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Twilight Children: Three Voices No One Heard Until a Therapist Listened Mass Market Paperback – Feb 9 2006


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Avon; Reprint edition (Feb. 9 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060560894
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060560898
  • Product Dimensions: 10.6 x 2.4 x 17.1 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 181 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #272,678 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Hayden was working as a special ed teacher and needed a break. With her psychiatric training and specialization in "elective mutism," she was cajoled into working for a hospital-based psychiatric crisis and assessment unit. She begins this book with the story of a girl who was only six when she was abducted by her father; returned to her home two years later, she alternated long stretches of silence with lying and sexual accusations. Hayden was then asked to assess a delightful preschool boy whose voice no one had ever heard except his mother; his belligerent grandfather ordered Hayden to "fix" the boy's problem. Then she was called to observe an elderly woman who'd had a stroke that may have rendered her unable to speak. Gradually, the woman began to recount girlhood memories to Hayden--who thus knew she was still lucid--but would that satisfy the doctors who wanted to send her to a nursing home? Each case unfolds like a detective story, with Hayden piecing together the mystery of the silences from the various clues she gleans. Besides being a delightful raconteur, Hayden is also a very gentle, very sensible therapist. Yes, her patient is dissociating, but that's normal, we all do it--the real question is, "at what point on the continuum does it move from being resourceful and helpful to maladaptive and damaging?" This is a compulsively readable book.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From School Library Journal

Adult/High School-Hayden writes with compelling grace and compassion as she describes working in a "psychiatric crisis and assessment unit for children" in a metropolitan hospital. Her background in special education and counseling, with a focus on treating elective mutism, equipped her to tackle the three challenging cases that are presented in this volume. Employing a narrative chronology similar to the pattern she used in Beautiful Child (Morrow, 2002), the author documents the particulars of her approach to treating a volatile, manipulative nine-year-old abuse victim; a mute but sociable and atypically charismatic four-year-old; and, in a change of pace, an 82-year-old stroke victim. The dysfunctional family dynamics impacting each patient are explored, as are impediments to the therapist's interfacing with relatives. The author's intuitive and professional analysis of each case, coupled with feedback from medical colleagues based on reviewing videotapes of her counseling sessions, permits readers a glimpse of the delicately gauged steps involved in coaching a patient toward wellness. This work offers neither simple solutions nor guaranteed happy endings, but rather puts forward a realistic portrayal of breakthroughs and quandaries in the emotional landscape in which crisis intervention professionals operate. Eminently readable, it offers a valuable perspective for students considering career options in this field.-Lynn Nutwell, Fairfax City Regional Library, VA
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Kai on Feb. 5 2007
Format: Mass Market Paperback
As a special education worker myself, I have read most of Torey Hayden's books and enjoyed them. While I did find some elements of this latest book interesting and enjoyable, I was also somewhat put off by it at times. For someone who has worked extensively with children, children with learning disabilities at that, Hayden can be incredibly long-winded. On at least three occasions she goes on for multiple page soliloquies, each aimed at a 9 year old child. At the end of one such speech, she remarks "Cassandra didn't seem to be listening." Truth be told, neither was I. I skimmed ahead.

The storytelling is a bit awkward, bordering on distracting at some points. (Indeed, how many times can one use the word "indeed" in a novel? Quite a few, apparently.) That being said, the stories are compelling. Drake is one of the most charming, interesting children I've seen in any of Hayden's books. Cassandra, while throughly exasperating, is also fascinating and Gerda, a rarity in Hayden's world: an elderly woman, is heartbreaking.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
"I myself think of Gerda often, particularly when I am at home in Montana. Particularly when the chokecherries are in bloom."

Twilight Children was an education for me. Torey Hayden's true story was a page-turner, though I took longer to read it, unfamiliar with the kind of illness though quite different in all three of the patients.

Let's call Casandra, patient #1; whom Ms.Hayden experienced the most challenging time with. Casandra speaks when she wants to. She is a confused and disoriented child whose erratic behavioral patterns transcend upon her after being kidnapped by her father.

#2 patient is Drake, a very adorable and loving child who never speaks to anyone with the exception of his mother. He plays with the other children and is wiling to be around them cooperating and having a joyous time, but he never speaks. What could be wrong there, and is his obnoxious grandfather at the source of the handicap?

The patient #3 is Gerda who is of a different age group. Gerda is eighty and has suffered a stroke. Since then she has not spoken. We imagine that her speechlessness is not because of the stroke, but rather because of the latter part of her life in Philadelphia, where she bottles up her emotions and is left alone, her only companions being her beloved cats. It was very educational for me and I highly recommend this book. Ms. Hayden has also written more books about children struggling with

psychological matters.

Reviewed by Heather Marshall Negahdar (SUGAR-CANE 14/10/06)
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By A Customer on May 31 2005
Format: Hardcover
The three people featured in this book have very disparate needs, yet all are bound by a common thread - silence in varying degrees. Cassandra, 9 was kidnapped by her father when she was 5. Two years after being kidnapped, she was found foraging in garbage cans outside of a small store. She was then returned to her mother, sisters and stepfather. Violent outbursts and erratic behavior led to her being admitted to an in-patient unit. While on the unit, Cassandra's behavior includes lying. She was also described as being able to identify others' weak spots and use them. Her behavior had reached such a critical point on the ward where she was spending much of her time in "lockdown" or seclusion, especially after she accused staff of sexual molestation and harped on molestation themes to another child who had no known history of sexual abuse. Efforts to separate Cassandra from the other child became part of her treatment, as did identifying feelings; naming the real abusers; defining boundaries and setting limits and helping her piece her memories together lead Cassandra to greater progress.

Gerda, 82 suffered from a stroke which affected her ability to speak. When she did speak, it was of her memories of living during the early 20th century; the loss of several siblings and the countryside as she remembered from her peripatetic travels in girlhood. Records from the local census bureau confirm her accounts; Gerda's progress is spurred even further by this additional interest.

Four-year-old Drake also has speech issues. Like Gerda, his condition was purely physical. A congenital vocal cord condition affected his ability to produce words and use his mouth muscles for activities such as blowing bubbles and licking ice cream.
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By Lynda Perras on Nov. 21 2014
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Love it
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 48 reviews
25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
Not Hayden's best work, but still enjoyable June 13 2005
By Kelley Hunt - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
I have read several of Hayden's books and enjoyed them all, so I was glad to see a new one come out. However, this book falls a bit short when compared with the others. This book is the story of 3 patients that Hayden treated around the same time; Cassandra- a girl who had been kidnapped by her father, Drake- a boy who, according to his mother, spoke at home but nowhere else, and Gerda- an elderly woman who had suffered a stroke.

Given the title of the book, you can't help but wonder how Gerda fits into the story and you are expecting that some trauma from her childhood will be revealed. Although it is revealed that Gerda suffered an impoverished and "marginalized" childhood, this does not seem to have anything to do with her speech problems which were apparently just the result of the stroke. However, Gerda's situation, her sad tales from childhood, her estrangement from her children, and the fact that someone had all her well-cared for cats put to sleep while she was in the hospital add a lot of depth and poignancy to the book. The part about the cats made me cry.

As for the other two patients, Cassandra and Drake, their stories were also interesting, but the book suffers from excessive repetition - especially re: Cassandra's story. I think the editor should have stayed with this one a little longer. Hayden draws vivid portraits of both patients and their relatives as she tells her tale, which is one of her strong points. If you haven't read Hayden's works, I would not suggest starting with this one, but if you are familiar with her books, you will definitely want to read "Twilight Children".
16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
A Reawakening! April 3 2005
By Amy Snyder - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Torey's newest book is an excellent read! I couldn't put the book down! I loved the way she rotated the story among the three characters and I enjoyed reading about her time as a therapist, as opposed to a classroom teacher.

Reading this book reawakened in me a fervent need to reread all of her books and I'm currently on a reading marathon. As an eighth-year special education teacher, I highly recommend all of her works to anyone interested in children with special needs. We certainly need more people to follow the compassionate example she has set and documented in each of her books.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Un"put-down"able! May 29 2005
By ScarletM - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
I was thrilled to see a new Hayden book and grabbed it off the library shelf. I read the book in one sitting as I could not tear myself away from the compelling stories. Hayden writes so well, by the end of the book you feel very involved in the lives of the characters. I found this book fascinating, sad but mostly compelling reading. Highly recommended.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Twilight Children Sept. 18 2006
A Kid's Review - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I loved this book. I thought it was interesting. It was very sad as well. I thought it had a good mystery. Trying to figure it out was just like the real thing. I can't wait to read more of her books.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
fascinating Jan. 16 2006
By E.B. Bristol - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
In this book, Hayden focuses on three of her patients. Cassandra is a sexually-abused girl who has a habit of making dangerous abuse allegations. But Hayden discovers that there is truth behind her stories. Drake is an adorable, outgoing boy who is mute with everyone except his mother. Hayden must figure out whether the boy truly cannot speak, despite his efforts to. She also works with Gerta, an elderly stroke victim, who speaks seldom. Whether her lack of speech is due to depression, having lost her family farm, or as part of the stroke, Hayden must discover.

All three stories are genuintely moving, though my favorite was Drake's. Highly recommended.


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