Book Review : Memoir/Self-Help

Little Madhouse on the Prairie: A True-Life Story of Overcoming Abuse and Healing the Spirit

A chronicle of growing up as an abused child on a North Dakota farm in the 1950s, Marion Witte's story begins two generations earlier, when her immigrant grandparents struggled to eke out a living on the unforgiving Mid-western plains. With clear-eyed compassion, Witte chronicles lives of unimaginable difficulty. Too often, frustration and hopelessness erupted in alcoholism and violence.

Little Marion had an older brother and younger sister but she was the preferred target of her mother's wrath. The beatings, punishments and neglect were all but ignored by her family, leading her to believe she must certainly have earned her mother's fury in some unfathomable way. Only after making friends with a schoolmate who invited her into her own warm and supportive home does young Marion begin to sense that a different and better way of life existed outside the Witte family farm. Marion realizes that academic success is her ticket to freedom, so she works hard to put herself through college in three years and score one career achievement after another.

But not even career triumphs, a wonderful husband and a beloved child are enough to quell the internal demons that prevent her from living an authentic life. To heal herself, she embarks on a solo journey to discover her true identity.

Buy This Book

Angel Heart Publishing, Ventura, CA;; 226 page paperback; $19.95 (September 2010) ISBN-10: 0982225423