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Vicki Bourus

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I’ve Never Read A More Exquisite Description of This Complex Process

Once in a rare while, a book on domestic violence arrives that goes beyond statistics and facts, revealing the deep pain and sadness experienced by the victim, in careful and touching ways, and making this issue significantly understandable even to those who have never experienced it. Patty Wain Smith’s book, A Letter to a Friend: The Story of Abuse in America, is certainly that book.

As a professional social worker, I’ve spent over 30 years working with victims of abuse and their children, and I’ve walked with many survivors as they struggled to extricate themselves from a relationship that was destructive and ruinous, both physically and emotionally. I am also a survivor which makes this book even more meaningful.

I’ve never read a more exquisite description of this complex process. It takes a long time to heal from abuse, and Patty Wain Smith’s incredible book is a gift to every victim–no matter if the victim is just beginning to consider the options or is far along on the journey to recovery. The skillful way in which she’s written this story is similar to the experience of watching the fog clear from the windshield after a storm–hopeful, encouraging, and freeing.

I highly recommend this lovely, well-written book to survivors, advocates, family and friends. I believe that if every adult in the United States read this book, powerful changes would take place in this country, so plagued by abuse. That is a significant claim!