Posts Tagged domestic abuse

“Little Night” by Luanne Rice – Book Review

Image result for little night by luanne rice“Little Night” by New York Times Bestselling author, Luanne Rice is heart-wrenching family drama, centered around two sisters and the abusive man who wrecked havoc in their life.  Frederick finds a vulnerability in the older sister, Anne and almost within days of meeting her, proposes to marry her.  Almost immediately he begins to lay down the rules in their relationship, insisting that marriage is a special bond between two people.  To young Anne, this older and confident man’s proclamations felt like he was “offering me a new contract: I would be his, accept his pronouncements, and in return, never be alone, never be unloved”.  

Very early on into the relationship, Frederick saw the closeness between his wife Anne and her younger sister Clare, as a threat to his ability to control and claim Anne completely.  He began to drive a wedge and soon Clare was unwelcome in their home and unable to contact Clare.  It took Clare several years to understand that “Frederick had laid down the law, and, even more horrifying, Anne had signed on to obey it”.  But long before she gets that insight, Frederick nearly ruined Clare’s life when Clare showed up unexpectedly at their home, wanting to see her sister.

Image result for domestic abuseAfter that devastating episode, Frederick took Anne far away and more isolated and alone, Anne learned to walk on eggshells to please Frederick.  Any little thing by Anne or their two children, Grit and Gilly, could throw Frederick into his dark and menacing mood.  Initially, Clare nurtured a hope to get away from Frederick and promised her children freedom.  But gradually, it became a pipe dream with an understanding that communication only occurred only through “intimidation and fear”.  And yet, even Anne’s showing any fear threw Frederick into a rage; “you make me feel like an animal when you act like that”, he said, “as if you’re so afraid of me”.  

Image result for owlMeanwhile Clare had picked up pieces of her own life, marred by Frederick’s interference, and was living a quiet life an urban birder and nature blogger, learning to find both comfort and peace in her work and with her boyfriend, Paul.  The story takes an unexpected twist when Anne’s daughter, Grit shows up at Clare’s door, ready to move in with her.  She explains she is working on a project that has “everything to do with resurrection, restoration and resurgence”, as found in nature.  As they unravel tangled family ties buried in secrets, healing and freedom begin to appear, albeit at a price.


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Poem – Let me count the ways

(on domestic abuse – I served on the board and heard all sorts of stories of abuse)

First I will claim to love you
You are mine and I know what is good for you
I am not difficult to please
In fact, sometimes I am very easy to please
Sometimes I am difficult
Well, I am unpredictable
But you should understand me I have had difficult childhood
And you are difficult sometimes
Well often it is you, not me.
Sometimes I get upset, little too upset
When you nag and annoy me.
DON’T EVER run to your friends to show them the bruise
I forgive you.
I bring you flowers when you get upset.
I bring you flowers when I get upset.
That is what a relationship is
To forgive and stick together, no matter what.
I have told you that over and over
Marriage is sacred.
Nothing and no one should come between us.

Abuse: power & control behaviours

Abuse: power & control behaviours (Photo credit: moggs oceanlane)

You are leaving me? You are leaving me?
You DOLT, if only you knew what’s good for you.
You are messed up, incapable, ignorant, stupid
And now you will ruin the children
My precious little children
We are not done, because when you leave I will keep you entangled in legal nightmare
Let me see how you navigate the system
And if you don’t know what financial abuse means
Now you will learn all about it
First, I will file numerous motions I will claim everything to be mine
Then I will claim what is yours to be mine
I protected you and took care of you
You were safe with me
But your brain is messed up with Thoughts of independence and freedom
See how much freedom there is

In the world of technology I can monitor your every move
By hacking into your emails
By writing rubbish in your name I can use your information To slander, malign, and ruin you
You DOLT, you think you can ever leave me?

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