PRAISE FOR THE ROAD THROUGH WONDERLAND

 
 

"When I got an advance copy of The Road Through Wonderland, I thought I already knew the story. The power of Dawn Schiller's writing is that within a few pages, you are so drawn into her harrowing, roller-coaster life with her fractured family and then with porn star John Holmes, that you almost become her while reading it. There is not much separation from writer to reader. Schiller draws an unforgettable portrait of a lost, drug-addled corner of late 1970s Los Angeles and what it was like to be a lonely girl targeted by a predator in that world. The whole book is one long, chilling money shot . . . The most mesmerizing memoir since Jeanette Walls' The Glass Castle."

- DANA KENNEDY, AOL NEWS


"Dawn Schiller's chilling account of her youth as the underage mistress of legendary porn star John Holmes is infused with the goodness and humanity that ultimately delivered her from her abusive ordeals. A classic story of an innocent young woman's descent and self-redemption, The Road Through Wonderland is gritty and starkly honest; it is at once a horror tale and a story of triumph."

- MIKE SAGER, WRITER-AT-LARGE AT ESQUIRE AND
AUTHOR OF "SCARY MONSTERS AND SUPER FREAKS"


"I am the advisor to a campus student group which in 2015 was beginning to examine the issues of violence against women and sex trafficking. Since Dawn Schiller spoke to the group, students have continued to reference her perspective to make connections to other forms of exploitation such as objectification of women in mass media, “throw-away teens,” and largely hidden sex trafficking in rural America. Her powerful story should be heard widely.  Highly recommended."  

- ROSEMARY POWERS, PH.D. PROFESSOR OF SOCIOLOGY, EASTERN OREGON UNIVERSITY

The Road Through Wonderland is a must-read for everyone, but especially professionals trained to identify and respond to horrible abuses such as those Dawn endured during her years with John Holmes and others around him. As I read, I wondered what we as a community can do to allow kids like Dawn to reach out for help rather than face death at the hands of their abusers on a daily basis. Unfortunately, in Dawn’s case, by the time the abuse came to the attention of the police, she was already eighteen. Though very incapable of caring for herself, she was legally seen as an adult. And though visibly battered by Holmes, she was returned to his “care” by police. I am thankful that our response to intimate partner violence and the exploitation of children and especially our “throwaway teens” has improved over the last thirty years. However, we have a lot more work to do before people understand how predators like Holmes target vulnerable children and that these troubled children are worth saving.”

- SGT. JOANNE ARCHAMBAULT, SAN DIEGO POLICE DEPT., RETIRED;EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF
END VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN (EVAW), INTL; CO-EDITOR OF SEXUAL ASSAULT REPORT


"Curiously enough for a book concerned with notorious pornographic film star John Holmes, there is very little emphasis on sex here. Instead, Schiller, who met Holmes in 1976 when she was just 15, details their five-year love affair, the stability he provided in the wake of her troubled childhood and the deterioration of their relationship after Holmes became addicted to cocaine and was ultimately arrested."

-  BOOKLIST


"Courageous. Not only will Schiller's haunting story stay with you, but her beautifully expressive writing will as well. This book is for anyone who has ever wondered why how adults—or for that matter, society—could turn their back on abused children. Schiller's painful insights help us begin to understand how these horrible things might happen . . . I find it amazing that Dawn Schiller manages to write so beautifully about something so shatteringly repulsive. Her picturesque descriptions belie her ability to somehow connect with the beauty of the natural world while being neglected, exploited and abused by the human world. This thing to take away from The Road Through Wonderland is not that it is a bizarre or extreme story, but that it is a girl's true story and gives us a rare and haunting look into what surviving takes. This important book illustrates the complexity of the victimization of children; for too many youth, victimization is not a single event, but a process or even a state of being."

- MITRU CIARLANTE, YOUTH INITIATIVE DIRECTOR AT THE
NATIONAL CENTER FOR THE VICTIMS OF CRIME


"A cautionary tale in workmanlike prose."

- PUBLISHERS WEEKLY


"The emotions are strong throughout this well-written book and lead the reader into a world few travel and survive. I was unable to put the book down!"

- SUSAN MURPHY MILANO, VIOLENCE EXPERT AND AUTHOR OF "TIME'S UP"


"Dawn Schiller's courageous and intimately detailed memoir has given us a rare backstage glimpse at the tragic lie of one man whom the industry used to sustain its myth-making machinery—and the havoc he wreaked in the life of a vulnerable young woman."

- DR. JACKSON KATZ, AUTHOR OF "THE MACHO PARADOX"