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3.77  ·  Rating Details ·  268 Ratings  ·  21 Reviews
What kind of a woman would sell her own child? A monster. Tess was just eleven years old when her mother sold her to a rich elderly man. Grace ran a brothel in Croydon and she plunged her young daughter into a terrifying world of sex and depravity. Grace was absolutely ruthless in her pursuit of money and had a toxic mix of low cunning and high ambition. Dangerous ...more
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published April 1st 2008 by Hodder & Stoughton
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Oct 25, 2012 Ashyxo rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 23, 2008 Nux rated it liked it
I think the book's quite well written and I like the attitude of the characters in it.

However I changed my mind about how many stars I give this book because at the very end the narrator seemed to 'dump' all the troubles she's ever had in life, almost every bad choices that she's made herself, even those made after she's became an independent adult, onto her mother's lap...

which I think is highly unfair. I even actually quite admire the mother's character. And she (the mother) can't be that bad.
Jun 18, 2012 Sarahlyn rated it liked it
I agree with one of the reviews.. I thought that at the end, the authoress shouldn't blame everything on her mother. She did show her love, like when she went after the man John after she realised that he abused her daughter. I hope she reads this. Anyway, I was appalled at the violence. I can't imagine that there is such violence between couples.
Mar 19, 2009 Joanne rated it it was amazing
Shelves: misery-lit
I'm not sure how to go about reviewing this book. It's not a story, it's real life. It's terrible what happened to Tess when she was younger. Her mother was... there isn't a word strong enough that isn't bad language. Detail is giving all the way through the book, even during the dreadful events of her life, but she doesn't go into too much detail. One can almost turn the page and try hard not to think about it, like Tess does herself, but it's so disturbing.

The emotion in this book is so strong
A heart breaking true story about a girl whose life was manipulated by her strong-willed, and perverse, mother. Tesses mother used her house as a place for hookers to meet with punters, a place to sell stolen goods and use her daughters feelings and desperation to guilt her into a life of crime and selling herself.

Tess managed to carve a life of happiness and stability for herself in the end with the love an support of her beloved partner.
Jul 26, 2011 Kingfan30 rated it liked it
Shelves: true-stories
Despite the terrible life this poor child had it is a relatively easy read, sounds odd I know but it is written in quite a matter of fact way. I have to say I thought it would be quite a horrific read, but it was not as bad as I expected. It is a good demonstration of emotional abuse at it's worst and you just can't imagine being treated like that by the person who is supposed to love you the most.
Sabrina Rutter
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Suzanne Moelands
May 25, 2012 Suzanne Moelands rated it liked it
Tragic story of a young girls involvement in her mothers dark world of prostitution. I wasn't completely drawn in and found it hard to have an emotional involvement with the book due to the writing style I think. Still, an interesting read with the detail of her experience that kept me interested to the end.
Kher Shin
Didn't really like the book but it's crazy how her life was like! Makes me really appreciate how much protection my mother has given me since I was a kid. I, too, don't understand why would Mother do such things to Tess despite showing love and care at some point in time. I truly hope Carol will be nice to Tess till the very end.
Jan 27, 2014 Danbob89 rated it liked it
The only reason I am giving this 3 stars is because it is real life. No heroes or princesses or evil witches (so to speak). Miss Stevens is able to relive all her memories in a delicate way, all the reader has to remember is that times were of course different to this day & age. I would shake her hand & congratulate on the fact she always held her head high.
May 05, 2014 Katja rated it really liked it
This book was a completely new experience for me. How easy it was to be sold. How absolutely disgusting and terrifying is was. I found it unexpected and well-made, the narrative was more to a " story" feeling rather than a documentary feeling. I absolutely recommend to people who are not easily disgusted, and to those that wants to go beyond the borders of normal, and enter a parallel universe.
S. Valentine
Jul 23, 2015 S. Valentine rated it really liked it
I was drawn to this book due to it being non fiction, and as I love to hear about people that turn their lives around and overcome bad situations that they end up in. This was another emotional read. These brave people deserve their story to be read. Inspiring.
Sep 08, 2011 Anastasia rated it it was ok
terrible story - well writted so easy to read- lost me in last part of the book as could no longer empathise with author. Not for everyone
Dec 22, 2011 Aga rated it liked it
This must be one of the most scariest books I have read in my life. Not recomended to anyone light hearted.
May 17, 2011 Sharmini rated it it was ok
Didn't really like this book. Thought the author was insane to go through all she went through with her mother, just to get her mother's love.
Amanda Holliday
Aug 29, 2013 Amanda Holliday rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Just finished reading this book, at first it took awhile to get into it but it soon became a book I cudnt put down!!
Mar 08, 2010 Yvonne rated it really liked it
Brainwashed her own daughter and pimping her to sick men. I actually have no idea what is going on in the mother's mind.
Dec 28, 2013 Kerry rated it really liked it
Not an easy read, especially at Christmas time :-( Very honestly written though and a happier ending at least.
Jasmine rated it it was amazing
Apr 07, 2016
Danielle Jorgensen
Danielle Jorgensen rated it really liked it
Jul 16, 2016
Claire Chapman
Claire Chapman rated it really liked it
Jan 29, 2012
Louise rated it it was ok
May 15, 2014
Yu Jun
Yu Jun rated it liked it
Jul 04, 2014
Lil rated it it was amazing
Sep 03, 2015
Sanam Janah
Sanam Janah rated it liked it
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Michelle rated it liked it
Jan 10, 2011
Louise rated it liked it
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Wendy rated it really liked it
Oct 14, 2015
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Tess Stevens was born and brought up in South London in her mother's brothel. Her early life was a grim cycle of emotional abuse and exposure to an adult sexual world. She worked in the sex industry all her life until five years ago when she finally broke away and she now lives with her partner in Sussex.
More about Tess Stevens...

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