From Helplessness To Hopefulness To Happiness: Book 1 HELPLESSNESS - What Happens To Brothers When We Leran Our Sisters Have Been Sexually Abused By Our Parents
TRAUMA, FAMILY, RETRIBUTION.
1960s & '70s,1980s & '90s,2000s
NICKY/KEEPER CATRAN-WHITNEY (M/<10-50S) — LEAD/NARRATOR; SINCERE, STRONG, PASSIONATE, FIRMLY-CONVICTED, AND REFLECTIVE.
HENRY PERRIN (M/30S-60S) — SUPPORTING; NICKY’S STEP FATHER; A CALLOUS, SERIAL RAPIST AND SEXUAL ASSAULTER WHO PREYED UPON HIS STEP DAUGHTERS.
NICKY’S MOTHER (F/20S-50S) — SUPPORTING; MOTHER OF 8 AND WIFE OF HENRY; AN ENTIRELY MERCILESS AND COMPLICIT ENABLER TO HENRY.
JAMES (M/<10-50S) — SUPPORTING; NICKY’S OLDER BROTHER WHO STANDS BY NICKY’S SIDE DURING HIS FINAL CONFRONTATION WITH HENRY.
SHARON (F/<10-50S) — SUPPORTING; NICKY’S SISTER WHO WAS PREYED UPON AND ASSAULTED BY HENRY.
BRENDA (F/<10-50S) — SUPPORTING; NICKY’S OLDEST SISTER WHO WAS ALSO ASSAULTED AND VICTIMIZED BY HENRY.
During the Fall of 1977, during a family meeting, four young black boys learned their four sisters had been sexually abused by their stepfather for almost twenty years. They would learn their mother knew and granted permission. This is my story of abandonment, betrayal, guilt, trauma, and revenge.
Target Gender: Female Leaning,Male Leaning
South Central Los Angeles
Based on a True Story
Within twenty-four hours, I will be dead. It is my fate because I will make it so. It is my death sentence for my nine years of failure. There is no stopping it. It is unavoidable. It is inevitable. It is my…destiny! Within twenty-four hours my stepfather will be dead. I will have committed murder.
Staring down at him, I said, “Henry. Lee. Perrin.” His eyes grew to the size of dinner plates, his body seized up. He involuntarily pushed back into his chair pinning his massive body against the folding backrest. Terror washed over his face. Like my four sisters, he was trapped. He was mine.
Brothers, sisters, families, religious groups, social groups, schools, law enforcement, clinical, psychological, political.
Hard Copy Available
Information not completed
Mature Audience Themes
Incest,Sexual Abuse, Language/Profanity,Extreme Violence
Plot - Other Elements
Coming of Age,Meaningful Message,Philosophical Questions
Plot - Premise
Overcoming Monster/Villain,Internal Journey/Rebirth,Rebellion Against 'The One',Voyage and Return,Tragedy
Main Character Details
Name: Nick Catran-Whitney
Key Traits: Aspiring,Desperate,Insecure,Leader
Additional Character Details
Name: Henry Perrin
Key Traits: Aggressive,Greedy,Villainous,Narcisstic
Additional Character Details
Name: My mom
Key Traits: Desperate,Insecure,Villainous
Additional Character Details
Name: My mother
Key Traits: Insecure,Desperate,Narcisstic
I found he was molesting two of my four sisters for years. I found out my Mother knew all along and did nothing to save them. I was about 17-years-old when I found out, and even though I knew nothing about what my stepdad was doing to my little sisters over the years, my sisters blamed my older brother and me for doing nothing to help them. One day I couldn't take it anymore. I had had enough. I felt I needed to step up and provide hope so one day in the future my sisters could find happiness. I needed to do something. So, I did. At 5'9" 145 lbs., I stopped my 6’6” 240 lbs. stepdad in the upstairs hall, just outside my bedroom door, and said to him, ‘You must leave this house now. If you are still here by this time tomorrow, you will be dead, because I will have killed you. On the day that I confronted my stepdad, the lives of my four little sisters were more important to me than my own life. I decided I would have to kill this man, knowing all along my young life would soon be over. To me, that was a fair trade-off for my little sisters’ happiness. I needed all four of my little sisters not to feel helpless and afraid anymore. I needed my four sisters to no longer be afraid to live in our house because their second oldest brother had finally taken care of things for them. My sisters needed to know that one person in their lives, in the family, including aunts, uncles, and grandparents, would finally step up and protect them at all costs.
SUSPENSE, MATURE AUDIENCE, DRAMA
A harrowing account of one family’s trauma. On the cusp of music stardom as a family act, the lives of 4 brothers and 4 sisters are upended when the their step father’s rampant sexual assault against the girls comes to light. Decades later, now in his 50s, one of the brothers decides to take a deep dive into the past and to capture it in prose, all while bracing for an inevitable, final confrontation and exposing of his predator step-father.
Authors Writing Style: FAIR
Franchise Potential: FAIR
Accuracy of Book Profile
It is accurate
Draw of Story
What drew me into the story immediately was the author’s conviction— It is both immediately and abundantly clear the amount of emotion and intensity the author is able to lend to this story and this material. It yields this work feeling loud, memorable, and powerful. You can feel the author’s rage and anguish, and you instantly admire him for his courage and conviction in telling a difficult story. It’s hard to imagine what could be more difficult a story and subject matter than this.
It’s not necessarily that I wanted to put the book down, but what occasionally made it difficult to navigate and appreciate it were the liberties the author takes with his structure and form. Credit is of course due to the author for taking such bold swings, but this reader ultimately found the many quote-unquote bells and whistles in this text to be a bit superfluous and distracting. Examples are the many pop culture allusions, the quotes and definitions at the top of each chapter, and the random departures from the normal structure, like with the pseudo screenplay format and with the occasional poems. All in all, there are times where it feels like the delivery method is louder than the story, when the story should have the utmost focus and attention that it is otherwise given and that which it deserves. Moreover, there is a bit of jumping around both in time and circumstance that sometimes belabors the reader unnecessarily. At least if it were to be adapted, more consideration is owed to the flow and palatability of the structure.
Use of Special Effects
THE STORY DOES NOT RELY ON SPECIAL EFFECTS
Primary Hook of Story
The hook is that this is an arguably unparalleled portrait and exposé of family trauma. The author leaves positively no stone uncovered, and his thoughts and reflections are as wrenching as they are inspired. A key strength of this work is its series of unforgettable scenes— For one, there is the gobsmacking, heartbreaking, and surprising “10 Minutes,” which is high stakes, dramatic, and cathartic in excess. Another is the climactic showdown with the narrator and Henry— One would be hard pressed to find a genre film or superhero combat more pulse-pounding than this. Moreover, this work has a pair of absolutely heinous and detestable villains in the form of Henry and to a certain extent the narrator’s mother.
No, this would assuredly not have a large fanbase due to its subject matter. Rather, this work promises to have a niche audience, one that has much to gain from the narrator’s commentaries on trauma, guilt, and family.
Anything is possible. I know it would be a compelling drama to say the least, one with likely top-of-class performances. The extent to which this work is execution-dependent makes it hard to predict its awards prospects.
Similar Films/TV Series
What’s New About the Story
What is original about this story has to do with the lengths the author went to capture his family’s truth and to expose the utter monster that his step-father is. No stone is left unturned, and no detail is left out— Arguably to a fault. This work is also very unique for the unorthodox structure— Scenes start and stop abruptly, we skip around in terms of topic, time, and place, and there are many deviations from what is considered traditional form. This is certainly a differentiating factor in this work, but it does sometime feel like a distraction, and it does sometimes feel disorienting. This work also feels unique for the depths of the depravity of Henry— Rarely do we see monsters as vicious and demonic as he. This is not even to consider the league of other figures that betray the siblings, most notably their mother.
What stands out about this story is largely the emotion that comes through the author’s voice. This is not a work that could have been written with a third person or more objective approach. Instead, the author hits the nail right on the head, bringing with him an absolutely unbridled sense of courage, strength, and conviction. His passion, emotion, and intensity rings through loud and clear, and he is careful to preserve a number of key scenes, including the 10 Minutes and the final showdown, which will lend themselves perfectly to adaptation.
Uniqueness of Story
This is a difficult question to answer. Rare gem or not, what is hardly debatable is that this work has a number of key, outstanding strengths that make it hard to look away. As noted, the strengths are the pulse-pounding drama scenes, the credibility and closeness of the author to the story. Based on the 10 Minutes and the final showdown alone, this work warrants serious consideration, even if its structure, flow, and palatability will need some considerable work and reconsideration.
Film: Studio, Indie, Streaming
As noted, this is a potent, challenging, emotional, and unforgettable work. The author lends his voice to the work beautifully, if at times too liberally, and he endows it with an unmistakable sense of dread, passion, heart, and intelligence. Moreover, this is a noble endeavor— The author very clearly aspires to both slay and expose the monsters his siblings have suffered from, and he also seeks to acknowledge and confront the pain that many readers likely have suffered as well. The two key, dramatic payoffs in this work in the form of the 10 Minutes and the final showdown are high stakes drama at its finest. They are begging to be captured on screen.
A portrait of one family’s trauma. Follows a family band on the cusp of stardom as they are torn apart after their step father’s unyielding sexual predation of his step daughters. Years later, a fateful stepson decides to dive into his family’s trauma, all while bracing to stand up to his predator step father once and for all.
What We Liked
A key strength in this work is the author’s voice— Keeper’s narration stands out as exquisite, haunting, and robust with its emotion and reflections. Rarely are authors able to imbue their stories with as much heart, pain, and passion as Keeper. Audience are not ready for the depths of depravity that this work chronicles. Nor are they ready for the kind of heinous, monstrous villains this work presents. All in all, this work contains pulse-pounding drama in excess, and one would be unwise not to take a closer look, that is, if they can bear it.
Film: This work is a solid candidate for adaptation to TV for its potency and power. These qualities are largely thanks to the author’s voice and perspective— His pain, passion, and valuable findings and insights ring through loud and clear. One would be hard pressed to find a protagonist as noble, proactive, and well-motivated as Keeper. Moreover, there is a saying in screenwriting that a good movie is three good scenes and no bad ones. Here, the author seems to have more than a handful of great potential scenes, and they are led by the epic, gut-wrenching family meeting where the assault revelations come out, followed by the pulse-pounding final confrontation between Keeper and the tormenter in Henry. All in all, there is plenty here to level the audience with this work’s high stakes drama and harsh truths.
TV: This would an exceptional adaptation for TV in that its highly expansive, considered worldview
and cast of characters present endless angles and opportunities for arcs, storylines, and
catharses. Just like the HBO series Euphoria dedicates episodes to a single character’s backstory
and inner workings, this work would have plenty of well-rounded, interesting characters to choose from. Moreover, what is appealing is that this work has two key storylines— One in the past to chronicle the pain and suffering of the family, and one in the future following Keeper’s mission to avenge his sisters and to hold the monster that is Henry to account.
1. The Narrator’s Voice— Sincere, passionate, convicted, and intellectual.
2. The 10 Minutes— An unforgettable, multi-layered centerpiece.
3. The Final Showdown— A memorable and uncommonly pulse-pounding climax.
4. The Intention— Both to expose a predator and to shine a light for victims.
5. The Villains— Henry is as heinous, memorable, and callous a predator as they come.
Now in his 50s, Nick “Keeper” looks back on the many years of sexual depravity and predation inflicted upon his sisters by his step father. He tells of Henry Perrin, the fateful predator, and he digs into Henry’s predatory instincts and insatiabilities, telling how Henry preyed upon his step daughters, Keeper’s young sisters. This leads us to a tense showdown— Keeper, in his 20s, heads to his mother and Henry’s house with a baseball bat and gives Henry the ultimatum to leave in the next 24 hours or he will be killed. Henry finally leaves.
Next, Keeper shares with us two raw, emotional, no-details-spared interviews with his sisters Brenda and then Sharon. In them, his sisters chronicle the graphic, heinous assaults from Henry.
Keeper then tells us of a fateful afternoon where bombshell that is Henry’s predation was dropped on him and his three brothers. During the unforgettable 10 minute family meeting, Keeper’s mother sat all parties down and revealed that Henry has been molesting the girls for years.
Before Henry can account for his heinous acts, he fakes a heart attack, and he ends up vacating the house without ever having to speak on his atrocities. Their mother cries that night, but Keeper was never sure why she was crying— For her children, or for Henry.
Two weeks later, Henry would be welcomed back into the house by Keeper’s mother, much to his utter internal devastation. In the present, Keeper bears witness to the testimony of Renee, one of his younger sisters. To Keeper’s utter astonishment and regret, he finds out that his standoff with Henry, casting him out once and for all was too late— Henry had already gotten to Keeper’s two youngest sisters. Renee proceeds to spin the terrible tales of her abuse. She tells how Henry pimped out one of Keeper’s sisters to an Arab oil baron in exchange for buying them a van, and she proceeds to tell how Henry drugged her and raped her, how she became pregnant at just 13, and how not her mother, but her rapist took her to get an abortion. It’s a terrible revelation that unequivocally crushes Keeper and further galvanizes his rage and mounting need for retribution.
A chance visit to Henry’s Facebook page reveals that a celebration of life service is to be held for his late wife from later in his life. Keeper recognizes the opportunity he is faced with, and he begins to prepare for a final showdown with the tormentor in Henry. The day arrives, and Keeper and James head to the church. There, they sit patiently through the service, and once it is complete Keeper approaches Henry. Henry feigns being happy to see them, but Keeper cuts right to the chase, eviscerating Henry for his crimes, cursing him, and placing photos of his victims at his feet for all of Henry’s family and community to see. Henry is virtually KO’d by the confrontation— He is speechless, deflated, embarrassed, and entirely defeated. As a final note, Keeper offers encouragement to other victims and generously gives his email address if anyone wants to connect with him.