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Publisher's Summary

While most kids are served home-cooked dinners and tucked in with bedtime stories at night, Mary Zoe never knows which version of her mother, Zodie, to expect. She might be dressed to the nines, rhapsodizing about a more luxurious way of life, or she might be strewn naked on the floor, slumped into unconsciousness by drugs and alcohol.
But either way, Mary Zoe has known from an early age that she wants a better life: freedom from the squalor, the forever-empty cupboards, and the endless parade of abusive men, tranquilizers, and booze. And when Mary Zoe's older sister, Sissy, leaves the household, Zodie's behavior spins even further out of control.
Coming to the painful realization that staying with her mother would mean danger, Mary Zoe crafts a plan to escape the household and leave the mother - whom she loves, but who has hurt her so deeply - behind. Set in the 1960s, few people intervene to help Mary Zoe, so she learns to seek help on her own. When she is taken into foster care by a loving, stable family, she thinks her problems have finally been solved. Instead, she finds herself caught in a nightmarish court system that leaves her torn between the family she knows will love and protect her and the damaged mother she loves but knows is certain danger.
A thrilling true story of courage and survival, Driving in the Dark documents the harrowing abuse and neglect that filled Zoe Niklas's childhood, as well as her path to overcoming these devastating events.
©2015 Mary Zoe C. Niklas (P)2017 Mary Zoe C. Niklas
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Leah on 08-28-17

Love wins!

While the narration was very poor, it may have been necessary for the author to read in order to get the full effect of the story. It also distracted me from the painful situations she spoke of, so it wasn't all bad in that manner, as some parts were pretty difficult for me to digest-not having experienced a life as hers was.
I find it impossible to touch on any part of the story as it left me reeling. This poor child was forgotten and ignored by the very people who could have gone to bat for her! Thank God the foster parents fought for her in between the times she was being shuffled around from one rotten person to the next.
This was the first time I've had to sit with the story and its effects on me before I could dive into the next book. I listen to at least one a week. Not this time. I found myself taking a moral inventory on judging others. I've often been very thoughtless when it comes to other people's actions without even considering that their backstory could be traumatic. We never really know what goes on with a person other than what we see in front of us. And immediate judgment happens once a person acts in any way that doesn't follow the strict path of our 'norms'.
This is a good story for people who work in social services, law (police and judges, child advocates) and teachers and all school staff. Sadly, when a child is unable to speak, other people do it by being so sweet and convincing that the very thought of that fish nibbling the hook of potential safety has to be pure torture.
I can't say enough about how wide my eyes were opened, and how ashamed I feel toward myself for looking away from what could very possibly be someone in front of me who is needing help.

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