Saturday, September 28, 2013

No Tears for my Father: a true story of incest Book Review

Viga Boland is an online friend that I met because we are both advocates for ourselves and for other survivors of incest. When I heard that Viga was writing her memoir, No Tears for my Father: a true story of incest, I told her I wanted to read it and would do a book review afterwards.

As Viga says on the back of her book " 'Victims' own voices are the best weapons against child sexual abuse.' " In some ways, Viga tells my story. In others, Viga's story is distinctly her own and no one else's, as is true for all survivor stories. No Tears for my Father comes with a Trigger Warning Advisory for the safety of those incest survivors who may experience flashbacks or emotional pain from reading the sometimes graphic scenes of Viga's memories.

Viga Boland was born in Australia in 1946. Like many children of the 1940's and 1950's, Viga was taught by her parents to do what the adults in her life told her to do. It didn't matter who the adult was, they were in control if you were a child. This one rule, above all others, made it easy for Viga to become a victim of childhood sexual abuse and incest.

Viga, throughout her book, compares her dad to Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Dr. Jekyll was the smiling, loving father and friend to a lonely little girl who was taught that she was ugly and stupid by the angry, often violent, and unpredictable Mr. Hyde.  Mr. Hyde was physically and emotionally abusive to Viga and to her mother.

When Viga Boland was 11 years old, her family moved to Canada, where the physical and emotional abuse continued and at the age of 12, Viga's dad started to also sexually abuse her. The secrets, the lies, the shame and the blame of incest that make a survivors life a living hell began too.  Secrets such as "Let's not tell mama. It would hurt her." "If not for you, I would be having an affair with some other woman and your mother would be hurt." (These aren't exactly Viga's words. They were lies I was told too.) The coercion, the threats and the fear that are part of the daily life of an incest survivor, all of that worked to keep Viga a prisoner in her parents home until the age of 23. 

To find out more of Viga Boland's story of incest, you will have to read her book. I would recommend the book No Tears for my Father, written by Viga Boland to all who are interested in the truth of what it means to be  a victim of childhood abuse, domestic violence and incest. 

You can visit Viga Boland at these websites which are listed at the beginning of her book: 





Thanks so much for your well thought out and precise review of my book, NO TEARS FOR MY FATHER Patricia. You nailed one of of the key things about my father that was always a source of confusion for me: his Jekyl/Hyde personality. A parent who can change moods at the drop of hat like he did is very unsettling and downright scary for a child who then alternates between love and hate for that parent. I felt this was an important element to help readers understand his utter control over me. Thanks too for the links to my website and blog. We writers need the support of reviewers like yourself. I look forward to doing the same for you one day.
With hugs and appreciation,

Patricia Singleton said...

Viga, you are very welcome, my friend. We need to support other advocates in this war to stop child abuse in all of its ugly forms that you were exposed to. I thank you for having the courage to tell your story. You give me the courage to write mine as well. (((Hugs))) coming back your way. I appreciate your support as well.