Jessica Willis Fisher's' Unspeakable' Begins to Lift the Curtain on Her Past: 'This Book Is My Witness Statement'

Fisher's new book is set for release on Nov. 1

Jessica Willis Fisher had already endured years of unthinkable abuse at the hands of her father. She had cowered in fear and hid her truth until 2016, when Toby Willis was finally arrested for child rape.

Yet still, at his sentencing one year later, where Willis pleaded guilty and received 40 years in prison, Fisher remained silent.

"I was given the chance to say something, and I didn't," Fisher, 30, tells PEOPLE in her first exclusive interview about her new book Unspeakable, set for release in November. "I wasn't ready. I didn't know what to say yet. It still felt unspeakable and impossible."

But now, Fisher is speaking her truth.

"I'm trying to do better when I can do better, and that's what this book is for me," the Americana singer/songwriter explains. "This book is my witness statement."

Jessica Willis Fisher’s New Book “Unspeakable” Begins to Lift the Curtain on Her Tragic Past: ‘This Book is my Witness Statement’
Jessica Willis Fisher. Sean Fisher

Indeed, Fisher's new book Unspeakable begins to lift the curtain on a life that once looked somewhat idyllic to fans of The Willis Clan, the family singing group that gained fame on shows such as America's Got Talent and TLC's The Willis Family. However, in the 32 chapters that make up Unspeakable, Fisher finally sheds light on the life that once looked like a fairytale but turned into a nightmare.

"This book does not say everything that happened to me, but it's what I am ready to say at this time," says Fisher, whose emotional new music video for her autobiographical song "My History" premieres exclusively on PEOPLE. "I was just trying to make sense of what happened to me but laying it out was really challenging."

Indeed, many of the memories that are emotionally recounted in Unspeakable came from a series of journals Fisher kept as a child, journals whose pages were filled with the "pure and raw" details of the anguish she was going through. But at the same time, there were other memories that Fisher says were a bit "fuzzier" when she went back to remember them.

"When you're in a position where you've been told that you're mistaken, and you've been told that you're a liar and you've been told that you're the problem, there is some confusion for sure," says Fisher, who released her debut solo album Brand New Day earlier this year. "I definitely had a big section of my life where it was kind of easier to think that I was the crazy one and that I was the one who was wrong instead of facing the reality of how bad things really were."

But to tell her truth, Fisher had to put in the work, researching and recounting and rehashing a tragic chain of events that she once tried to bury deep inside of her.

"I put in a lot of effort to know what happened and to research the story and to understand how fragmented and emotional and radioactive memories can be," she says.

Fisher says that she faced the most "radioactive" of those memories, dating back to when she was 16 years old, when she finally began to undergo the therapy she so desperately needed at age 24.

"I got into therapy, and I realized that I simply could not put together a cohesive timeline," Fisher remembers. "And I think that's when the idea of a book really began, not only to help me, but to help others."

Indeed, therapy allowed Fisher to see that she was far from the only one to have gone through such turmoil.

Jessica Willis Fisher’s New Book “Unspeakable” Begins to Lift the Curtain on Her Tragic Past: ‘This Book is my Witness Statement’
Unspeakable Cover Art. Thomas Nelson

"It wasn't just my family that this happens in over and over again," she says. "That is a horrible thing to hear but it's also encouraging too. It was a really big moment for me to start to see my story in the context of a much larger, greater issue that has gone on for generations before me."

Even the book's title became a piece of Fisher's healing.

"It's a little bit of a contradiction or oxymoron or paradox in the title itself because so much of what I'm saying is what I was once unable to say," she says of Unspeakable, whose cover image - debuting exclusively on PEOPLE - was taken by her husband of five years Sean Fisher. "And by saying it, it changes everything."

She pauses for a moment.

"This is a big turning point for me because there is work that can only be done by taking this step," Fisher concludes. "And feeling that pain that I was avoiding by not taking this step is a lot. The protection sort of ends, you know? It's a big moment for me, that's for sure."

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