Book Review: Peter’s Lullaby by Jeanne Fowler

Peter’s Lullaby: A Song Without Words That Held a Little Girl’s Life Together is the most horrific true story I have ever read, and one of such heartache and pain of a child’s remembrance of child abuse that is beyond imaginable.  I thought I knew what child abuse was, but reading it in detail, it’s not just what we hear or see in the evening news of a child being shaken to death (which is horrible enough).  The daily life the author, Jeanne Fowler, went through, including seeing her little brother die is beyond comprehension.  Her parents did not hang paintings or their drawings on the wall.  They hung their children on walls, in closets and bathrooms, for days at a time.  It was her brother, Peter’s  hushed lullaby that he would sing after a beating to console himself and allow him to sleep.  Jeanne would listen for his lullaby that also comforted her and know he was okay.  When his lullaby ended, little Peter died.  Jeanne barely knew what it was like as a child, to sleep in a bed.  The abuse not only came from her birth parents, but in multiple foster homes.

Who should read this?  Anyone who is considering foster care or adoption, to know what children might come from.  It’s for teachers, police officers, and neighbors who are concerned.   And, Peter’s Lullaby: A Song Without Words That Held a Little Girl’s Life Together is for anyone who has been abused, to find you are not alone and can recover.

“Every time I was beaten or neglected, it tore my life. When my brother was murdered it ripped my heart. When I was moved from foster home to foster home it tattered my soul. When no one loved me it cut my spirit into little tiny pieces.

Then one day a nice lady made me a beautiful patchwork quilt. I marveled at the craftsmanship and wrapped myself in its love.

Slowly it dawned on me. I could choose the good pieces of my tattered life and stitch myself back together.”

Not only has Jeanne written this book, she also gives speeches and presentations of what she went through and what to look for regarding child abuse.

This is a short book review.  It’s hard even putting words to this book that I cried through and thanked God I did not have to endure myself.  book

If you are interested in reading this book or would like to give to someone, I would like to pass my copy on.  You need only pay for the postage ($3) to be shipped to you through PayPal.  Just leave me a note below and I will pick the first person who leaves a response & pays (I will send you a PayPal shipping invoice), and remove this notice.  You r comment may not show up if you’ve not left a comment before, but will take first respondant. Thank you.  ~Loni

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14 thoughts on “Book Review: Peter’s Lullaby by Jeanne Fowler

  1. Wanda August 15, 2009 at 11:33 am Reply

    I would love to have a copy of this book.
    wandanamgreb (at) gmail (dot) com

    Thank you . . . winner of this book.

  2. Sherri October 20, 2009 at 8:49 pm Reply

    I am in the process of reading this book and I am just shocked at every other sentence. It breaks my heart. I work in child welfare and I have seen or read a lot of cases. I have worked with “patching” families back together, but this is so horrific I just want to throw up. Yesterday I wanted to just throw the book down, but I am hoping in the end that there is a good outcome. Never in the 13 years I have worked in the field have my heart just said, Wow and that is not a good WOW! To God Be the Glory that Jeanne was able to survive and I pray that God has fixed her heart to forgive when she didn’t deserve any of the abuse. I pray that the kids I see on a regular basis never experience this on my watch or any other workers watch and that we all be more observant, ask more questions and spend more time in the home with the children we served. I will finish the book, but it is just unbelievable that someone could be so “evil” and unkind to children. Jeanne is doing great things to make the system much better by sharing her story to the world.

  3. laurie October 31, 2009 at 10:42 am Reply

    i have also read the book and i just couldnt believe stuff like that really happens and was shocked to hear what she had gone through. I recently got to meet jeanne at the ground round in plattsburgh n.y.a few weeks ago and what an awsome lady she really inspires everyone around her

  4. DORA ROBERTS November 10, 2009 at 1:44 pm Reply

    WE ARE LOOKING FOR A COPY OF THE BOOK. WE ARE FROM THE PLATTSBUGH AREA. THANK YOU.

      • Dora November 11, 2009 at 7:47 am

        Thank you! I was able to find a used copy at a book store. I’m anxiously awaiting it’s arrival.
        God Bless!

    • Loni November 11, 2009 at 12:58 am Reply

      The giveaway for the book has ended. Click below for a copy of this book:

      Peter’s Lullaby: A Song Without Words That Held a Little Girl’s Life Together

      Thank you for stopping by my blog!

      Loni Vander Stel mama of a dozen Freelance writer, blogger & reviewer Writing Canvas

  5. Patty January 5, 2010 at 12:16 pm Reply

    I completed this book this weekend and I bawled all the way through it. I saw Jeanne on TV several years ago. I can’t remember if it was 20/20 or 60 minutes or something like that. I am a mother and I remember discussing this story with my own mother. That story scarred me and was etched in mind all this time. Just before Christmas I saw Jeanne on the front page of the Macomb Daily (Macomb County, Michigan). She has developed an organization to help provide a good Christmas to foster children. When I read the story in the paper the feelings of the program from several years ago came flooding back. I so wanted to call my mom but we lost her this year. Anyway, I saw in the paper that Jeanne had written this book and I immediately went on-line to order it. I hope that all mothers, law enforcement, social workers, etc read this book too. I haven’t stopped talking about it and everytime I try to discuss I cry. I’m so sorry for what Jeanne’s family went through and couldn’t imagine this as factual. Many of us would like to go on with our lives thinking this stuff doesn’t or didn’t ever happen – it’s easier that way. Today’s statistics show that one child in every 2 classrooms is abused and this is something we should all be aware of that. This story has forever changed me.

  6. Carol Martin September 28, 2010 at 3:29 pm Reply

    To those of you that have read Peter’s Lullaby and have a soft heart for Jeannie Fowler, we are holding a fundraiser for her organization on October 21st at the San Marino Club in Troy, MI. Her non-profit foundation, Big Family of Michigan is in desperate need of funds since the grant from Pulte Homes expired. ALL proceeds from the fundraiser will go towards Big Family and help Jeannie continue her mission of assiting and loving foster children. In her own words, she “puts smiles where tears used to be.”
    You can donate through her website http://www.bigfamilyofmichigan.com ore send a check to Big Family of Michgan, c/o 4895 Goodison Place Drive, Rochester, MI 48306. Thank you so much, Carol Martin

  7. Julie October 7, 2010 at 12:53 pm Reply

    I was recently at a conference and heard this amazing woman speak. Her story is heart breaking and oh so true. Her remarkable strength and courage is beyond measure. She lived in hell through her childhood and yet she is an angle among us. If you ever get the chance to hear her speak please do so. I purchased her book at the conference as well and finished reading it just the other day. I heard her tell her story and wept through much of it. Thanks to Jeanne for sharing your life and for overcoming such despair to become the woman you are and for helping so many kids in care.

  8. Shirley Lubahn October 30, 2010 at 12:38 am Reply

    I was at a training today and cried when I heard her story. I realized that after nearly 60 years I was abused but not in a foster home by my Mom and just thought that was normal. I knew if I told anyone the beatings would be worse when she found out. I just felt sorry for her because she came from another country and was having a hard time adjusting to the American ways. I grew up my entire life just trying to be good enough in her eyes. I think I was the only one in the training who hugged her so tight. I had to buy her book so I can feel some of her pain. God Bless you Jeanne! Today I finally realized what my purpose is for doing what I do and trying to help these children. I know I am making a difference and to some of them ,I am all that they have. Thank God for Protective Services today and for all these social workers who really love these children and aren’t just doing it for a paycheck. When Jeanne and I were younger there really wasn’t all the help that there is today. But today I have seen some foster homes worse than what we took them out of. Great foster parents can really make a difference in a child’s life. We need more great foster homes. We need to drug test the foster parents as well as fingerprint them. Good people with nothing to hide will understand. At the present time it is a violation of their civil rights to make them be drug tested. I have to be drug tested to drive the children, to supervise their visits, to testify in court in a termination trial. I wouldn’t have it any other way. These children are our future. They did not ask to be brought into this world.

  9. Raven November 15, 2010 at 11:05 pm Reply

    My neighbor recently showed me this book & asked if I’d like to read it when she was finished. I said yes…..because we live in Plattsburgh. I even kinda recognized some of the names,as back then Plattsburgh was so much smaller than now,most people knew who everyone was,or who they came from. I’m 56 yrs old & believe me, the horror & shock reading this book has left me with sleepless nights,crying jags & has brought up so many memories I thought were buried forever. Why did it affect me so deeply? Because in reading it,(what I have so far,as I haven’t been able to really read it all…..yet), I realized I’d actually shared one of those foster homes & I believe Jeanne was there as well. I suppose as time goes on & I ‘heal’ I’ll be able to focus on the particulars/people better.,but the memories,well,I believe we were in the home at the same time,if only for a few days.It kinda forced me to try really hard to remember the most horrific things a person simply should never have to endure, or bury so deep. So now, I am in the process of kinda reclaiming ME,understanding me & how my childhood I swear I have almost no memory of affected me,now my own children. <- I truly over-protect. This journey will,hopefully,add some peace to my tattered soul that I haven't known. Just maybe this book is the key to some answers I've been searching most of my life for. I am eternally grateful to Jeanne for her courage in putting to words what those of us who endured similar have spent a lifetime 'hiding from'. I ran away from that home after 2 days & no one believed me! No one! They put me in another 'home' I still can't even recall being in. Most of what I recall is THAT, no one believing,no caring & no one to turn to.What 'no one believed',what I shared, was such a tiny amount of the abuse,it's still difficult to remember how deep that horror was,talk about & now read about. I think somewhere along the road I was convinced by the non-believers it was in fact, in my head…..then I read the book & there it is, in print.Bottom line, The abuse Jeanne describes indeed was not all that uncommon back then,in Clinton County. Worst for me to grasp in all this…..my 'real' gramma was a rather big wig @ DSS during those yrs & I was the 'wayward child'…..her child,my birth father was an abuser of the worst kind,the foster home(s) DSS & gramma chose for me weren't any better,just not so 'close' to people in the community knowing the truth…..& I'd begged to be taken from my birth home, it was so bad.Gramma was more than willing…..it protected her precious son from being in trouble,marring the precious family name…..again.

  10. nada November 17, 2011 at 1:52 am Reply

    can someone please tell me how to stop crying. i keep thinking about these kids, especially peter. i almost feel guilty for not being there to help them. i know it’s crazy, but thats just how im feeling.

  11. Brad Houts April 29, 2012 at 5:11 pm Reply

    Hi Jeanne once again thank-you for sharing your story. I cried watching the video. You taught me that not only am i a foster parent but am helping to break the cycle of abuse and neglect. Just think you have done this by what you experience have helped break this cycle

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