Reading Suzanne Burke’s book, Empty Chairs, brought me back to my youthful pleas. And, yes, I cried again – deep, wrenching tears.
I don’t know if any book has touched me as deeply as this book. It isn’t perfectly written, but the story is masterfully told. What do I mean? There are typos, there are misspellings, but the writing is so powerful that it takes the reader into the soul of a little child who is horribly mistreated.
Australian author Suzanne Burke writes about her experience of unspeakable abuse from very early childhood until she finally escapes to the streets at age eleven. From the perspective of a toddler and through years of horror, the reader experiences the pain and the confusion that accompanies unspeakable violation. Terror becomes real.
Why read this book? It is a testimony to the human spirit – to that which can destroy and to that which can defy such debasement and emerge whole and loving.
I am reminded of the words of Elisabeth Kubler-Ross. “The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of those depths.” Empty Chairs is about such a journey, and Suzanne Burke is one of those “beautiful people.”