The Apology

The Apology by Eve Ensler 2019 This book takes the form of a letter written to Eve Ensler from her father, dead for some 30 years, written from the afterlife, as an apology to her for the horrific sexual, physical, and mental abuse he inflicted on her from the time of her birth to his death. I've found myself, when trying to imagine the reasons an adult would sexually abuse a child, with no answers, and for one, this depiction, in first recreating her father's childhood, gives insight into understanding the unimaginable. It is a difficult story to stomach, and I wanted to put it down, but I made myself read through it, hoping to learn something, and I learned a lot. Not to lessen the vision of horror of the sexual abuse, I think I found even more upsetting the relentless reign of terror her father then inflicted on her in his attempt to discredit her, erase her, to make her disappear. I mean, he nearly killed her, and failing that, was determined to cause her to kill herself. As upsetting and just plain heartbreaking as this story is, just the fact that she survived is beyond hopeful. And not only survived, but has worked and written at a high level, powerful and poetic, and reached out to people who have gone through similar ordeals and helped them. This book will continue to do so, of course—this is and will be, I'm sure, a really important book in a lot of people's lives.