If you knew Kathy Picard in high school or junior high, you probably wouldn’t have guessed what was going on in her home. Her report cards speak of a pleasant, hard working girl. She doesn’t get in trouble, and even finds a way to finance her own Catholic High School education. That’s how driven she is. But she had a secret. Her step father was molesting her on a regular basis. For this attention and praise starved girl, ‘telling’ was only a way to break up the family. The few people she did try to tell brushed her off immediately. So she kept quiet.
Until she became an adult. Now, telling has become her mission and her life’s work. By the time she came forward, the statutes of limitation in Massachusetts had run, and her stepfather couldn’t be prosecuted civilly or criminally. Rather than give up, Kathy worked tirelessly on the effort to expand the statutes of limitation. This was aided by the concurrent scandal in the Catholic Church in which many molestations were covered up.
After the legislative victory, Kathy filed suit. She found herself battling not just her stepfather, but her whole extended family, which did not want family secrets to be aired.
This award winning memoir is a compelling story and the pages fly by. Although your heart breaks for Kathy as she details the cruelties visited upon her by her mother and sisters, her unflaggingly positive spirit and willingness to make something productive out of this horrible situation is inspiring.
I had the pleasure of meeting Kathy at the Readers’ Favorite award ceremony in Miami. She is, at first glance, like most ‘normal’ people. She’s friendly and quick to smile, and aggressively kind and sincere. The fact that she’s overcome so much in her background makes her all the more inspirational. She forwarded me copies of newspaper articles that back up her story. This story is raw truth.
In an unfortunate time in which sexual scandals hit the news with disturbing regularity, and a time in which it is regularly asked, “Why didn’t she come forth earlier? Why didn’t she say anything before now?” this book provides much needed explanation. It is told from the point of view of an intelligent, insightful victim. Why didn’t she tell? Read the book and find out. Then seek out Kathy Picard and give her a hug.
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