Monday, November 1, 2010

Book Review: Public Lies

Public Lies
by Brenda Youngerman
Outskirts Press, Inc., 2007, US
Fiction/Family, 300 pages
Paperback, $15.95
ISBN: 976-1-4327-1296-9
Review by Ruth Cox

Philosophers of old, as well as modern pundits, stand divided as to the forbiddance of telling lies. Some believe no lies should ever be told for any reason. Plato believed that "noble lies" might sometimes be needed to maintain a sense of law and order or safety, especially within the structure of a society. In the telling of Public Lies, author Brenda Youngerman has adapted the noble lie as one of necessity to bring a mother and her two children out of the throes of family violence into a place of safety and harmony.

When society failed to protect Nancy and her children from husband and father Vince Cooper, Nancy knew the only means available for them to live out of harm's way would be to flee the arms of the man she loved and the imminence of danger now felt in his presence. For this runaway life to work, Nancy must change her name and the names of her children and there could be no contact with people nor places of the past, including the family of their previous life. (The idea fashioned much like a witness protection program.) This, then, would be their protection, the noble lies that would be told; the public lies that would be lived.

These lies represented freedom for Nancy and her children. But freedom came with its sacrificial price tag. And it was a game of hide-and-go-seek with Vince Cooper that Nancy would continuously play. For a few years she seemed free of danger from her husband, publicly; privately, fear of being followed and found always existed. And all the while, Vince hunted for her with a vengeance. As each year passed, Vince's rage and desire for revenge grew as the price of freedom weighed heavier upon Nancy. Vince was closing in on his prey at the same time the prey had decided to come out of hiding from behind the public lies. Hence, the truth was uncovered and with disclosure discord was imminent.

In the bittersweet end of Public Lies, the lives of the Cooper family would be altered -- forever. Youngerman uses the element of surprise in a twist ending written with the sensitivity of one who is aware of the reality of the family violence environment.

Public Lies is the second chapter of Nancy Cooper's life; Private Scars being the first. Though both of these publications stand well on their own, together they are the telling of the many forms of abuse that fall under the term Domestic Violence. Youngerman beseeches us to be cognizant of the fact that all forms of abuse - verbal, emotional, financial, sexual, or physical - culminate in the power and control over another person or persons.

On the last printed page of Public Lies is the reminder to all that [in the United States of America] "October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month." Brenda Youngerman believes, "Every Day should be Domestic Awareness Day."


This review is written and ©Ruth Cox. Reviews written by Ruth Cox are the sole property of said reviewer. This book review is written for and first posted to: No monetary compensation is received in exchange for the writing of this review. A complimentary copy of the book was presented to said reviewer for review purposes. This fact has no bearing on the written result of the review.

For your convenience a link to purchase this book through Amazon is included. If purchase is made via this link, said reviewer will receive a referral commission: Public Lies

Related Links:
Read my book review of Private Scars by Brenda Youngerman
Read my interview with author Brenda Youngerman

Entered 11/07/2010