**** Don't miss your chance to win a copy right here on my blog ! ****
Dani's Story is the heart-breaking but ultimately heartwarming true story of Danielle Lierow, told by her adoptive parents Diane and Bernie Lierow. When they came across a photo of her and decided that she was the child they wanted to adopt, everybody - even the adoption agency - thought that they were crazy.
Dani spent the first seven years of her life in abject neglect, in a filthy room with only the cockroaches for company. Having had little or no interaction with anyone, she had never learnt to talk, feed herself, use the toilet or even walk properly. The adoption workers advised the Lierows to google feral children and watch the Jodie Foster film Nell. But, despite - or maybe because of - the huge challenges that they and Dani would face, they decided that this was God's will and set out to offer her the stable home and loving family she had missed out on all those years.
The story is incredibly poignant and moving. Although the stories of Dani's early life are heart-rending, the ultimate message is one of hope. The Lierows say that they are not heroes, they're just doing what millions of other American "forever families" do when they adopt, but their perseverance and the incredible progress that Dani has made are admirable.
The only thing that always makes me slightly uncomfortable when reading this type of book is the whole "invasion of privacy" issue. While I totally understand their hostility towards and scathing contempt for Dani's birth mother, it seemed slightly misplaced to discuss her private life in the book. Also, I couldn't help but wonder what the principal motive was when deciding to write the book and the idea of making money off the back of a child who has had such a tough start to life made me feel uneasy. But the Lierows set my mind at ease, stating in the book that they felt discomfort at the idea of "honking their own horn", encroaching on Dani's privacy and presenting her as a freak.
They explain that their aim is to show people how much difference adoption can make, and that if they convince just one person to adopt a child, it would all be worth it. It makes compelling reading and really does show that no situation is ever hopeless. Dani is living proof of that.
Look out for a giveaway coming up in a moment to win 3 copies of the book here on my blog.
star rating : 4/5
RRP : £6.99
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