Tuesday, July 7, 2009

The Tricky Part by Martin Moran

Just finished reading The Tricky Part: A Boy's Story of Sexual Trespass, A Man's Journey to Forgiveness by Martin Moran. At twelve, Moran was molested by a man he initially met at a Catholic summer camp. The molestation occurred later when Moran had traveled to help the man build a new camp at a ranch outside Denver, where Moran lived. Their relationship lasted for three years, but the scars ran deep, of course.

The book is divided into two parts, "Falling" and "Waking." "Falling" chronicles his adolescence, mostly, and "Waking" focuses on his adulthood. Personally, I found the second half to be the most compelling, which probably sounds horrible since the scenes of abuse are in the first part. But I was just drawn to his descriptions of the effects of the abuse and how he learned to live with it, how it affected his partner and family, for example. The book is framed with scenes of Moran visiting his abuser decades later, and that obviously pulled me in.

I have to laugh, though, because there were times early on when his sentence structures were starting to annoy me, with lots of clauses and commas and such. And then I realized that I write the exact same way! Ah, the pains of recognition.

But it's a good book. And for anyone disturbed by reading scenes of abuse, those are really kept to a minimum. For a survivor, I'm sure they would still be painful to read, but I thought he made what happened clear without falling into salaciousness or exploitation (even of his own experiences). He really focuses on the effects of the abuse and his process in dealing with it.

And that's what makes the book so valuable.

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