Private Hell, which is semi-autobiographical crime novel, deals with domestic abuse. While written as a work of fiction, the story within the story truthfully depicts the author's life from childhood through her escape from a first marriage that nearly took her life.


“I can never write a quick review of a book by Donna Carbone. I find it always takes me some time. This is not because the books are difficult to get through; on the contrary, they are page-turners that move me through them quickly, eager for the next page to unfold more of the story. No, it is because Donna's work demands of me contemplation, even digestion of a sort. A consummate storyteller, she is never content with that alone. She writes with a sincere desire to make life better for women.
Of course, that leads to a better life for men, too, because men need empowered, strong women as mothers, wives, partners, daughters and friends. Donna always leads her reader to go deeper, to learn anew and to resolve to make some changes, large or small, in how they view the world because of how she shares her view of it. A Hollywood mogul once said, "If you want to send a message, call Western Union," In today's lingo, he might have said, "Put it on Instagram," but the idea is the same. Donna never hammers a message into us; she tells us an engrossing story with characters we come to care about, but she presents their lives and their challenges in such a way that we cannot forget them once we close the book.” (posted to

“ This tale of 1 woman's experience with domestic violence was riveting...I read it in 2 days because it was a fast paced story, with a time line that was clear and flowed so easily over the span of a lifetime. I was drawn into her life, felt it and came away a more compassionate and empathetic person. This is a topic that must be discussed, written about and the stories spread among the masses. This one courageous, determined and fiercely instinctive child, grew into womanhood carrying the same insidiously lethal vulnerabilities into her adulthood, until she finally, in the nick of time, found the resources that would help her to stop the abuse and walk into a new life with renewed hope for love and family. Consider this book a text book course for life! Don't miss it! Pass it along and teach the lessons. Wonderful! Entertaining! Informative! Bittersweet! Hopeful!” (posted to

“Another great story by Carbone and this one packs a punch. A thought provoking read which tackles big issues and carries more meaning than the usual fiction (semi-fiction in this case) with none of the drag found in a non-fiction piece devoted solely to the exploration of violence and abuse. It is the uplifting drama of one who has risen above the degradation imposed on them, becoming the sorely needed example of a champion which is relevant to so many who have not yet recovered their voice.” (posted to

“Thank goodness I broke my rule of not reading stories I thought would be too sappy! Carbone has the finesse to combine mystery, food, philosophy and much more into a tale that made me laugh, think, and grimace-all in less than a page. Then there's the finish. It assures I will be reading all this author has to say in the future.” (posted to

Private Hell front.jpg