The Fifth Sister Book Review

The Fifth Sister

Title: The Fifth Sister

Author: Laura Landgraf

Genre: Non Fiction

Publisher: Laura Landgraf

Pages: 342

Release Date: April 11, 2016

Buy Links: Amazon / Barnes & Noble


Laura was ten, crouched outside her parents’ bedroom, when she overheard that her father had made her oldest sister pregnant. For the next eight years, she and her four sisters struggled to survive the nightmare of sexual and emotional abuse.

As an adult, she buried memories of her family’s dysfunction and tried to build the most perfect life she could imagine. But when she discovered that her father was still an incestuous abuser, she knew she had to face her past to protect her children. Going undercover, she was able to prove a twenty-year history of molestation, which her mother aided and abetted. With that evidence and the help of the Adam Walsh Center, she was able, at last, to legally protect her children.

From Oregon to the wild beauty of Africa’s interior and back, Laura renders life as they lived it–the isolation, the fear, the losses, the manipulation and control, the tentative and fragile bonds of sisterhood–with humor and a growing sense of self.

The Fifth Sister explores incest’s devastating effects on two continents, over three decades. In this compelling, intimate, and artfully told story, readers will experience the crushing impact of psychological, physical, sexual, and spiritual abuse, the burning desire to transcend the family script, and the gritty determination to succeed. Readers who have experienced incest will find their anguish validated by this book. Those who have not faced this trauma will gain deep understanding of dysfunctional families that have many secrets. But above all, The Fifth Sisteris a story of hope.

My Thoughts:

The Fifth Sister is a book about child abuse on every level you can think of. Laura is the biological child of her parents. She has 3 adoptive sisters and the youngest is also a biological daughter. The fact that Laura and her sister are biological children unfortunately did not spare them from the abuse.

As a mother I can’t even wrap my head about blaming the victim and covering up for the husband for so many years. The mother has covered up so many of the husband’s actions that she has become cold, distant, and emotionally abusive to her children as well.

I couldn’t put this book down. Laura is so strong and independant. She is the only one of the girls that grew up to do something positive with her life and not use her childhood as an excuse. She broke the cycle when it started to effect her own children.
The abuse was discussed but it did not go into graphic detail. I recommend this book to anyone. Especially someone that also grew up with such abuse.

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