Let’s begin by making clear a disclaimer:  this is not an easy book, by any means.  Deanna M. Lehman’s Kinderwhore is one of the most harrowing things I’ve ever read, filled with a litany of real-life horrors that it makes your toes curl. It’s also one of the best, most powerful things I’ve read in many years – and the staggered facts are that this is from a first-time author and it is her own story.

I couldn’t put it down from the moment I began and finished it within 2 1/2 hours because I sat there, completely drawn in and wanting to know what happened next, always hoping for a better turn in the following chapter.  Although this is an autobiography, it’s also a highly graphic and visual series of snapshots and Ms. Lehman’s skill in melding the two is one of her underlying talents. While, if I’m being honest, I wish she didn’t have to write it, Kinderwhore is an emotionally gripping piece of work; riveting and yet, done without the slightest trace of victimization (considering the horrific nature of her experiences).  The events of her life are reported beautifully and eloquently in a matter-of-fact manner and it is to her credit that she is able to frame her story in such a way that it makes it have more impact; more punch.  I want it to be very clear:  this is a graphic tale of child abuse – physical, psychological and sexual; it shows a deeply flawed (so-called) child protection system and brings up intense emotions while reading – it’s impossible.

Ms. Lehman tells her story from birth to age 16; this is the first of a series and already we know she is a survivor.  If the next segment is anything like this one, I’m not sure how I will feel afterwards, as I’m guessing it will twist my emotions again.  That’s either a curse or a gift, but Deanna Lehman certainly knows the power of her words and Kinderwhore is a stunner of a debut.





About the Author

Rob Ross

Rob Ross has been, for good, bad or indifferent, involved in the music industry for over 30 years - first as guitarist/singer/songwriter with The Punch Line, then as freelance journalist, producer and manager to working for independent and major record labels. He resides in Staten Island, New York with his wife and cats; he works out a lot, reads voraciously, loves Big Star and his orange Gretsch. Doesn't that make him neat?

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