of the book changes to the narrator and the court records. Ms King had prematurely given birth to twin sons. After a few short weeks they died of head injuries. Chris, the father, was ten years younger than Mac. The two individuals were tried separately; much of the testimony was often contradictory. This book is well-organized and well-written but is not an easy read. My heart ached for Mac and the abuse she grew up experiencing. Then to read about the abuse her children faced made this book doubly hard to read. The author seem very fair in his presentation of the facts. He does not attempt to depict Mac in a totally innocent light. He shares her faults, weaknesses, strengths and courage. This book throws much needed light on the plight of child abuse victims. It demonstrates the horrific effect it has on generation after generation and the need to break the bonds. "Breaking Silence" offers hope to victims everywhere.