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Publisher's Summary

"In the fairy tales about father-daughter incest - 'The Girl Without Hands', 'Thousand Furs', the original 'Cinderella', 'Donkey Skin', and the stories of Saint Dymphna, patron saint of incest survivors - the daughters are all as you would expect them to be: horrified by their father's sexual advances. They do everything in their power to escape. But I didn't. A child can't escape. And later, when I could, it was too late."

Throughout her childhood and adolescence, the anonymous author of The Incest Diary was raped by her father. Beneath a veneer of normal family life, she grew up in and around this all-encompassing secret. Her sexual relationship with her father lasted, off and on, into her 20s. It formed her world, and it formed her deepest fears and desires. Even after she broke away - even as she grew into an independent and adventurous young woman - she continued to seek out new versions of the violence, submission, and secrecy she had struggled to leave behind.

In this graphic and harrowing memoir, the author revisits her early traumas and their aftermath - not from a clinical distance but from deep within - to explore the ways in which her father's abuse shaped her and still does. As a matter of psychic survival, she became both a sexual object and a detached observer, a dutiful daughter and the protector of a dirty secret. And then, years later, she made herself write it down.

With lyric concision, in vignettes of almost unbearable intensity, this author tells a story that is shocking but that will ring true to many other survivors of abuse. It has never been faced so directly in an audiobook.

©2017 Anonymous (P)2017 Macmillan Audio

What listeners say about The Incest Diary

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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If I Can Bear Witness, I Must

There will be no trigger warning here, for a book called "The Incest Diary" hardly needs one. That said, I speak of this book from the perspective of one who can afford to bear witness to this woman's story. Not all of us will be able to, and that is as far as I probably need to go in the direction of a trigger warning.

When Kathryn Harrison's "The Kiss" came out, about the affair she began with her priest father when she was 20, there was much pearl-clutching over the state of the memoir: had we gone too far? (That book pales in comparison to this one, as far as transgression goes.) But Harrison and other memoirists of this skill level know there is no such thing as too far -- there is only how close you bring your reader to your experience, and how to create distance, and when exactly to do either.

I imagine a good number of people will detest this book, the relentless repetition of the violent acts performed on the author from the age of 3 on, how she coolly reports each atrocity using incendiary, revolting words. But they'd be missing the point, what is being asked of them: how else do you bring a stranger into an experience this vile, this unbearable? Or do they not deserve witnesses?

The language in this book holds your face to the horror show, will not let you look away -- and should we, if she could not?

And by holding us there, as witnesses to every shocking and unbearable thing, the book is an effective condemnation of the rapist, the pedophile. The neglectful parent. The neglectful teacher, neighbor, grandparent. It is a condemnation of victim-blaming, of complicity. It is not a happy story, not a story about overcoming, if that's what you require from memoir; but I'd argue that it is a triumph. Because she told her story at last, and masterfully, giving her control and ownership. Who am I to turn away?

27 people found this helpful

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Engrossing

Only those who experienced the trauma, can understand the conflict & the sense of uncontrollable urges. It may sound too general of a statement, but the book resonated with me in such deepens I couldn’t have expected.
Not for the faint of hearts.

7 people found this helpful

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I'll be listening to this one again

I truly enjoyed this story. a good insight into the dark erotic desire and passion between a father and his daughter.

4 people found this helpful

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A brutally honest tale

It was very honest very raw. Erotic in a way. Truly a confession. Also sheds light into males and females more primal natures. Recommend for the topic lovers AND people trying to better help/understand a loved one in similar mindset and/or situation. I hope the author nothing but happiness, no matter what that is.

4 people found this helpful

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Not for survivors!!!!! It is a depiction of deviant behavior.

This is child pornography at its core. Read the reviews. It triggers an adult to long for his 9 year old girl. This is not a book ANY survivor of incest or ANY abuse should listen to. This is a book for deviant people. CHILD PORNOGRAPHY! The title of the book and the intriguing “anonymous “ author pulls you in. DO NOT READ THIS! SURVIVORS I LISTENED TO BEGINNING OF BOOK, fast forward to middle and I have been physically ill all day. Please do not read this book.

2 people found this helpful

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Worst Book Ever

Triggering for incest survivors . Not at all what I thought it would be. Do not buy if you thought this would be a helpful insight for survivors

2 people found this helpful

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True or not?

Powerful story. More so, if true. Either way, incest happens more than discussed. Oh yeah.

7 people found this helpful

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might have been interesting...

If I wasn't driving I would have stopped listening after the first paragraph, the narration was so bad. I couldn't wait to get to the rest area! The tone of her voice wasn't so bad, but her reading was horrible! Like she was reading a list of sentences.

1 person found this helpful

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Perfectionately narrated

Powerful and didifficult at the same time. The narrator brought this book to life.

1 person found this helpful

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Random collection of memories

An extremely graphic depiction of abuse and one person's ambiguous feelings about it. It's some points I became skeptical as to whether the story was real or not.

The entire thing felt more like an outline of some SM story.

It makes me wonder whether or not it really happened. If it did I feel very sorry for her as a victum it profoundly damaged her. However she seems to have achieve some level of personal success in her education and work life because of the lifestyle she depicts had some points in it.

I wish I felt like the story had some point or conclusion but it just kind of starts wonders all over the map and then ends.

1 person found this helpful