Book Review: Tears of the Silenced by Misty Griffin (2018)

Synopsis: This true crime memoir tells about the author's childhood and, later, life in an Amish community and the abuse and sexual assault she was subjected to at the hands of people who were protected from criminal prosecution because of their religious beliefs.

Review: This is probably the type of book I wouldn't even glance at under normal circumstances. And, quite frankly, the only reason I wound up checking it out from our local library was I couldn't find the book I wanted to get, was in a bit of a time crunch and it happened to be within easy reach as I walked toward the checkout counter. But, once I started reading this, I had a hard time putting it down.

This book was a real eye opener for me because hearing about the abuse from the victim's perspective almost made me feel as though I was on the receiving end of it myself. The torture her and her sister went through at the hands of her mom and step father was pretty unnerving and, after reading she edited out some of the more disturbing things, I really did find myself wondering just how she made it to adulthood.

While I don't know if I could describe it as being as bad as her childhood, her time with the Amish was definitely pretty depressing as well. I couldn't believe just how bad her luck was, starting with her creepy new "dad" and jealous new "mom" and followed up by her time working as a maid for the local Amish bishop and having to fend off his advances. All of this was while she lived in a community that would punish her for talking about the offenses and dealing with local police who were reluctant to believe her.

I think the thing that I found most interesting when reading this book was the transition she had to go through after finally escaping. This included everything from having to obtain an ID without any sort of proof she was a United States citizen and attempting to get her GED when she had, at most, a third grade education and didn't even understand how to fill in bubbles on an answer sheet. This, combined with the fact there were still things she missed about being part of the Amish, made it difficult to know if I should feel happy for her or sorry for her.

The part about her not being able to wear jeans without having a panic attack was also something that really stood out for me. This is because it is the type of thing you wouldn't expect to be such a big deal and, because of that, it really makes you think about just how much she had to overcome mentally just to be able to function and, as a result, I did find myself wondering just how many others are going through the exact same thing at this very moment.

Final Opinion: This wasn't my first choice when I went to the library but wound up being a book I was glad I took the time to read. I highly recommend it if you have a chance to read it.

My Grade: A


  1. This sounds like a very good book...not sure I'd be able to read it or not...sounds too sad...but glad you liked it

    1. It actually wound up being very inspirational, though I'm not sure I could honestly describe the ending as being completely happy.


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