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Ezra and Hadassah: A Portrait of American Royalty by Heather M. Young (2014-01-15)

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    Heather M. Young(Author)

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  • Heather M. Young(Author)
  • CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (1745)
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Review Text

  • By Arlene Ball on January 17, 2014

    I read this book in one day because I couldn't put it down. The memoir is unique because these children were born to a mother with a serious mental illness and a handicapped father with a low IQ. They went through hell but inevitably chose love and service to others over bitterness and surrender. The beauty of their lives is in their triumph. How they did it---what they experienced at the hands of supposedly well meaning adults is one of the most compelling stories I've ever read. Heather writes with wit and courage and total honesty about her struggle to survive her childhood and leads the reader to hope. Ezra's story will break your heart, but his never failing attempts to be a better person and serve others leaves one feeling respect and even exultation. Many lessons to be learned from this book but the story will draw you in and mesmerize you till the end. Bravo!

  • By Helene du Lac on June 25, 2015

    I very rarely write reviews, but was compelled to in this case. I heard about this book from a friend (who I believe knows the author) and it piqued my interest, but I had no idea what a heart-wrenching yet triumphant story I was starting. The story of Heather and Rex's childhood is told in what I can describe as an insightful, yet matter-of-fact, narrative that provides an understanding both of what Heather felt/thought as a child and her perception of events as an adult looking back. This is a story of children caught up in an abusive, adoptive household and their (real) parents who are caught up in the system. Yes, it is horrific on some level because no one should endure what these children (and others) did, nor should their (real) parents have been shunted to the side by the system. But it also gives me hope - both children broke the cycle of abuse that was foisted on them by their adoptive parents, though they obviously had lasting emotional scars. In addition to being a story about this somewhat heroic brother and sister, the book paints an interesting picture of dynamics within an abusive family and the pitfalls of society and government agencies of the 70s and 80s in dealing with child abuse. It is a well-written, thought-provoking read and I applaud the author for bearing her soul the way she does.

  • By joyce on December 28, 2017

    This is an amazing story of a young girl who survived the odds and grew into a healthy, productive, and caring woman. I commend her for her success and continued campaign to change the foster care system. It is a mess. The ones who suffer are the children. I happen to have known the Spencers and their convicted murderer son, Eugene Colombaro. They appeared to be caring and loving people when in actuality, they were twisted. My association with them cost me and my family dearly so I'm so glad Heather overcame her horrendous experiences with Harley and Jean Spencer. I'm sorry about Emilia. She was a beautiful girl. I'm sorry about Matthew. I remember him as a kind and gentle boy. Shame on the Spencers. They have met their Maker and will answer to Him. Best wishes for healing and a wonderful life, Heather.

  • By JC on October 17, 2014

    This book is a true story about Ezra/ Rex and Hadassah/HeatherThey were removed from their mentally handicapped parents and were placed in foster care. They were later adopted . They were abused all of their years until they both Rex and Becky could leave at age 18. Rex, who has mental and emotionally challenges teaches the reader about love and forgiveness. Heather, too is able to look back with humor and wisdom after she experiences unconditional love. You will not forget this book. I am amazed this book is self published.

  • By Michele on February 1, 2014

    Your heart will break; your hope in humanity will be restored. So many themes will grip your heart - parental rights, child advocacy, the rights of the mentally ill, bullying, foster care, the value and worth of society's "freaks," and the will to survive against all odds. Hadassah (Heather)'s brave and honest truth-telling grips you with love for these precious cast-offs, torn from their parents without being asked. You will long to be like Ezra (Rex) who despite chronic oppressive abuse at the hands of falsely "good people" is powerfully gifted with forgiveness and passion to serve others. A must-read!

  • By EarthWind on October 10, 2014

    A classic story of triumph over adversity and amazing determination to overcome the effects of abuse and the resulting emotional feelings of dissociation. Heather's journey is an inspiration and an example of one that many other children have, but are unable to put into words. Let's hope that we are all inspired to be on the alert for other children who are in need of help in abusive situations. There are a few children who overcome huge obstacles to become contributing members of society, and Heather is a prime example as was her brother, Rex, who was able to find peace and exist in a space of universal love and acceptance even for his abusers. Heather is an outstanding person and incredible homeopathic physician and I feel honored to have had the opportunity to read her story.

  • By J. Sauls on February 15, 2014

    When you think of childhood in America the picture of bicycles and friends, clean clothes and healthy food, and a safe home with loving parents in what comes to mind. Sadly this is not the situation for far too many children, and even more tragic, the reality is far worse than benign neglect and genteel poverty.Such is the story of Ezra and Hadassah, a brother and sister born to a mentally ill mother and a father with lower than average intelligence. The state of Oregon sought to terminate the parental rights and ultimately succeeded, allowing Ezra (his name changed to Rex) and Hadassah (renamed Heather) to be adopted into a far worse situation than they ever faced with their birth parents.Their story will absolutely gut you and tear you to pieces. In the end you are given hope that it is entirely possible to rise above the worst of the world and that life can be full of love and happiness.


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