Book Review: Tell Me Why, Mummy by David Thomas

Ten Word Summary: A sexually abused kid stuggles to survive and find forgiveness.


The only time I felt breathless while reading a book was when I read The Life of Pi, which I still consider to be one of the best books of the century. Though this time I was not short on breath from the suspence, but rather from the heartache as I read word after word. It’s definitely not a summer read, then.


The story is an autobiography, about David’s sexually abused childhood by his mother – a raging alcoholic – and physical abuse from his stepfather. The story starts at his tender age of 4 and the book chronicles his struggle to survive well into his late 20’s and 30s.

The story in itself is a human achievement, with a very happy and overwhlemingly emotional ending. The majority of the story is a morbid moral and social struggle for David, written throught he psyche of each year of his age – from the innocence of a 4 year old, till he becomes sexually aware and understands what’s going on. His struggle with his demons transforms him from an abused child to a convicted criminal and later on, sex addict, to a Guiness holder of memory reciter (he recited up to 22,500 digits of mathematical Pi), a great family person with a successful relationship and a motivational speaker (if you’re interested in hearing the author briefly talk about his book, go here).

Bottom Line: It’s a bit difficult to read through as the topic itself is depressing, but the sense of achievement, and personal closure, towards the end of the book makes it worth picking up.