Shattered Lives : The story of Advocate Barbie by Laurie Pieters, Liezl Thom
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
The book captures the saga surrounding the relationship between Cezanne Visser and Dirk Prinsloo. A sordid tale of a mousey girl with a brilliant mind but low self-esteem. Cezanne comes across as naïve and dazzled by the very successful and charismatic sexual predator we find in Dirk Prinsloo. Both Advocates, one could be forgiven to think that they would be esteemed, moral and fulfilling the laws of the land. Church goers even.
As other people in the book said, what consenting adults do in the privacy of their bedroom (bathroom, kitchen or any other space really) have my blessing, but exploiting young children, desperate woman and prowling for prostitutes just doesn’t fall into my scope of approval.
The book covers the story of the different people whom they interacted with in terms of staff, young girls and woman they either molested or paid for sex. It describes their home and the amount of publications of porn displayed all over the house, digital porn as well as pornographic images of children as a place that would have Lolly Jackson look like a Pope. Celibate. Never touched a nipple. Descriptions are quite vivid in places.
The pictures in the book are quite explicit in terms of nudity of Cezanne who does not appear to be a battered woman to me. Perhaps a woman who got fell in love and lust… and when it got harder to keep to the straight and narrow, and in order to hang onto her perverse lover, threw caution to the wind and indulged in all things possible to cling to her man. I do think she must have enjoyed the attention of men everywhere, the media “personality” her dear man was trying to create and going from church mouse to blonde bombshell. Who wouldn’t? I felt just a pinch of pity for her once or twice.
The sexual deeds and misconduct described in newspapers and in the book, I am not sure if a seven year jail sentence is adequate. Cezanne does not appear to feel or show great remorse in her part of sexually abusing young girls, and the trauma caused to the characters is so deep seated and painful. I felt pity to their domestic worker who I am sure did not sign up to be washing sexual toys as part of her day. Prinsloo flee to Russia as is currently in jail for robbing a bank. By the time he gets back to South Africa to face these charges, Cezanne should be out of jail.
Overall, I would give the book a 3 star rating because it gave insight into the people wronged, their lives, how they got involved, got out… or sadly died. The book has a spelling error in the first couple of pages. No real chapters, but paragraphs just randomly starting on a new page. The book could have done with more proof reading! The reason this really annoyed me, was that I had paid R200 for my copy from PNA and I expect at least a spell check and proper layout for that price! I do like that the various behavioural and mental issues are explained at the end of the book as well as contact details should you feel after reading this book that you may be in an abuse situation.
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