Sue William Silverman took me on her search for identity in her memoir, The Pat Boone Fan Club. With wry humor and brutal honesty, she drew me into her story and kept me suspended in a rapid-fire series of deep reflections into her inner turmoil as a young Jewish girl who struggles to find stability and meaning in her life.
In a soul-baring way, this memoir covers the terror of childhood molestation at the hands of her father, her struggles to find her identity as a young Jewish girl in a WASP school and neighborhood, her two marriages, her journey into sexual addiction in her adult years and her ultimate, hard-earned recovery.
"Swimming like a gefilte fish" is a metaphor for her need to feel normal and fit in with her Christian schoolmates. Her attachment to Pat Boone is a metaphor for the stable, loving father and life she craves. As a squeaky-clean Christian pop star, he is the antithesis of her sexually-abusive father and a symbol of hope for her as she seeks an escape from the pain of her abuse.
Her writing is fluid and engaging. She moves in and out of time frames flawlessly. Her free-flow thoughts through different points of view -as an adolescent, a sexual addict, an adult on the road to self-awareness and recovery-left me feeling deeply connected to her inner chaos and her eventual journey to self. As a reader, I was mesmerized by her ability to bring me deep into her experience and show me the power of resilience in healing from the terrors of abuse. She also helped me to connect with my own memories of a time when Pat Boone was a symbol of stability and strong family values.
Sue William Silverman delivers on her promise to share her life in vivid, gripping detail. Her memoir portrays the guts and glory of abuse recovery.