Book Reviews IV

Lara Mazzone
5.0 out of 5 stars 
I couldn’t stop reading
A truly moving memoir about repressed memories and PTSD from sexual and emotional abuse. I finished the entire book in one day!

5.0 out of 5 stars 
A powerful story based on a traumatic childhoodI wasn’t sure what to expect when I began this book, but it became one that I could not put down. The courage and fortitude to write about one’s story of abuse is sure to inspire other survivors to work towards finding their own peace, healing, and happiness.

robert l somers
5.0 out of 5 stars 
gorgeously descriptive and honest

Larry Franklin wrote the bravest, most candid story about abuse I have ever heard or read. I was privileged to witness many accounts during my five years as a therapist at the Monterey Country Rape Crisis Center and this book stands out. Larry’s gorgeous writing pulled me in immediately, I plowed through the book in one sitting. At first, I wanted to find out what happened but then fell in love with Larry’s gift of language in his descriptive chronicle. I could see the visuals he described, hear the dialogue spoken. I loved the healing journey with his therapist, wife, mother, and younger self. It brought me to tears with admiration for his dedication. Larry continued his work through mental health and physical challenges that would have leveled most humans. In the world of trauma and grace, this book is an epic inspiration. Amy Somers, LPCC, MFA

Loukas S.
4.8 out of 5 stars 

It’s a personal memoir of abuse survival, written in a very novelistic way. Recovered memories are a controversial subject and telling the story in this fashion puts one at a certain remove from the real world. This book has harrowing moments and might be, for some, a good road map for recovering from such trauma.

5.0 out of 5 stars 
A valuable testimony from a survivor of sexual abuse.

This book reminded me that, despite appearances, we never know what burden each person is carrying. In compelling prose, Larry L. Franklin opens up about his repressed memories of childhood abuse, and his life-long struggle to overcome the hurt and find happiness with his family. This book is a valuable testimony that will be helpful to people seeking an answer through psychotherapy and truthfulness with oneself. Highly recommended.

Abbey K Bowen
5.0 out of 5 stars 
An inspiring story of triumph in the darkest of places.

Like many other reviewers said, I couldn’t put this book down, and I read it in one day.

Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars

I just finished this book in 2 sittings and I’m still sobbing. What the Author went through as a child and the emotional toll it has taken on him as an adult to overcome is truly amazing. I’ve lived in the same neighborhood as Larry and his wife, Paula, for about 15 years and they are such an engaging and loving couple. I especially enjoyed hearing how they met and their journey through this difficult discovery. We just never know what other people overcome and survive. This book will be an inspiration to others that have suffered through abuse. A must read to help understand the difficulties from abuse and the mental illness it causes.

Alex Wright
5 out of 5 stars
An epic tale


Free To Fly….
4 out of 5 stars

Like Stephen Mills’ recent memoir, “Chosen: A Memoir of Stolen Boyhood,” Larry Franklin exposes his abusive childhood. The story leaves no doubt how psychologically lingering sexual abuse to a boy can be. In Mr. Franklin’s case, there was also the damaging, disturbing effects of incest. Fortunately for the author, he did have thoughts of suicide his whole life. He went on to have successful careers, as well as a good marriage and family life. Yet his buried memories were always there, finally surfacing, demanding to no longer be ignored.

A story like this one will hopefully help other sexually abused males speak out. Even more so than females, they so often deeply bury the memories of what happened to them as children. Doing so can not only cause emotional stress throughout their lifetime, but also extremely, self-destructive behavior. When they self-destruct, no justice is done, and their abusers get away with their abuse. Some abuser sympathizers will then say we need to remember that man abusers, such as the author’s brother, were abused themselves as children. True, but having terrible things happen to you as a child does not give you a right to do the same terrible things to others, not as a child and not as an adult.

Your abused status turns into abuser status when you go on to harm others. We all make decisions every day, starting at a very young age, about how we react to the good and bad things that happen to us. We all have free will. Larry Franklin did not turn into an abuser. Instead, he went forward in life lugging some very heavy baggage. Using therapy, meditation, dream work and this memoir, he is freeing himself of that baggage, which will hopefully encourage others to do the same, in any constructive way they choose to free themselves. The need to speak out, write, do whatever it takes to keep their childhood sexual abuse and memories from burying them alive or burying them into the ground.

5 out of 5 stars
Amazing Writer

I saw this book advertised and the snippet that I read peaked my interest. When I got the book, I couldn’t put it down. Larry is an amazing writer who tells of unspeakable abuse that he endured as a child. Although my heart was breaking for him thinking about the hell he had to endure, it made me realize what an amazing story of recovery! He was able to overcome and now lives a beautiful life.

5 out of 5 stars
Riveting memoir

This memoir if very, very well written. Larry Franklin’s journey to healing is an extremely impressive one. Once I began reading it, I could not put it down until I was finished. Larry is one of the strongest people I have ever known. Despite all of the abuse he experienced as a child, he has been very successful in his educational endeavors, his work life, volunteer work, and has a beautiful and loving family. It is an honor and a pleasure to be a friend.

5 out of 5 Stars
Very Captivating Book

Predators do rob birdhouses. And in this book, Victims Make the Best Birdhouses, Larry shares how his soul, from a mere child to late in life, was continuously under brutal attack. The nightmares and feeling he experienced for so many years are heartbreaking. But with faith and help from good family and friends, he did not let those predators steal his Soul. A very good read. Thank you for sharing.

Beverly Warshawski
4 out of 5 Stars
Bravery and honesty

Larry L. Franklin has written a gut-wrenching book of his sexual, physical and emotional abuse at the hands of his family. Through explicit scenes of remembrance within the therapeutic setting, Mr. Franklin struggled to liberate himself from the past. This book is a brave exercise demonstrating personal resiliency.

5 out of 5 Stars
Reaching Forgiveness and Peace

“Victims make the best birdhouses” is a moving memoir about the heavy baggage the abused people carry, even if the memories are repressed. Bringing memories in the open, including writing this book, helped the author improve his mental health. It was a difficult book to read at times, but reaching forgiveness and peace at the end felt good. Bravo!

Published by llfranklin12

Larry L Franklin holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in music from the University of Illinois and Southern Illinois University. He performed in the U.S. Navy Band located in Washington, D.C. from 1967 to 1971. From 1972 to 1975, he taught music at Southern Illinois University. In 1976, he completed requirements for a certified financial planner designation and maintained a successful investment business until 2007 when he retired to devote his energies to writing. In 2003, he received an MFA in Creative Non-Fiction from Goucher College in Baltimore, Maryland. Franklin is the author of “Mnemosyne: A Love Affair with Memory,” published by Xlibris; “The Rita Nitz Story: A Life without Parole,” published by Southern Illinois University Press; “Cherry Blossoms & Barron Plains: A woman’s journey from mental illness to a prison cell,” published by Chipmunka Publishing Company; and “Supermax Prison: Controlling the most dangerous criminals,” published by History Publishing Company. He currently resides in southern Illinois with his wife, Paula.

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