Book Reviews of The Kindness of Strangers

The Kindness of Strangers
The Kindness of Strangers
Author: Katrina Kittle
ISBN-13: 9780060564780
ISBN-10: 0060564784
Publication Date: 1/1/2007
Pages: 393
Rating:
  • Currently 4.1/5 Stars.
 303

4.1 stars, based on 303 ratings
Publisher: Harper Perennial
Book Type: Paperback
Reviews: Amazon | Write a Review

78 Book Reviews submitted by our Members...sorted by voted most helpful

reviewed The Kindness of Strangers on + 18 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 12
I absolutely loved this book. It an extremely well-written, tasteful novel about a very delicate subject. The abuse scenes can be disturbing, but isn't all abuse disturbing? A must-read for anyone.
reviewed The Kindness of Strangers on + 9 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 11
I really enjoyed this book. It was definitely a cliff hanger. I would not recommend it to anyone that cannot handle reading about child abuse. That part was very difficult for me, but well worth the read.
reviewed The Kindness of Strangers on + 18 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 9
Wow! I am surprised to say that I loved a book about childhood sexual abuse, but this book was wonderful! While a difficult subject, it is also a terribly important one too. This book takes a compassionate, thoughtful look into a terrible reality. Each chapter is told from a different characters point of view which helps show that abuse affects all those involved very differently. The characters are riveting and you can't help but be pulled in by their story.
reviewed The Kindness of Strangers on + 36 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 9
I really like this book a lot. What a horrific topic, but this story is not so much about the child abuse as how the family helped the boy and took him in their house where they could help him try to heal. I was actually crying at the end of the book, the author did an awesome job with her discriptions,etc. I really felt that I knew these characters and liked them. Worthwile and a quick read. It's worth it.
reviewed The Kindness of Strangers on + 186 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 7
I could not put this book down. As terrifying as the subject matter is, the story and characters are absolutely riveting.
reviewed The Kindness of Strangers on + 473 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 6
Excellent book about a parent's worst nightmare. A wakeup call for parents A must read
reviewed The Kindness of Strangers on + 21 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 5
This book was very well written and I enjoyed it,though reading it felt somewhat like watching a train wreck .It was on a horrible subject (child sexual abuse}and you did not really want to go there but yet you had to turn the page to find out what happens next.Very sobering book and if you have children makes you a little paranoid as to what people have contact with them.
reviewed The Kindness of Strangers on + 89 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 5
I give this book 4.5 stars - this one I had to drag around with me wherever I went because I was so anxious to read what about what would happen next. I couldn't wait for the story to unfold. Written in the Jodi Picoult style of each chapter coming from a different character's point of view -- it was excellent. Disturbing subject matter of child sexual abuse, but so heart-warming to see how the human spirit survives and rises to the challenge to save a child. Put it on your wish list now!
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Helpful Score: 5
One word - AWESOME. This book grabbed my attention at the very beginning and never let go! I started reading it after dinner one night and stayed up till I finished it. Even though everything is basically laid out for you in the beginning of the book (meaning you find out quickly who the "bad guys" are), it still held my attention and was very suspenseful. The book was very well written. I would definitely read something else by this author again.
reviewed The Kindness of Strangers on + 40 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 5
Very good read. Grabs you right from the beginning and keeps you guessing. The neighborhood secret is shocking and disturbing but this is a book I couldn't put down and read quickly. Definitely would recommend this book. Hard to review this book because can't give away the plot!
reviewed The Kindness of Strangers on + 76 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 4
Great book! Be warned though, it is about a very disturbing subject - sexual abuse of children. Not for the faint of heart.
reviewed The Kindness of Strangers on + 18 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
Phenomenal story about abuse and betrayal...heartbreaking.
reviewed The Kindness of Strangers on + 20 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
WARNING you will be moved by this book. Sensitive subject torn from the news.
This was another well written book by Kittle.
I would say Kittle is a prolific writer. Her genre is family lit. Her writing always moving.
Was this book weaker than Traveling Light or Two Truths and a Lie? NO! There is no compairing the authors books aside from they are all well written and researched.
Every page turned w/ease. This was a could not put down book. I did want to walk away and cry. If you didn't want to do this you better check your pulse.
reviewed The Kindness of Strangers on + 119 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
This is one of the best books I've read for a while. I didn't want to stop reading.
reviewed The Kindness of Strangers on + 3 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
I had a hard time reading parts of this book yet I couldn't seem to put it down. And I admit that it disturbed me and kept me up thinking a couple of nights.
reviewed The Kindness of Strangers on + 9 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
A great book. sad, but couldn't put it down.
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Helpful Score: 2
I started reading this book with really not a clue as to what it wa about. It was such a page turner! I read it in just a day and a half. Then I made the mistake of loaning it to someone, and Now!! It is back on my wish list for a copy to keep. It is one I will read again.

Though the child pornography is such a distasteful topic, it was written about in such an enlightening manner, that it makes one realize that some people survive and are able to cope.

My sister ( who borrowed the book ) runs a therapeutic foster care program, and she was amazed at how accurately these children were portrayed, that she past the book to her co workers....hence why my copy is gone!
reviewed The Kindness of Strangers on + 79 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
AMAZING!! This book sat on my TBR pile for quite awhile. Once I started reading it I couldn't stop, and I kicked myself for not picking it up sooner. Incredibly painful subject matter, as book deals with extreme case of child sexual abuse, and having said that, it sounds horrible to say that the book was amazing, but it really was. I cried my eyes out through most of this book, but I would highly recommend it to anyone who can handle its subject matter. ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS I'VE EVER READ.
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Helpful Score: 2
Though I enjoyed this book, it is a very detailed close look at sexual abuse. It was a page turner and I got through it quickly. It did make me start to question every person around me and who has ever been in contact with my children. Had I known the content I would probably have chosen to pass it over. Be prepared for the heartsickening reality of abuse when you pick this book up.
reviewed The Kindness of Strangers on
Helpful Score: 2
This is a fantastic book!! Since the story is about child abuse it is difficult to stomach but it's such a wonderful story that it's worth it. We read it for my online book club recently and I'm glad that we chose it.
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Helpful Score: 2
Very well written novel on the subject of child abuse and pornography, explicit but not so that you will find it in bad taste. When Sarah finds her best friends being arrested for acts she cannot fathom, and their son in the hospital, she must do what she can for the son. This is a heartbreaking novel, but also so interesting i couldn't put it down once i got started. Author is great and the novel will make you think about things you probably have just passed by before. Loved this book.
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Helpful Score: 2
Excellent book...gets a little depressing at times but definately worth reading!
reviewed The Kindness of Strangers on + 54 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
I highly recommend this book. The subject matter might be a bit hard but the outcome was worth it. I would definitely read more by this author.
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Helpful Score: 2
This book is so well written............
The story will make you think, care, and see a world that you could not imagine! It reaffirms my faith in human caring, however!
reviewed The Kindness of Strangers on + 86 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
I enjoyed it....read it pretty quickly.
reviewed The Kindness of Strangers on + 16 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
I read so many reviews of this that claimed it was the best book they've read this year. I think that's overstating things a bit, unless people are reading absolutely horrible literature! Honestly, it wasn't a bad book but certainly not the best I've read. It reminded me a lot of Jodi Picoult's books, to be honest. Horrible, depressing, unthinkable, awful situation involving a child, some big-hearted people stepping in to help, a delinquent becoming a mature adult... It was definitely readable (I finished it within 24 hours) and hard to put down, but I think calling it the best book of the year is overstating things.
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Helpful Score: 2
I read this book so quickly because I did not know what to expect next. There are many unnerving parts, but her writing compels you to finish.
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Helpful Score: 1
As difficult as it is to read about any form of abuse, especially when children are involved, this author took my breath away. This was an amazing story and so well written. I could not put this book down. I highly recommend it.
reviewed The Kindness of Strangers on + 20 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
n The Kindness of Strangers by Katrina Kittle, Sarah Laden is a widowed mother struggling to raise her two boys alone while desperately missing her departed husband. When her closest friend, Courtney, is shockingly arrested for child abuse, Sarah finds herself welcoming Courtney's son, Jordan, into her home. Sarah and her children face difficult challenges as they deal with Jordan's quiet and withdrawn behavior. They attempt to care for and love Jordan in the wake of his ordeal and, in the process, discover in themselves a surprising strength and a growing capacity for love. As they bring healing to him, the Ladens find that Jordan has, in fact, finally made them a complete family once again.

I struggle to write about this particular book because there just aren't words to adequately explain The Kindness of Strangers. Told primarily from the perspective of Sarah, Nate (her oldest son), and Jordan, Katrina Kittle does a superb job developing each character in a way that is sympathetically unique and completely believable. I was absolutely absorbed by this story, and it sincerely touched my heart but, at times, it was quite difficult to read about Jordan's abuse. (In that way this book was quite similar to Me & Emma by Elizabeth Flock.) I highly recommend this book.
reviewed The Kindness of Strangers on + 30 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
This one of the best books I have ever read! I absolutely loved it and hated to see it end.
reviewed The Kindness of Strangers on + 10 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I loved this book. Very easy to read. Pages turned very fast as you were drawn into the lives of the characters who were affected by the bad deeds of others. This book combines drama and mystery and shows the resilience of people when life throws you a curve ball.
reviewed The Kindness of Strangers on + 8 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
oh my goodness!! I had no idea what direction this book would take when I requested it. The topic was a tough one to read about - child sexual abuse by a parent. While I was repulsed by the truth in this book (author definitely did her research!) she did such a good job creating characters the reader would love, be confused by and hate, that I could not put it down!! Should be required reading for all parents and educators would learn from it as well. I hope to find more books to read by this author.
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Helpful Score: 1
I wasn't sure I wanted to read about child abuse and it was hard to read some parts but overall I wound up really liking the characters and the story. If the subject matter wasn't so heavy and at times disturbing, I would keep this book and read it again. I would definitely recommend this book.
reviewed The Kindness of Strangers on + 4 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Very, very good. Heartwrenching, but believeable. Really well written. I'm definitely going to check out Kittle's others.
reviewed The Kindness of Strangers on + 215 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I absolutely loved this book. It is without a doubt one of the most heartbreaking books I've ever read, but also the most heartwarming, in an alternating pattern that varies throughout the book. Dealing with the aftermath of horrible child abuse in a way that is honest and real, there is no sugarcoating of facts to be found here. Obviously, things aren't blatantly described, but the author has no problem discussing the issue. But, at the same time, this is not a story about child abuse, but rather a story about triumph, survival, and the love and support of a family.

Sarah Laden, a recent widow struggling to now raise two boys entirely on her own, has her world turned upside down when a shocking secret is discovered about her long-time friends, the Kendrick family. Faced with the possibility that she may not have really known them at all, and that the woman most responsible for her recovery after the death of her husband may have had a far darker motive for her actions than Sarah could have ever imagined, the already fragile balance that is her everyday existence now seems to be more difficult than ever before. And when the Laden family makes the decision to add another child to the family, the traumatized young Jordan Kendrick, things become even more complicated yet. What hope is there for this family to survive, and can they find the happiness together that seems to have been missing for far too long?

For anyone who has ever followed the news, you know that the most horrible crimes are often committed by the seemingly most unlikely people. Friends and neighbors are almost always heard to say after the truth is discovered that they "had no idea" and "it can't be true, they're such nice people". It was good to read a book that takes this real-life rule to heart. The 'bad guys' here aren't the creepy or strange people that everyone steers clear of. Rather, they're seemingly normal family people who volunteer at school events, participate in their community, and are seemingly good friends or acquaintances to many people, all of whom have no idea of the truth until the police get involved. This book will haunt you, educate you, and hopefully let you understand the deeper issues a bit better. Yes, there are times that you want to grab one of the characters and slap them out of their denial, until you think about how you would feel in their position. For better or worse, the emotions and reactions in this book are true to real life, as unfortunate as that can sometimes be.

Without any doubts, this book definitely warrants 5/5 stars. This is one for the keeper shelf.
reviewed The Kindness of Strangers on + 102 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Great, heartbreaking, difficult to read at times story. Well written from every angle!
reviewed The Kindness of Strangers on + 4 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
This book is an eye opener for anyone who has children. The topic was extremely disturbing, however, was also uplifting at the same time. It shows that something good can come out of something horrific. I read this book in less than two days, cried a couple of times but out of happiness / relief as well. I would recommend this book 100%!
reviewed The Kindness of Strangers on + 73 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I came real close to not reading this book, I was not sure about the sexual abuse of children, but after reading the reviews I could not help but start reading. Boy am I glad I did. It was a WOW book, the characters all fit together so well. The book is well written and the story just flowed and I could not wait to find out how it all ended.

Sad story with a great ending
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Helpful Score: 1
I have enjoyed all of the author's books, but this one is my favorite despite the horrific subject matter. Told in several voices, it is deeply moving and well written. It will have you crying, but you will be moved by the kindness of the human heart to offer hope and shelter to the broken. Very highly recommend.
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Helpful Score: 1
It is a testament to the talents of author Katrina Kittle that this book about child molestation/incest could be such a great read. The journey from betrayal to healing is raw, stunning, memorable and filled with characters to really care about. Love Nate!
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Helpful Score: 1
I just couldn't read this book. Nowhere does it say that this book is about sexual abuse of children, incest, and rape. It was just too graphic for me. Why read about something so horrible for pleasure?
reviewed The Kindness of Strangers on + 7 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Wow. The person who sent me this book included a note that the book was "intense". This is a perfect word for this book. It has stuck with me for weeks. While I wouldn't qualify this as an "easy" read, I did read it in about two days. I just couldn't put it down. It is a very sad story that ends as you'd hope it would. Must read.
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Helpful Score: 1
Picked this up on a whim when trying to find something to read. Have never read this author before. VERY hard to put down. VERY real. It really evokes some real feelings for the characters.
reviewed The Kindness of Strangers on + 10 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I will never forget this book. I selected it for my book club and I was loved and hated! There was not one person in the club that did not love this book. It was so heartwrenching and warm. Difficult subject matter for the reader, but difficult to put down also.
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Helpful Score: 1
To say this was the best book I ever read is probably a gross overstatement of the written word. The book was well written and it was a page turner but not one of my favorite reads. I deal with this subject matter on a daily basis at work and to sit down and read a book about it was disturbing. When I come home at the end of the day I want to forget about the problems I see at work, the hurt, the anger and the abuse.

The research that went into the characters development was extremely accurate but a little superficial. The reaction of the social worker and the psychologist left me a little deflated. I expected more emotional outburst from the main characters as they learned about the sexual abuse taking place next door. For that reason it fell a little flat for me. I suppose the theme that love and kindness will conquer all was wonderfully written and engaging. But, the reality of the situation is that when a child is this damaged, this abused, often love doesn't conquer all and all is not well with the world. You can't tie up the end of a story like that with a neat little bow where everyone lives happily ever after. Sexual abuse of a child is a disturbing and horrible thing that happens far to often in "nice, normal" neighborhoods with nice normal families. It is not a subject that should be brushed aside and perhaps that is what this book is really all about....the brushing aside of child in need until one day he throws himself into your path and forces you to deal with his ugly reality.
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Helpful Score: 1
This book was extremely intense and sometimes hard to read. It caused me to feel so much anger and sadness. While I'm not sure that most people would consider those enjoyable emotions I found myself very drawn into the characters lives and story.
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Helpful Score: 1
Truly a thought provoking and moving novel.
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Helpful Score: 1
Good but the subject matter was hard. Very engaging; I read it in one sitting. I liked the different points of view.
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Helpful Score: 1
A young widow raising two boys on her own is struggling to keep her family together. But when a shocking revelation rips apart the family of her closest freind, Sarag finds herself welcoming in another troubled boy into her life.
What a fantastic book, I could not function around my house until I finished this spine tingling, outstanding book. I cannot talk enough about how much I liked this one, now the subject matter is very troubling to some but its worth it for a page turner like this. Please read!
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Helpful Score: 1
As a mother, this was such a disturbing story to read but very good, as well.
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This book is about "a pornography ring of parents abusing and sharing their own children." Some chapters are difficult to read, but Ms Kittle gives us plenty of examples of "The Kindness of Strangers."
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I won't lie to you.... This isn't a fun "beach read." But it's definitely a "should read." Dealing with the very painful subject of child sexual abuse, it's a difficult book to pick up and a difficult one to put down. Beautifully written and compassionate, touched with enough moments of love and tenderness to balance the disturbing subject matter. It's a survivor story that's worth your time.
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This was a really good book. Somewhat disturbing, but a good read. I read it in 2 days.
reviewed The Kindness of Strangers on
This is the first book I read from this author, and I enjoyed her style of writing. The story catches your attention at the beginning and doesn't disappoint you throughout the entire book. I enjoy Jodi Picoult, and this was similar to her books. I would recommend this book if you want to start and finish it on a long weekend.
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Jordan Kendricks suffers unspeakable atrocities by those who should be keeping him safe. This is a difficult book to read because it is reality for many children. As an advocate for foster children in the juvenile court system, I know that the statistics cited are all too true and that each of us has a responsibility to protect any child whom we suspect is a victim of any form of abuse. There are many truths in this book and the bad news is that there are monsters among us. The worst news is that they look just like us. I applaud Katrina Kittle for bringing this difficult subject to light, and I hope it will have a lasting impact on our awareness.
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Sad story, but very well written. I couldn't put the book down. I definitely recommend it.
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I started this book on Monday evening and finished it Tuesday night - i work 10 hours a day and I chose this book over sleeping because I COULDN'T STOP reading it. Very well written, phenomenal, gripping story. Really difficult subject matter,but I cried tears of anger and of hope - think I even laughed out loud once or twice.
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I LOVED this book. It's one that you really just don't want to put down. I loved the character development, the family dynamic, and the overcoming of obstacles... Allow me to repeat: LOVED. IT.
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Amazing story. When I realized the story was one of sexual abuse, I wanted to shy away. However I kept reading because the characters were all so real to me. I could hear my voice saying so many of the same things that Sarah said and saw her actions reflected in my actions with my kids. I felt a part of this book. I just wanted to protect Jordon.
This was a journey of emotions. The subject matter is harsh but I could not turn away. Loved this book.
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Disturbing subject matter, but this family feels "real" to me, pretty much how I would see my own family dealing with this topic. (God forbid). Good read.
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DIfficult subject matter, but hard to put down. Good read.
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Although the subject matter of the book is quite disturbing, I found myself riveted by the story and did not want to put it down. I would highly recommend this book.
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i am so glad i read this book despite the challenging subject matter. it drew me right in despite slightly simplistic writing style. ironically, i finished the book feeling better about humanity.
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Very well written page turner!
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Very intense and at times, emotionally draining. Beautiful story of what trust and family mean. Highly recommended!
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Even though the subject matter was hard to read, it was well worth it. The message is one of hope, love, and survival.
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I really enjoyed this book. I could not put it down once I started reading it. I read two books a week and this is a new favorite.
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Warning - don't start this unless you have the time to read the whole thing in as few sittings as possible. It is nearly impossible to put down. A heart-wrenching account of child abuse skillfully portrayed, this book grabs your heart and mind and won't let go. Ms. Kittle develops characters that feel completely real; she allows the reader to enter the mind of the primary players to gain an understanding of their feelings, conflicts, fears, and doubts. I strongly recommend this book to anyone who has ever been touched by child abuse or who wishes to better understand the devastating psychological impact.

Five out of five stars for this wonderful book.
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The book tackles a difficult subject, but is very well-written and authentic. I wouldn't recommend the book for anyone under 17 years old, but otherwise it's quite well done.
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Katrina Kittle fastly became one of my favorite authors because of this book. She takes some of the most awful circumstances and makes them into a loving story.
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An amazing read that keeps your turning the pages. A subject we should all probably know more about and understand more about. Very well written.
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Ick! Didn't enjoy reading about children being sexually abused.
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The plot seemed interesting, but for some reason I just couldn't get into this book. I stopped reading it halfway through. I felt that the book was slow and dragged along at times.
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Great read!
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difficult subject but a good read.
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A very well written story of child abuse and the kindness of strangers.
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Great Book!
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Different, but good.