Featured Reviews

Featured Reviews

 Janalyn P, Reviewer

“Victims make the best bird houses, “we need Larry Franklin a family man with a long marriage and two daughters who he loves. He barely remembered his own father due to him and his older brother been killed in a car accident when he was seven. So at 50 when his mom makes the offhanded comment that his father didn’t love him and his brother used to beat him and bother him at night Larry’s whole life image was shook and it would take him on a 23 year voyage of discovery. I couldn’t imagine being Mr. Franklin his mom seemed cold and I’m feeling it clearly his dad and brother were disturbed, but that didn’t stop him from being a great father and the best husband he could despite it this is a really interesting if not disturbing story about child abuse and healing. Kudos to Lowry Franklin for continuing to try and coming to a place of peace. I highly recommend this book if you have gone through the same or something similar or just want to be inspired you should really read this book. Although it has some triggers it is worth getting to the end. I received the spot from NetGalleyShelf in the author but I am leaving this review voluntarily please forgive any mistakes as I am blind and dictate my review but all opinions are definitely my own.

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 Madie L, Reviewer

Larry Franklin is helping his mother after her eye surgery when she lets some secrets spill… Larry’s dad didn’t care about him one bit or love him and Larry’s older brother, Keith, used to beat him.
What Larry couldn’t remember about his childhood suddenly comes rushing back and with the help of a therapist and his wife, he is able to tackle those horrible memories and learn about who he used to be and what he repressed.

First off, I am applauding Mr. Franklin for stepping up and telling his story. Stories like these are what can help give men their voices to feel that it’s okay to speak out about sexual abuse and rape. Secondly, Mr. Franklin is a strong man to be able to write about his time looking into his repressed memories and telling what he found. This book is not easy to read, not because of the writing but because of what he talks about. He’s detailed and the reader will feel his pain and his hurt in learning what happened to him.

Thank you NetGalley for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.

“This book is gripping, inspiring, and details the complexity of abuse, trauma, and recovery.”

Review by Rebecca

I highly recommend this book. It is a raw, open, transparent memoir detailing Mr. Franklin’s journey of discovery, despair, recovery and reconciliation with who he is and the trauma he endured as a child. I thing what’s truly fascinating is his resiliency and perseverance to find good in his own (adult) life. While reaching for confirmation from a parent who should and could have, yet didn’t, he dug in and dug deep. I think it’s fascinating when a person like Larry breaks the cycle of abuse, loves without condition, and changes the narrative.

Emotion-Packed Story

Thanks to the readers who post reviews of my memoir, “Victims Make the Best Birdhouses.” Many reviews were posted on the amazon website, while others were located in various posting sites. Readers base their purchasing decisions on reviews. They tell the author whether the book is reaching the intended audience, and whether the quality of the book justifies the cost. I appreciate your reviews.

The name on this reviewer is listed as Gardener.

I am so impressed with the openness and honesty of Larry Franklin and his healing. It is not easy to confront sexual abuse from childhood, but he has done an excellent job of recovery from horrific abuse. He helps us get in touch with our inner child and begin healing. Sharing his experiences and feelings helps him and readers alike. Talking about the abuse is a major healing step. The fact that the author wrote the book as a novel makes it easier for people to relate to. His style of writing is very easy to read and understand. Sometimes it helps to distance oneself from the trauma of abuse. Thank you for sharing your recovery and helping us in our own recovery. This is an excellent book and I recommend it to everyone, as about 1 in 4 children are sexually abused in America. There are 12 Step programs for people who have been abused in childhood. Breaking the conspiracy of silence can create backlash, but believe me, it is worth it!

Review — Online Book Club

by Orizon

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of “Victims Make the Best Birdhouses” by Larry L Franklin.]

Book Cover

Victims Make the Best Birdhouses by Larry L. Franklin is a gripping memoir that spins the detailed life story of the author. In a fluke conversation with his mother, Larry discovers he was a victim of physical and sexual abuse as a young child. This discovery typhoons the life he has come to know as he begins to dig up his repressed memories to make peace with the truth.

It was late 1992 when Larry drove to southern Illinois and learned a piece of information that would topple his world in a few days. His mother has opened a can of worms about the physical and sexual abuse meted on him by his older brother, Keith, and the lack of love from his father. Larry goes back deeply perturbed and emotionally drained, and soon the memories come calling. With the support of Olivia Jennings, his psychotherapist, and his wife Paula, Larry digs up the fragments of his past. He uncovers the unspeakable and unbelievable that his family had committed. After years of therapy and a close shave with prostate cancer, did Larry makes peace with his inner child and bloom with love and healing?

Victims Make the Best Birdhouses is a glimpse of the sordid abuse young children and adults go through that leaves them broken and quite erratic without reason. This book is very candid and leaves no stone unturned. The author bared out his experiences, thoughts, and emotions with candor. I can’t imagine how tough it was for him to get this story out and relive those memories.

I couldn’t hold the occasional gasp I let out while reading this book. The author didn’t just gloss over events; he went to their roots and bared them out. I loved how he connected some behaviors he exhibited at his adult age with the specific cause of the problem. It portrayed how important it is not to overlook any unusual characteristic displayed, as there is most likely a root cause. I was overcome with grief at Larry’s reality, and it’s a call to victims of mental, physical, and sexual abuse to seek help as best as possible.

I appreciated the author’s raw honesty about his emotions and complicated relationship with his mother. There are several things to understand and learn in this book. It is also professionally edited with only a minor error. Therefore, I rate Victims Make the Best Birdhouses 4 out of 4 stars.

I recommend this book to readers who want to understand abuse and its psychological effects. Also, there is hope and healing for victims of abuse who think they may be alone in their struggle. Please learn from the experience of the author.

Kirkus Review



Franklin recounts his childhood abuse and his path to recovery.

Franklin, whose last book was The Black River (2020), repressed memories of his difficult youth until his mother revealed that his father never loved him. For most of his young life, Franklin says he was physically and emotionally abused; as an adult, he blocked those memories. After his mother’s admission, however, the scenes flooded back into his mind: “For the moment, I was unable to speak. My mother had rolled an emotional grenade that spun on the gray carpet stretched out across the living room floor and came to a stop at my feet. Mentally, I threw my body on top of the grenade, hoping to stop the pain that twisted and churned in my body.” Franklin’s childhood was so traumatic, it took years of therapy for him to find clarity. His recounting of his journey to mental wellbeing, and the case he builds for the efficacy of therapy, is well and candidly told. Many memoirs graphically portray trauma; but here, Franklin uses a lighter touch, alluding to rather than dwelling on the violence. Instead, he offers the emotions he felt while on his journey to healing. While Franklin’s encyclopedic, straightforward memoir moves slowly at times, the details may resonate with readers (“Even in my adult years, when I was in my thirties, I attempted to measure my level of grief. If someone I loved died, would I cry? How much sadness would I feel? Would it weigh me down? I wanted to know, so one night, I imagined that my two daughters had died”). Overall, Franklin offers an honest, diaristic report that has the potential to help those who’ve weathered similar experiences.

A frank and cathartic account—and a testimony to the benefits of psychotherapy.

Love, Dry Creek and a dog named Max

In May of 2022, my memoir — Victims Make the Best Birdhouseswas published. Hidden inside my memoir was a twelve-page “mini story” of who I’ve become. While consumed by my twenty-year journey, my “mini” story, “Love, Dry Creek & a Dog Named Max” surfaced. It felt right to include the short story under a separate cover and dedicate it to my granddaughters. Parts of “Love, Dry Creek & a Dog Named Max” are included in my memoir. The message, in its entirety, are revealed in authorllfranklin.com included under about the author.

   At times, the temptation to veer from this path will be strong, and some friends may pull away. The currents of instant gratification are powerful. Although they’re nice — the expensive house, flashy cars, designer clothes, and other such yearnings — they don’t match the love found in your flower garden, dog, or best friend. Shun the ways of the noisy parrots who seemingly know what’s best. Listen to your heart and continually question yourself. When you’ve found all the answers, you’ve lost your way.

When an abused child sees an animal die, the child feels the lost.

For many abused children, the most nurturing, predictable, and unconditional experiences come from animals — dogs or cats. Children with abusive and unpredictable adults caring for then, put their hopes and dreams in relationships with nonhumans. So when they see an animal die, they actually feel the loss. But when a human dies — they may not.
Dr. Bruce D. Perry, American psychiatrist

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