It's not like me to plug another person's book, but this one deserves all the praise I can heap on it!
I have known Cheryl Bramlett as a passing acquaintance for three or four years now - she and her husband, Tom, have frequently been set up near me at the Indian artifact shows we all love to go to. I knew that they were active in the ministry and that she had written a book, but I really did not know what it was about or any of her remarkable life story until my wife downloaded SEVEN SILENT WITNESSES onto her Kindle at Springdale this year. Patty was immediately captivated by this shocking story of the horrific child abuse that Cheryl and her siblings lived through and ultimately overcame. I didn't pick up the book for some time, but once I did, I finished it in three days.
Cheryl's account of the sadistic treatment she and her six siblings suffered at the hands of her parents is eye-opening, saddening, and heart-rending. That any mother and father could be so brutal to their own offspring is beyond me; that Cheryl could find it in her heart to forgive them and love them is inspiring. For those who have suffered from abuse in the past, this book is a reminder that you are not alone, and that recovery can happen, and that even forgiveness is possible. Cheryl's faith in God sustained her through a darkness that I pray none who reads this will ever experience. That such a faith could remain intact in the face of such awful suffering is a gentle rebuke to those of us whose lives have been blessed with so many good things and positive relationships, yet tend to doubt or get angry with God from time to time.
This isn't a flawless book - I can see a place or two where it might have needed another edit - but its strengths are so great, and its flaws so minor, that I am giving it the highest rating I can. If you have suffered from spousal or parental abuse, this book will be like a warm, comforting light that offers a chance to cleanse and illuminate your darkest past. If you are like me - blessed with a great Christian family and a life that has been filled with wonderful experiences, this book is a reminder how much you have to be grateful for.
No child should have to suffer as Cheryl and her siblings did. But Cheryl's life and ministry are a testimony that God can redeem His people from the worst of circumstances and give them a light to shine into a dark world.
Five stars for SEVEN SILENT WITNESSES!