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Reader’s Choice Book Awards
Author: Mary L Schmidt
Title: Her Alibi
Review completed: January 2023
A heart-breaking story of survival, by author Mary Schmidt
One of seven children, Mary tells the story of her childhood and growing up in a household where the children were neglected and abused by their mother, Marguerite. Mary describes the horrific mental and physical abuse she experienced and the trauma of living with a sociopath. Mary recalls her first memories of her mother’s rage, from around the age of two, when she was regularly beaten and force fed. She describes how she was often singled out by her mother throughout her childhood and blamed for the misdemeanors of her siblings. Unfortunately, Marguerite’s abuse was never discovered by the authorities. From the outside, Marguerite was a warm, loving and attentive parent, but behind closed doors, she was a monster who terrorized her children, her husband, and even her own mother.
While Mary describes a loving relationship with her father and grandmother, they could do little to intervene, help or protect the children, as they were subject to the same cruelty and feared the matriarch.
As an adult, Mary distanced herself from her mother, as did most of her siblings. But one day, her mother unexpectedly visits her home, and they spend several hours reconnecting and bonding. Mary had hoped for a reconciliation, but the next day she heard tragic news that her stepfather had been shot, and Mary questions the motivation for her mothers’ strange and sudden visit.
Her Alibi is a heart-breaking novel and a true crime memoir by author Mary L Schmidt. Mary describes the pain and trauma she suffered at the hands of her abusive mother, and the impact this had on her life, and the lives of her siblings. It is an open, honest, and graphic account of child abuse, told through Mary’s own tragic lived experience. Whilst this is a deeply upsetting story, there is some comfort that Mary survived and was successful in her own life, despite her mother’s maltreatment.
Star rating: 5 Stars
Summary: A compelling personal memoir about one woman’s lived experience of childhood abuse and trauma.
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