Verdict: ABUSE AND BETRAYAL is a relatively straightforward recounting of an incredibly emotional and debilitating journey. This book allows the reader to understand what it is like to build, and lose, an entire family.
Writing under a pseudonym to protect both himself and his ex-wife and estranged daughters,ABUSE & BETRAYAL is one man’s story of how a 17-year marriage ended in an acrimonious divorce, costing him not only a stint in jail, but a considerable portion of his earnings. The book is written chronologically, beginning with Richard’s attraction to ‘Diane,’ a woman who is portrayed a controlling, sexually adventurous, and ultimately conniving person. As the book proceeds, Richard details a series of what he regards as ‘mistakes,’ including giving Diane 65% of the marital assets in their divorce, not bothering with an attorney when she slaps him with a restraining order, and repeatedly losing his temper with his children when asked for what he considers to be more than his fair share of the financial burden.
The book would work much better if, instead of relying heavily on foreshadowing, Joseph opened with this quote from the final chapter: “As much as I was a great father, and a good person, I suffered to a degree I thought was only reserved for the hardcore criminals of society. How could this have happened to me?” This is a far more intriguing premise, instead of the more emotionally-oriented chronology currently employed. While Joseph admits that the book is partly cathartic, the material he has in his possession could make for a far more engaging read if he shaped it and stopped trying to shield his ex-family from the full brunt of his feelings. He occasionally hints at his anger, but the reader is never able to experience it fully.
Because ABUSE & BETRAYAL centers on such an emotional topic, the more unfettered Joseph is in his feelings, the better the work will be. In its current form, the book is a competent if overly respectful litany of a man’s misadventures at the very wrong end of a twisted legal process.
ABUSE AND BETRAYAL is a relatively straightforward recounting of an incredibly emotional and debilitating journey. This book allows the reader to understand what it is like to build, and lose, an entire family.
Reviewed by Julia Lai for IndieReader.