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Tuesday, January 17, 2012

A heartfelt, compassionate memoir by a champion overcomer




From age five until age eleven, when she beat up her mother and ran away and lived on the streets of Sydney, Australia for five years, Stacy Danson endured the most grotesque kind of child abuse at the hands of her mother there is. That story was told in her remarkable book Empty Chairs. Faint Echoes of Laughter tells the rest of the story. Heartfelt, tough and compassionate like she is, it is a book that should be read by anyone who has lived on the streets, lives on the streets now, works with those who live on the streets, or know people who do. 
Stacy Danson is much more than a surviver, she is fighter and an overcomer. She is also a remarkably compassionate woman, mother, soon-to-be grandmother and friend.
I spent over forty years in the mental health field, as a case manager, counselor, therapist and program manager. Faint Echoes of Laughter is the kind of book I wish we’d had back then to give to the kids who lived on the streets. Street kids will feel an instant bonding with her. Known as “Sassy” when she lived on Sidney’s streets, she’s tough, compassionate, smart and self-educated. She survived the streets, came off the streets, fought addictions, found love and a family, and refuses to let life’s circumstances defeat her. Hers is the kind of story abused children need to know.
If you’re a social worker, mental health professional, community organizer or someone else who works with abused street kids and others who have survived childhood sexual abuse, read this book and Empty Chairs, then put a copy into their hands. If I still worked in the field, that’s what I’d do. 
Stacey, you’re one of my heroes.
A very clear 5 star   review.

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