3 Minutes Reading Time
“Writing Spilled Milk was very emotional”K. L. Randis
Print Length: 246 pages
Wordwise | Enhanced Typesetting | Text-to-Speech: Enabled
Publication Date: 4 December 2013
Categories: Child Abuse | Social Services and Welfare
Many of us coming from happy homes, or who are in healthy relationships cannot imagine what it is like to be abused. “Spilled Milk” puts you in the world of Brooke Nolan, daughter of David and Milly Nolan.
From an early age, Brooke is molested by her father. By allowing this she protects her siblings (Adam, Thomas, and Kat) from the same fate. Her mother is mostly absent due to severe back problems and the effects of the strong painkillers she uses to deal with the pain. But in Brooke’s freshman year her mom falls pregnant and give birth to a baby boy – which Brooke names Ethan.
Joseph reached across the table to grab the Parmesan cheese and on impulse I grabbed at the glass of milk he spilled over. My mind flashed to what happened when a glass was spilled at my house, and the daydream I had immersed myself in about Paul’s family quickly dissipated. I couldn’t watch Joseph get hurt.Randis, K.L. Spilled Milk: Based on A True Story (p. 73). Kindle Edition
Brooke never realized that her life is not normal until the day Joseph spilt the milk during dinner with her boyfriend’s parents. With the help of his mother Gina, she started going for counselling.
Brooke’s mother falls pregnant again, but it is only once Ethan is born, that she has the strength to speak up. Because she knows that nobody will be able to protect him once she leaves the house.
The rest of the book deals with her journey through the justice system, until her father is found guilty and sent to prison.
Thanks to the counselling she received, Brooke emerges as a survivor and starts to work as a Community Advocate for Women in Crisis.
What did I like?
What I find interesting about this book is that Brooke doesn’t fit the typical abused kid profile. She is an A-grade student, works part-time at a call centre and even had the time to become a cheerleader. Nobody looking at her will ever suspect her to be from an abusive home.
The narrative draws the reader in right from the beginning. We meet Brooke ready to head to the courtroom. This immediately makes the reader wonders why she is there.
Excellent writing keeps you turning the pages until the very end. As a reader, you experience all the raw emotions that Brooke experiences, holding your breath with her when she hears her father approaching her room.
We agonize with her about who she can trust and cheer her on testifying against her father in court.
And we celebrate with her when she lands the job she aims for.
And not so much?
I find it tragic that Brooke had to go through the trauma of a second trial before justice was served. Although in the case of a true story, events are portrayed the way it happens and cannot be changed.
Should you read it?
I highly recommend this book to readers who like to read true stories. This is a page-turner that is hard to put down until the very last page. And necessary to create awareness about women and child abuse.
If you like true stories, also read Fractured Not Broken: a Memoir by Kelly Schaefer.
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Susan van der Walt is an avid reader of genres like crime, thrillers, adventure, and true stories. On Read or Rot she shares her favourite books and quotes with you. She also writes articles, book reviews and book recommendations. She lives in Alberton (South Africa) with her husband, Warrick, and fur baby, Pixie.