"A harrowing read, and it should be . . . enlightening . . . A disturbing and illuminating tale."
The 1960s have come to a close--it's 1972, and America is changing. So is Deidi's world; she's seven, and her family is moving. As she packs her room and unearths precious objects from her past, her thoughts begin to stray to the years before--to her first memories in 1968, and all that followed.
From these reveries unfolds a story of terrible abuse and incredible survival. We see Deidi grow from a three-year-old whose understanding of the world is just beginning to form to a child whose courage, compassion, and sense of wonder persist despite every obstacle. Through her vivid recollections, the stark landscape of rural America, the political and social turmoil of the era, and the brutal power dynamics of adults come into sharp focus. Deidi's story reveals the darkness roiling beneath the surface of American life and the way children are forced to confront it themselves, weaponless and alone. For Deidi, whose family continues to fall into deeper and darker cycles of sexual abuse and violence, survival is a matter of clinging desperately to the light in the world around her--no matter how dim it grows.
By turns heartbreaking and stunningly beautiful, Little Girl Leaving is a reminder of the incredible power and fragility of a child's spirit, and a call to action to protect it at all costs.
"Insightful, poignant, and riveting. I believe that everyone living with or around children should read this book."
--Judith Landau, MD, former president, International Family Therapy Association; senior Fulbright scholar; consultant to the UN and World Health Organization
"An enthralling read, a brilliant read. You will never forget it."
--Mary Dispenza, author of Split: A Child, a Priest, and the Catholic Church
"Little Girl Leaving, Lisa Blume's debut novel, is sadly tragic but deeply moving and evocative."
--Gabrielle Glaser, New York Times bestselling author, Her Best-Kept Secret
"A sensory barrage. A convincing and disturbing narrative. Most wonderful is how variously the child's goodness of spirit tries to maintain itself. This is a page-turner."
--Sharon Solwitz, author, creative writing professor, Purdue University; winner, Carl Sandburg Prize, Doheny Award, The Center for Fiction
"A must-read. A compelling story of a wise girl who tries to do good, no matter how painful and frightening life becomes, with the beauty of her essence always somehow enduring."
--Rocío Chang-Angulo, PsyD, co-director, Center for Trauma Recovery and Juvenile Justice; steering committee, National Child Traumatic Stress Network
"Awake and alive to the unending beauty of the world juxtaposed with its secret horrors--an extraordinarily powerful punch to the heart."
--Katherine Ketcham, author, The Only Life I Could Save, A Memoir and Broken: My Story of Addiction and Redemption, with William Cope Moyers
"As innovative as it is disturbing. The narrative captures elements of child abuse which, all too often, are lost or not understood by justice systems. A skillful portrayal."
--Raymond McMenamin, Shrieval Convener, Mental Health Tribunal for Scotland; former spokesperson, Law Society of Scotland's vulnerable witness legislation
"How does one turn the unfathomable into the believable without sounding vengeful or outrageous--in a voice, even, of great tenderness? This novel has done just that."
--Sally Anderson, editor-in-chief, Strategic News Service, FiReBooks, and FiReFilms
"Groundbreaking. Nails it. A stunningly poignant first-person account."
--Kristi Schiroo, chaplain, Ridgeview Medical; founding member, Crow River Critical Incident Stress Management
"Left me literally speechless. A critical opportunity for understanding this childhood epidemic."
--Ann Delgado, therapist, Community Psychiatric Clinic; former sex offender treatment specialist
"This book will grab you and take you into a world that you may know nothing about, and inspire those who need it to get help."
--Johnna Lehr, psychotherapist, MSW, LICSW; Division of Licensing Resources investigator, abuse and neglect in Washington State
"I could not put this book down."
--Joyce Sundin, board member and former ethics chair, Network of Independent Interventionists
"Gut-wrenching, heartbreaking, warm, humorous, and a book that will make your blood boil."
--Bente Stangeland Mullally, double gold medalist, US Figure Skating Association
"Important. Inspiring. Will touch hearts and minds."
--Glenice J. Whitting, PhD; author; shortlist, Victorian Premiers Literary Awards
"Remarkable and profoundly moving. Truly extraordinary."
--Laurie Moore, MD, American Board of Neurology and Psychiatry; fellow of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists