The Evil I Own: My Son’s Prisoner by K.S. Penn Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own. 

Author K.S. Penn shares her harrowing story of breaking free from a cycle of violence and abuse and sheds a light on the rarely discussed cases of a child against parent abuse in her book, “The Evil I Own: My Son’s Prisoner”. 


The Synopsis

A schoolgirl’s crush turns into a nightmare. Her fairy tale will not be coming true, and breaking free won’t be enough to stop the cycle of abuse.

The Evil I Own is a harrowing and brave story about family abuse. Partner abuse. Child abuse. Child-to-parent abuse.

This memoir recounts the painful and courageous story of Ellie, whose journey entails finding her way out of a life of violence and abuse. It will introduce a taboo-subject: Child-to-parent abuse, also known as child-to parent violence. It is one of the most under-reported and under-researched subsets of family violence. It is often ignored or misidentified. The effects of experiencing abuse from one’s child can be profound. Ongoing parent abuse has been found to impact on a parent’s and other family members’ physical and psychological health, with specific negative emotions such as fear, shame, humiliation, guilt and despair, and so they rarely seek help. There is stigma and disgrace around the concept that a child might choose to hurt a parent, and parents often attempt to ignore, placate, or surrender to these behaviours. It may include verbal abuse and name-calling, property damage (such as punching holes in the walls), financial abuse and the ultimate- physical abuse. Tragically, in some cases, even sexual abuse. Child-to-parent violence has been found to occur more commonly when the offending child has experienced violence perpetrated by a parent.

Ellie’s story will resonate with those who have lived with violence and educate others who may not understand how difficult it can be to leave an abusive situation. Sometimes life’s challenges and struggles can make you a stronger person. Perhaps Ellie was meant to survive and share her story. Perhaps in sharing, people see their own lives and stories more clearly.

Clearly written with insightful awareness and interspersed with messages of resolve and hope.

Recommended for readers 18+ due to scenes of graphic violence and sensitive issues.

The Review

This was such a heartbreaking yet engaging story. The author’s raw emotions and painstakingly vivid accounts of the years of mental, verbal, and physical abuse she suffered both at the hands of her husband and her child made this tale so tragic, and yet the author’s strength and courage in sharing her story help showcase the importance of speaking up against the cycle of violence so many people find themselves in throughout their lives. 

The vivid details of the years the author experienced this tragedy did an important job of highlighting the patterns and signs that exist within these types of relationships. The balance the author struck with memoir-style storytelling and the harrowing accounts of abuse and the signs and symptoms associated with it made this story feel both well-rounded and vital to read. The thing people rarely ever look at when studying the life of a violent person is how their parents were affected, and how parents can be targets of abuse just as children or spouses can. The exploration of such a difficult subject was handled with honesty and courage on the author’s part, and this was reflected in the author’s superb writing.

The Verdict

Emotional, painful, yet vitally important, author K.S. Penn’s “The Evil I Own: My Son’s Prisoner” is a must-read memoir and nonfiction read. The heartfelt way the author wrote and the thought-provoking content of the author’s personal story is filled with tragedy, heartbreak, and shocking twists and turns that leave the final chapters with a shocking and gripping conclusion. The impact of abuse on both children and spouses is explored heavily throughout half of the book, and the impact is felt when the child becomes the abuser later on in the story, and the author’s fight to overcome both is one many readers can either identify with or root for, and we are grateful to see the author’s strength in every chapter of this book. if you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10


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