Mel Bancroft's debut memoir, THE MELODY OF MY BITTERSWEET BLUES candidly and graphically reveals the secrets that lurk behind domestic violence, sexual abuse, and family dysfunction.
Little Melody is born at the peak of the civil rights movement, the Vietnam War, and the hippie counterculture, which takes her father, Moses, into a downward spiral of psychedelic drug experimentation. She lives with her family in a rundown tenement on the rough, west side of Chicago. She doesn’t quite notice they’re poor—until the old crooked leg man grinds her soul away.
As an adolescent, Melody witnesses domestic violence, seemingly everywhere, unable to understand how her father can love her mother and beat her, too. And whatever happened to being Daddy’s little girl? She questions the meaning of sex as the coming of age aspect of this tale warns the reader of the signs of sexual abuse, teenage depression, and attempted suicide.
Melody struggles to relate to men in her adulthood, becoming a victim of abuse. Cocaine numbs the pain. She scratches her way toward sobriety for two years as she tries to mend a strained relationship with her mother, Ollie, who has been emotionally unavailable for years. She sets out to heal her past by researching her family history and interviewing family members. What she uncovers is mind-blowing.
The ultimate turnaround of the life of one woman speaks to the human condition of the world. She is fearless, indefatigable, and righteous in her march to victory, thus breaking the cycle of abuse. Using poetic enlightenment and poignant imagery, Bancroft has given every survivor of abuse the gift of hope and triumph.
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