Book to be released late April 2022 at retail stores. Advanced copies online through WiDo Publishing Company.
“I should have known, on that sultry summer day in 1950, when my five-year-old naked body was laid out over a bale of hay, that this was not normal. I should have known… Thus opens Larry Franklin’s memoir, recently acquired by E. L. Marker, and thus begins a decades long journey of sifting through the known and the unknown to find the truth and the lies of his past.
Franklin’s physical and sexual abuse began at a young age and continued into his teenage years. What is harder to know, is the beginnings of his repression of those memories. It wasn’t until a chance conversation with his mother, just before his fiftieth birthday, that he learned his father never loved him, not even a little, and his brother physically abused him. Following this conversation, Franklin is plagued by nightmares, disturbingly specific in content and which leave him “hugging my bathroom stool and vomiting through the night.” These nightmares lead Franklin along a journey to unlock a past his mind has protected him from for almost half a century.
In his memoir, Franklin speaks candidly of the challenges and dangers of memory, especially repressed memories. “Who would believe such a tale,” he asks readers, “and more importantly, how can I separate fact from fiction?” These questions of belief, of fact, and of fiction, form the thematic fabric of Franklin’s book. As a result, his story is not just about a journey from victim to survivor but the nature of memory and truth.
In a better world, Franklin would have known that those trips to the barn were not normal. What his mind knew then, even if he didn’t, is that those trips must be hidden behind psychic doors piece by piece, if he were to survive. Thankfully, when those doors opened, Franklin was not only willing to face what he discovered but to share it.