This story was much deeper and sadder than I expected it to be. Very sad tale about a large sibling group (Norman, Walter, Steven, Eunice, twins David and Dennis, Rosalie, and Kathy), who suffered horrible abuse at the hands of their maniac step-father, Boleslaw Domko, while their mother, Caroline, did little or nothing to stop it. How any of them survived is a miracle in and of itself. I seriously doubt any of them were able to escape without severe mental and/or emotional damage due to the brutality that was inflicted upon them for so many years.
The story starts in 1953. The children's kind and gentle father, Bill Pischke, had died, leaving their mother a widow with 7 children. She ends up getting pregnant and having a baby (Kathy) with a farmhand, (Domko). Domko moves in and takes over the household and nearly kills the baby in a rage one day, throwing her against the wall because she wouldn't stop crying. The mother thought the baby was dead or near death, but even though she didn't die, the baby became blind as a result of that abuse. Domko finally realizes that the baby is truly his and treats her better, spoiling her and the son they have later (Raymond), but continues to treat the Pischke children like dogs.
The story seems to focus largely on the mistreatment of the twin boys, David and Dennis, although all of the Pischke children were not only starved, but beaten in the most horrific ways on a daily basis. Were it not for the kindness of their various neighbors, they would have all starved to death. Attempts to get the law involved always backfired and the kids paid for it dearly. Poor little Rosalie seemed to get the worst treatment and was beaten most severely by the step-father.
There is a follow-up story about the twins (When Memories Run) written by the same author but it is not yet available on Kindle, but I plan to get it as soon as it is. The author did a great job with this story and I look forward to the next.