Family Secrets

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Penguin Publishing Group, 1997 - Biography & Autobiography - 226 pages
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They were the "miracle babies"--five identical girls born on a farm, who went on to become the biggest celebrities of their day. Now, for the first time, the three surviving Dionne quintuplets tell their story--from their bizarre, socially isolated childhood, to the physical and sexual abuse they suffered at the hands of their parents, to their inspiring triumph over their difficulties. Includes never-before-published photos.

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A good book but I'm not sure how accurate it is. According to articles [allegedly] written by Annette Dionne on the 'Quintland' website the girls loved their parents, their father sent them beautiful Christmas and birthday cards [as adults] and their mother made a beautiful Christening shawl for her children. According to the book they couldn't wait to get away from their family home and hated living there.
We'll never know the truth of what went on, but it seems it was a very sad, dysfunctional existance. I hope that Annette and Cecile find some peace during their remaining years.

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About the author (1997)

Soucy is a published Quebecois novelist.

Yvonne Dionne, 1934 - 2001 Yvonne Dionne was born in 1934, one of the first recorded set of quintuplets to survive more than a few days. The five were born in Callander, Ontario, Canada to a large family consisting of the quints and eight other siblings. Although it seemed a miracle at the time, the quints were subjected to many depredations because or their rarity. Shortly after they were born, the quint's father, Oliva signed a contract with the Chicago World's Fair to display them to the public. The government, on discovering the deal, took the children away and gave them into the care of Dr. Allan Defoe, the doctor who delivered them. Their parents were discouraged form visiting. The quints were taken to Quintland where Defoe, who had bought the rights to their images, had them appear in various commercials. At Quintland, visitors could view the girls three times a day for a price. The Quints outstripped Niagra Falls as a Canadian tourist attraction and brought an estimated $500 million to Ontario over the course of the twenty years they lived there. Defoe also became very famous for his newspaper columns about the quints daily schedules. In 1936, the quints appeared in a movie based on Defoe's life, called "The Country Doctor" and was their first movie roles. They met the Queen of England, christened warships and appeared on the cover of Life magazine. In 1965, the five sisters published their own book called "We Were Five: The Dionne Quintuplets' Story." In 1998, they sued the government for 4 million dollars for taking them away from their parents. Years before, their father had won custody of the girls back, when they were ten, but three of the girls said he had sexually abused them. They also wrote another book, entitled, "Family Secrets: The Dionne Quintuplets Autobiography" in 1994 which discussed some of the many instances they endured. All through their lives, the quints, who were raised Roman Catholic, were in and out of convents. At the age of 21, the remaining quints received $250,000 from a trust fund from their childhood acting appearances. From that moment on, the quints tried to lead normal lives and three were married, but later divorced. Yvonne was considered to be the most artistic of the five and lived with her sister in Saint Bruno. She was a librarian and fought for children born out of wedlock and who were placed in psychiatric wards. Yvonne Dionne died June 23, 2001 at the age of 67 from cancer.

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