The overall rating of a review is different from a simple average of all individual ratings.
Share this review on
This is the first book I've read from Anya Peters, my daughter-in-law gave it to me to read. Through reading it all my emotions surfaced, parts of it shocked me, other parts amused me and it also made me cry, but I couldn't stop reading it although I was sickened by events in the book. Anya Peters has captured what it was like to be an outcast and to not belong to a family unit, although she suffered mental and physical abuse from her cousins, who she liked to call her 'brothers and sisters', she still loved them and wanted to be a part of their family, but she was never really accepted.
This book is not for the faint hearted and if you don't like to read of cruelty, deprivation and hate then you had better leave it alone because this is real life, Anya's real life and it wasn't pretty. She was abused by her Uncle in a very depraved way and this book tells it as it was in sickening detail, it also deals with a family's shame about what has happened and the fact that 'we don't mention it'. Because of the shame Anya could only wrestle with her demons and not face them for many years.
Anya's childhood was never straightforward, she lived with her Aunt (Anya called her mummy) and Uncle and their children, 'mummy' loved her and got a lot of beatings from Uncle to protect Anya, uncle hated her because she was a 'whores child' who should never have been born. She knew her mother but she didn't live with her in Ireland because she was a secret child, the product of an illicit affair and her mother would have been banished from the family if they found out, so only 'mummy' and Uncle knew who Anya really was. Anya was a sad and lonely child who just wanted to be part of a real family but because of her Uncle she never quite achieved it.
This story tells of the transformation of an innocent child to a hardened but vulnerable adult, it is a story of physical, mental and sexual abuse that most people never hear of in a lifetime, it tells of Anya's journey through school, work and desolation and the reality that she was just another statistic. She has lived in fear and dread for most of her life but she has had the courage to go on and help herself.
This is an inspirational story and it could give hope to a lot of people, you should read it if you can but be prepared to be awash with emotion.