Book Review: I Remember, Daddy by Katie Matthews

"The trouble was, though, that once the floodgates had opened, there was no way of controlling the flow of memories that were being released.”

--Katie Matthews, I Remember, Daddy

This is Katie's journey of coming to grips with memories that are too painful to recall but that are also difficult to forget; it is at times terrifying but ultimately inspirational.

Synopsis from Goodreads...

Katie's memories of her childhood were patchy. She'd always remembered her father's physical abuse, his anger and violence. But there was a lot she had forgotten. And, at the age of 24, after the birth of her son, the memories that were gradually unlocked with the help of a psychiatrist were far more terrible.

Katie had grown up living in fear. She'd never forgotten the icy coldness that used to spread through every vein in her body each time her father grabbed her roughly by the arm, or punched and kicked her mother. Or the occasion when she was 3 and he'd locked her in a bedroom for an entire weekend, without food or water. Or the night when he'd brought home a young woman he'd met at a bar, pushing her mother down the stairs when she dared to complain and then locking mother and daughter out in the snow, dressed only in their nightdresses.

There were many, many incidents of violence and cruelty that Katie had never forgotten. But when she started a family of her own, and began to see a psychiatrist to help her cope with the debilitating post-natal depression she was suffering, she was forced to recall memories that were even more horrifying. Memories of the sexual abuse her father had subjected her to from the age of 3, which her mind had locked away for over twenty years. And memories of all the other horrific incidents from her childhood that she'd dared not remember until then.

During the months that Katie remained in the psychiatric hospital, the locked doors in her mind gradually opened, releasing the trauma from her past and finally enabling her to start to understand the reason for her self-disgust.

My reaction to this novel...

I was shocked while reading the book. It's really difficult for me to comprehend how a father could do such a horrible thing. It is advised to avoid reading this book if you are uncomfortable with the subject matter because it is highly sensitive. Though, it makes you aware that some individuals do in fact go through this. I was horrified by what had occurred to her. Justice must prevail. Her father should suffer and be held accountable for all of his misdeeds.

It is anticipated that, like other traumatized individuals, they may eventually develop postnatal depression. She is fortunate to have her husband's constant support at this point. This allowed her to quickly begin seeing a doctor for counseling. It's been quite hard to bring up thoughts of her awful past. I found it tough to read as a result. Simply put, it was evil and awful. Her father came off as a disgusting creature. As she described what had happened, he grinned and laughed at her at the same time. What a heinous thing to do.

I have a lot of horrible feelings about her father. I find it hard to imagine a father raping his daughter and then letting his friends to rape her. It was frightening. Because she made it through it all, Katie is a strong woman. Even though she first experienced a mental breakdown, I'm pleased of who she has become. Aside from that, she has gained strength, and I have no doubts she will be a wonderful mother. Furthermore, I think she will treat her spouse well and is capable of doing so.

Up until this point, I couldn't believe it had truly occurred. However, I'm delighted to know her story as a reader. It will surely break your heart several times, thus I will strongly advise it to any bookreaders who are not  faint at heart.

My Overall Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐✨(4.5/5)


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