Tuesday, July 13, 2010

THE SECOND TRIAL by Rosemarie Boll

Danny McMillan loves his dad so coming to terms with the fact that the man is on trial for physically and emotionally abusing Danny's mom is taking its toll.  Danny's mom thinks it is important for Danny to attend the sentencing hearing in hopes that he can come to terms with the reality of this horrible situation. 

As Danny sits in court and listens to details of his life he never knew existed, anger and fear begin to build.  Although, he loves his mother, he still can't believe that the father who spent time with him and taught him everything he knows is capable of the abuse being described in the courtroom.  When the final sentence calls for his father to be held just a short time in prison instead of the seven years requested by the prosecuting attorney, Danny sees it as a second chance for his family.  That means there is hope that his father can return home, his mother can forgive and forget, and they can pick up with life as it was before all this drama.

The hopes that Danny has are destroyed soon after the trial when several strangers begin meeting with his mother.  He quickly learns that these people believe the only way his mother will be safe from his abusive father is for them to leave everything and everyone behind to start a new life.  He has never heard of the NIVA (New Identities for Victims of Abuse), but it now takes over his life.  He and his mother and younger sister will be given new names and identities, and they will be forced to relocate and begin a new life.  The whole idea fills Danny with rage.  How can they say his father will never change?  Now it will be up to Danny to find a way to reunite the family or come to terms with his new reality.

THE SECOND TRIAL is the story of a family torn apart by one abusive individual.  Author Rosemarie Boll deftly describes the years of abuse Danny's mother suffered in silence.  Her prose begins to explain the mystery of why abused women continue to live in physical and emotional turmoil instead of packing up and leaving it behind.  Boll uses her own professional knowledge of similar circumstances to illustrate the fear, the anger, and the eventual acceptance of how life is changed for families like Danny's.  Readers should appreciate the honest, straight-forward approach in which this novel is presented.

1 comment:

Annie Smith said...

I loved The Second Trial and plan to use it in my grade 9 classroom this September. It addresses issues of relationship violence, bullying, and identity without losing that most important element: telling a good story! Danny is so believable because his anger, confusion, coping strategies, and reasoning are completely true-to-life. I can't wait to introduce this book to my students!