rating: 2 of 5 stars
Normally I like Charlotte Vale Allen's books. Even though the subject of this book is parental sexual, physical, and mental abuse (so "like" isn't exactly the word I'd use to describe it), Vale's writing is what has always drawn me into her stories. That didn't happen with Daddy's Girl. I think the reason for that is because the book just doesn't have much credibility.
It has to be very difficult to write about the horrendous abusive situations Charlotte Vale Allen describes since she claims these were personal experiences. The problem is that there are so many gaps and holes in her story, it's almost impossible to believe her. Had this book been published today rather than in the 1980's, I believe all kinds of comparisons would be made between Allen and James Frey. In Allen's case, the problem is not embellishments so much as it is setting up event after event that is unrealistic in the details, or outright impossible to believe because the description has no logic.
The subject matter contained in Daddy's Girl is quite intense. I bought this book years ago, and at the time I believed I was simply picking up another Vale Allen book; I didn't realize this was her personal story in which she reveals the terrible offenses her father and her mother inflicted on her until I began reading it. I probably wouldn't have bought the book if I'd known the extent to which the subject matter was handled. However, I do think books like this one can be helpful to people who have suffered similar experiences in their lives. They also serve to educate people so we're more aware of what may be happening to our children. There was no element of connection on any scale I got from reading this story. The blurbs inside the book congratulate Vale Allen for having the courage to tell this story. I'd agree with that sentiment if any part of the book had been plausible.
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