Book Review: Secrets in Big Sky Country: A Memoir by Mandy Smith


Innocence abused to the most extreme...
Innocence abused to the most extreme…

Big Secrets which Hurt, Hunt and Haunt until Revealed

I was gripped as I turned the pages. Could this be real life? That a child, no siblings actually, be so abused in different and daunting proportions to the extent that one has to commit suicide? That the author is first of all ‘groomed’ to think it’s special love from ‘daddy’, and that her own mother turns both a blind eye and a lends nothing but a deaf ear to her daughter’s groans?That it gets so bad that when Mandy’s disoriented life leads her to a shabby existence resulting to a rape, and that she nontheless wants to keep her baby, those same parents connive with the doctor to ‘steal’ her baby and up the innocent soul for adoption. Another big hurtful secret which hunts and haunts until Mandy can keep it to herself no more. Her relationship with her daughter can only but take its toll but the ultimate grace is in Mandy’s work to be a tireless advocate of child abuse. Those terrible things which happen to people, makes them victims, leaves them so traumatised and ‘unjustly’ so ashamed, and nearly ‘ruins’ their whole existence unless they brave it to Deal and Heal with and from it all. And this too could be an Everest of its own. This memoir is not for the faint of heart although written in very familial prose. It gets my 5 star and unreserved recommendation.

About the Author and her work

Sometimes these lovely pets are truly far better than 'human animals/beings'
Sometimes these lovely pets are truly far better than ‘human animals/beings’

Mandy Smith was born and raised in Montana, aka “Big Sky Country.” It took five decades for her to find the courage to step out from that closet of shame and reveal what had been hiding in plain sight–familial sex abuse and its ensuing aftermath.

Mandy resides in Portland, Oregon, and is an advocate for child abuse prevention and adult survivors of childhood sex abuse.

“Secrets in Big Sky Country” was a finalist in the 2014 She Writes Press Discovery Memoir Contest, and was listed as BEST OF THE BEST 2015 Books at the book review blog: “It’s Either Sadness or Euphoria.” She used to blog over here

P.S I bought this memoir on January 13th this year, as part of a dozen or so pre birthday treats. I was planning to read many of them on my birthday weekend. Here is the comment I left on Mandy’s blog regarding her memoir: I had read the memoir starting on the 16th at 16 pm on a bus back to Douala, and yes didn’t sleep until I finished same.

Dear Mandy, I don’t have the nerves to click like on this one. I finished your memoir in 24 hours. I thought I loved writing reviews. Hmm what do I write here? I’ll gradually work over it. Thanks for sharing, hope you get to heal and deal which ever way with all those stuffs, sorry for Cliff, oh my …

But When I read a post on Mandy’s blog then that it was her last post for the blog as it was, I knew I had to pull myself once more together and attempt a beffiting review…

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