Multnomah, May 2003, 11.99, 300 pp.
Finance expert Toni Wells left Richmond and her husband Chris due to his neglect and cheating to relocate with their five-year-old son Ben in the Nashville area. Whether it is the move or the split, Ben is filled with fear and anger, leaving Toni distraught and unsure what to do next.
Toni's mother calls to inform her that her older sister Bobbi and her husband Sid have been jailed for child pornography. Mom refuses to accept the fact that Bobbi committed any crime though the house is filled with equipment, pictures and videos, and their oldest daughter teenage Wyndham turned up in them. Soon Wyndham admits that Ben, her preadolescent siblings, and she has starred in some of the shots and worse actions too. Now Toni is fighting to save Ben and Wyndham, praying for her other niece and nephew, and trying to lock away her sister.
ANTONIA'S CHOICE is a deep look at sexual abuse that will shake readers with the events that occurred to Ben, Wyndham and others though Nancy Rue limits the graphics. The story line is heart wrenching as Toni begins to understand what happened to Ben. Wyndham is an especially great character as guilt keeps her on a suicide edge, but bravely albeit slowly relates the sickening events. Toni's mom is too delusional to accept the facts and the full thrust of Christianity as being the only avenue to save Ben will turn off some readers. Still ANTONIA'S CHOICE provides a powerful tale of the aftermath to the victims of sexual abuse.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner