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Behind Closed Doors: A True Story of Abuse, Neglect and Survival Against the Odds

4.05 of 5 stars 4.05  ·  rating details  ·  1,055 ratings  ·  36 reviews
In 'Behind Closed Doors' Jenny Tomlin recounts her traumatic upbringing at the hands of a physically and sexually abusive father, as well as how she and her siblings not only survived but eventually transcended their experiences, and how she went on to find love and happiness in her life.
Published February 1st 2006 by Hodder & Stoughton (first published 2005)
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I loved this book but at times it seem to drag on about nothing to me. Not very often just a chapter or two in between. I feel so sorry that parents have children they just do not seem to want. I can not understand as a mom how any person or woman for that matter could just ignor someone abusing their child. With all that wen to n in this house I do not know how these children even survived. Going hungry, beaten, sexually abused and for no one to seem to care but one aunt. That seems very odd to ...more
James Perkins
If you live outside of the UK, you probably don't know who Martine McCutcheon is, but she is a big celebrity there, as a central character in the popular soap EastEnders, and a sometime minor pop star and occasional movie actress (e.g. Hugh Grant's romantic interest in Love Actually). This book was written by her mother, who has no doubt ridden on the coattails of her daugther's fame in racking up sales. I don't blame her for that - after all, who is going to buy a book about a terrible childhoo ...more
I think this was one of the best books I have ever read. It's a brilliant read I felt as though I knew Kim Jenny an Auntie.
Jun 28, 2010 Dawn rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Social Workers and victims of abuse
Recommended to Dawn by: No-one
Shelves: biography
Difficult to rate this book as I didn't like the subject matter at all, and I didn't like reading a lot of it, but I liked the way it was written, so I have rated it on that merit. I do not normally read books like this but I found it in a charity shop and I was interested to read it to compare it to "Jesus Land" (also called "Another Hour on a Sunday Morning") by Julia Scheeres. I much preferred Jenny Tomlin's disclosure of abuse as it had an honesty about it which was lacking in Scheere's book ...more
Eva Leger
Oct 09, 2008 Eva Leger rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: people who read family abuse type memoirs
Recommended to Eva by: found on bookmooch
There isn't much more than "Wow" that I can say for this book. I'm still amazed and when I think of parts my mouth drops open. I read books of this nature a lot and one would think it gets old after awhile, or so I'm told, but it never does for me. I'm still shocked that there are people, children, who have had and still have to endure this kind of torture and pain. I feel like I actually know Jenny and her sister Kim as well as their aunt. Their aunt passing actually brought tears to my eyes. T ...more
This was a very good and interesting read
Fiona Macdougall
Wonderful book. Mostly sad but nice to read the happier times too. Jenny didn't paint a complete doom and gloom picture even though her childhood was stolen many times over. Fantastic read!!!
Rebecca  Porter
Talk about a tale of rags to riches! The Mother of Martine McCutcheon tells her life story in this book - Behind Closed Doors - and it really is a rollercoaster of abuse, pain and survival. This is actually the second time I've read this book as I picked up my copy a few years ago, but even on the second read it is shocking. As always with books like this, I wanted to reach into the pages and pull Jenny and her siblings out of them so I could protect them and care for them. Their Auntie, the one ...more
Laura Ellison
Unlike some of other books of this genre, this book is quite graphic in places and does not make for easy reading. The author is the mother of a popular soap actress, although this is quite irrelevant to the story and her famous daughter only makes an appearance towards the end of the book - how the writer can be seen as 'cashing in' on having a famous relative is beyond me, as they don't even share the same last name.

Told with a dose of good old fashioned east-end London humour; Jenny recounts
Wow wow wow, what children put up with! Really enjoyed this heartbreaking story of abuse, real eye opener x x
This book is written by the mother of the actress/singer Martine McCutcheon who writes about her life growing up of abuse and neglect. Her story is at times very hard to read, horrific details about the terrible life she and her siblings had as a result of an abusive father and a neglectful mother how always stood by her husband. How no one in authority cared enough to help these children from the police to social services. The book at times rambles and is written very simply but you can't help ...more
Nadine O' brien
Most amazing and inspirational book I've ever read.
-Georgina- Smith
Jul 13, 2007 -Georgina- Smith rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: A teenage age
this book is soooooooooooooooooooo good
It is hard to fathom how a parent could inflict any kind of abuse onto their child especially any kind of sexual abuse. This is what Jenny and her sisters endured from the time she was 4 till she was old enough to fight off her father. The rest of her living situation was no better. The father beat the mother and the mother did nothing. They lived in squalor. The house was never cleaned and they had very little to eat. Her father faked whatever disability he could to avoid having to work and all ...more
Emma Stranack
It's a good book if, like me, you like to read about the lives and experiences of others. Yes, it's difficult to read at times due to the content but this is what makes it easier to connect with and understand the author and her reasons for wanting to share her story.
Chris Phillips
Am Reading the book "Behind Closed Doors" by Jenny Tomlin.
Jenny is telling her childhood (TRUE) story of her terrible abusive upbringing, and how she survived. A very chilling story of how her father was sexually and violently abusive to all the 5 children and their mother. As a grandma now herself, one of her own daughters was a famous actress in "Eastenders" she lays bare the horrific times as a child that she suffered. ISBN 0 340 83791 8

Should be read by anyone who themselves has suffered fam
Dora Santos Marques
Não gostei muito deste livro porque é altamente repetitivo. As coisas e os factos são exaustamente ditos várias vezes. São notáveis os relatos de abuso e da miséria em que esta família vivia e isso marca-nos porque é uma história veridica. De resto, não tem mais nada porque é mesmo só isto...
Patricia Kaniasty
What an inspiration. This story tells more than just a life of abuse. It also talks about survival, making your dreams come true, and sometimes, you just can't rid yourself of evil. They were no stop signs for this man. No one came to the kids rescue except themselves. A definate story of triumph.
A sad story well-told for the most part. It seems like I had a lot of questions after I finished. Why didn't she disown her mother? Didn't she feel bad about leaving Carole at home after the trial? Why so much love towards Auntie when (1)she had to know what was going on and (2)she basically ignored the two youngest children.

I think the only one I admire after reading this book is the author's sister, Kim.

I will read her 2nd book and see if it fills in some of the blanks. Hey, maybe that was t
Dawn Buffham-Bates
Aug 11, 2008 Dawn Buffham-Bates rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: not for the faint hearted
this book taught me how blessed my childhood was. And how evil some people can be to their own children, and how scared some women must be of the men in their lives.

A very scary account of an awful childhood, may Jenny be blessed with a happier future and God's blessing for a sense of peace for the wa in which she has helped many people understand this terrible crime against her and so many like her.

A very brave woman indeed.
Sarah Byrne
Woah!! How true is the saying 'You just never know what goes on behind closed doors'? This story brings it home if ever anyone was unsure of the meaning of that saying. How Jenny and her siblings survived I never know, but how they must be feeling at doing so is anyones guess. It's not only the physical effects but more so, the emotional effects that people like these, have to go through.
This was a difficult book because the child-abuse is graphic and of course heart-rending but its utterly gripping, you hope against hope all the way through that Auntie will be able to save her, and when Auntie eventually passes away I cried when the other relatives refused her to keep so much as an egg-cup as a momento. Somehow that seemed like one of the worst things that happened to her.
Even though I've read this book before, I had forgotten just how shocking it was. I can't even begin to understand what it must have been like for Jenny and her siblings to face that daily abuse. I don't understand why her mum just let it happen or how the social did nothing, even after her dad was arrested. She is a brave woman to have come out of that and put her life back together.
Child abuse and the harrowing effects of a dysfunctional family is never an easy read and this book covers it in many aspects. It's based off of a true story which makes it resonate even deeper into the reader's mind. All in all a great book.
A horrendous tale of child abuse and neglect in a dysfunctinal family, which is bravely told. It should be provided to all staff working in child protection to reiterate what they are trying to overcome and why their thankless task is so important.
Ellie French
Jul 18, 2007 Ellie French rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: older people who wnjoy true storys..x
Shelves: justreadx
This book gets people so engrossed. My mum read it and told me to read it as she thought it would be a book that i'd enjoy. It is such a sad story and so true.
Its about Msrtin McCutchins mum an dwhat happened to her as a child.
Jul 15, 2007 Vanessa rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: teens
this book is interesting i read this with friends and it was very emotional it is a true story so you find some things difficult to understandd .
I don't like reading these sort of books , as I can't believe a parent could be so cruel to their own child.
A sad book, but certainly one in which you can see that despite all the bad, good can come of it.
Kirsty Noah-whitlock
Well written and a good book. Enjoyed reading but not quite a 5 star x
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QUEEN of the misery memoir Jenny Tomlin, mother of actress Martine McCutcheon, is not as tragic as you might imagine.

Upbeat and truly happy in her life now, it's difficult to believe that she was sexually abused by her father, unprotected by her slovenly mother and then married a violent man who battered her senseless even when she was pregnant with Martine.

Her disturbing story was told in her m
More about Jenny Tomlin...
Send Me No Flowers Silent Sisters Sweetie Not Alone The Jenny Tomlin Collection: Behind Closed Doors, Silent Sisters, Not Alone

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