Title: Behind Closed Doors 2: Dana’s Story
Author: A.L. Smith
Publication Date: Jan 8, 2016
I received a copy from the author through Word Slinger Publicity for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion in any way.
“The love of money is the root to all evil, but poverty and lack are its greatest companions…” A.L. Smith
Human trafficking is often considered an international phenomenon and women from third world countries are the first images that come to mind. However, “familial human trafficking” is a more intimate crime due to the dynamics of the underlying relationships.
Behind Closed Doors 2 the riveting tale of one little girl’s struggle to overcome circumstances beyond her control. Born and raised on the ruthless streets of East St Louis, Dana Toussaint was accustomed to a life of privilege; thanks to her father, a Haitian-born immigrant and notorious drug lord. Dana’s mother; a materialistic southern belle from South Louisiana, is consumed by the good life, as memories of her upbringing in an East New Orleans housing project become a distant memory.
In spite of the similarities between the Haitian and Louisiana Creole cultures, the marriage unravels and the unthinkable occurs when Dana’s father abruptly abandons the family. At the age of 12, Dana becomes the ultimate sacrifice and her mother brokers the deal.
It never ceases to amaze me the levels humans are capable of descending to for selfish gains, mostly of the monetary kind. The allure of money drives even those who are supposed to protect you to nefarious ends.
This story of unimaginable circumstances and lives destroyed, touched an emotional cord, especially because these things happen more often than we know and sometimes in our very own ‘backyard’. The horrors Dana went through was painful and emotionally jarring. The author does a great job of portraying her circumstances and making it easy to form an emotional connection with her. She also writes in a way that evokes strong feelings towards the personages , be it good or bad. I wanted to empathise with her mother after the reveal about why she could have allowed and actively helped in creating the situation of abuse perpetrated against Dan , but I just couldn’t. As a mother, she should have put her children’s need above her own and not be a facilitator of her daughters destruction.
I was pleased that Dana was able to rise it above it somewhat although I felt she could have acted differently in some case but thinking about her life, her decisions were shaped by the effects of the abuse. I liked that the author chose not to go the explicit route which could have ‘cheapened’ the plot. Instead, it hit home like a ton of bricks, these things happen daily in our world.
Emotionally disturbing and cringe-worthy, Behind Closed Doors 2: Dana’s Story is a horrifying glimpse into familial human trafficking and evidence of the breakdown and decline of families in the wicked cycle of poverty.