RE: Lessons from a Dead Girl
The secret to LfaDG compelling nature is the utter silence surrounding child on child abuse. Knowles has taken it upon herself to to explore this silence.
I think in a way we train ourselves to look away from certain depravities. Our lives perhaps cannot take looking too closely at such pain. We like to live in a state of denial. Out of sight out of mind. Knowles book is a little like a car accident metaphor: horrible and disfiguring but you can’t look away.
What impressed me most was the nuance to each character, none were never truly black or white in a subject that you imagine can only be black or white, good or bad.
Abuser, bad. Victim, good. Surely?
Knowles doesn’t allow you to rest on preconceived laurels. The victims and abusers are the same people. Devastation and hope part of the same sad cycle.
I admire Knowles for her work. She looks at little hidden, kept in shadows and secrets, parts of our teenage culture and makes sure to shine a beacon of light. I cannot offer high enough praise for an author who writes with such hurtful beauty and fearlessness.
A powerful book that, in the right hands, could open up their lives and stop their own sad cycle.