BOOK REVIEW: Deanna M. Lehman, “Pandora’s Box”

When I first read Deanna Lehman’s Kinderwhore a few years ago, I was both horrified and unable to put it down; I finished it in an afternoon.  It was/is a harrowing story – her own; a life filled with unspeakable horrors, in terms of child abuse, neglect and trauma – yet, she managed to survive it and present her recollections.

Now she’s written the second volume of her journey, Pandora’s Box and it’s no less heartbreaking and no less riveting.  While the brutality of her life has remained dark and painful, her teen years into her early twenties show a determination, a zest to fight and live and (not surprisingly) a sense of humor about it.  As she did so deftly in the first book, once again, she manages to avoid becoming a “tragic figure” – her matter-of-factness is as refreshing as it was in Kinderwhore; you also get a glimpse of her wry wit as well.

No one should have to endure what she has, but Deanna Lehman’s ability to stop, step back and look at her own life as a spectator and not the central figure of the action, makes her an even more compelling storyteller.  Kudos to Ms. Lehman for knowing how to deliver her second volume, again, without victimization.

Pandora’s Box is currently available