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Well, if you read A Man Named Dave: A Story of Triumph and Forgiveness, then you should really begin with the first two books of the series: A Child Called "It" and The Lost Boy. As the end of the trilogy and its true conclusion, A Man Named Dave: A Story of Triumph and Forgiveness nicely sums up Dave's story.
In my opinion, there is one quote that best sums up Dave's determination to "make it" in life:
All those years you tried your best to break me, and I'm still here. One day you'll see, I'm going to make something of myself.
Dave, of course, was physically abused (in a drastic and severe form!) for his entire young life. The words above are his promise to his mother. Even though his mother always tried to "break him" with physical force and his father paid no attention, Dave would remain a force of independence. Dave shows us this independence throughout the book.
There are some definite specifics given here of the forms of abuse Dave's mother inflicted (even if you haven't read the first book in the series). She would inflict all sorts of torture on him that had the limits of only her imagination. Further, she would hold food, water, shelter, and clothes at bay while Dave submitted to her whims. Finally, she threatened him with death. A few times she came close! And where the previous books are more about Dave's abuse, this book is about Dave's bravery in overcoming these issues.
Dave, of course, is the author of his own story. Even though he began his life with rejection, he overpowers these negative feelings with the positive feelings of generosity and pride (not the least of which is his ability to become a best selling author)! Here we have a nice summation of his life as a small child, a boy, and a man. The acceptance Dave feels in forgiving his father, finally on his death bed, can be neglected by no one. And even more touching is the final entry of the book: a letter to Dave's own son. No doubt that child will be well taken care of!
In conclusion, it's important to note how Dave's story proves him to be a true advocate for victims of child abuse. He has been commended by presidents and corporations for his efforts! Dave is living proof that one person, with enough bravery and determination, can stop the cycle of violence.
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