At first this story sickened me, not because of content but because I’m a mother. There is more kindness shown by strangers then flesh and blood in this story. I look at my daughter, at five and shudder at the thought of some stranger doing these unspeakable things to my child, any child. To know that a mother, someone who is supposed to nurture and protect, is the one behind the horrendous treatment chills me to the core but again, it is Stacy’s courage, her survival instinct which had her fighting back and me cheering for the strength I don’t feel, even as an adult.
Living each day on the streets with Stacy was eye opening and heart wrenching. All I wanted to do as I read through my tears was take this child in my arms and tell her that evil would no longer reside in her life. Her smart mouth, Sassy Girl mouth, brought a small smile to my lips and I felt encouraged by such tenacity and bravery.
And although the ending does hold some answers to how she survives I long to read more to see how this courageous little girl has become the adult she is today. And for this reason I hope Stacy can tell more of her story.
Empty Chairs shows how some people are simply evil and the disgusting individuals that walk free in our world. It also shows the bravery of a young Sassy girl. The kindness shown that may not counteract all that is malevolent but gives me hope that there is good in most people. Jamie, Carol, Animal and Mrs MacDowell are the shining lights in this otherwise dark story with the sparkling light of Stacy in the centre.
Not only is this a chilling, heart wrenching story but it is a story delivered with finesse and Stacey’s own unique way of observing life. Her reflections and perceptions of life then and now bring a further depth to this outstanding tale.