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One Foot Wrong

3.55  ·  Rating Details ·  624 Ratings  ·  96 Reviews
Meet Hester. A child of dark beginnings and few words. Living a painfully sheltered existence forced upon her by reclusive parents, Hester befriends the inanimate objects in her sheltered life: Cat, Broom, Handle and Axe all speak to her, urging Hester to go out into the world and enjoy the rich experience of life. When Hester's parents are forced to send her to school, th ...more
Hardcover, 249 pages
Published June 1st 2009 by Allison & Busby (first published January 1st 2008)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Renae Coles
May 22, 2009 Renae Coles rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A Child’s Drawing: One Foot Wrong

Laguna, S. (2008). One Foot Wrong. Crows Nest, NSW: Allen & Unwin.


Being plunged head first into the abstract brain of a young child is a surprisingly exhilarating experience, perfectly captured in Sofie Laguna’s novel One Foot Wrong. This gripping, fictitious tale presents the colourful world of Hester: a young girl trapped in the ridiculous rules of her reclusive religious parents. Readers are invited into Hester’s bizarre world where door handles and wooden
...more
Hannah
Aug 04, 2009 Hannah rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One Foot Wrong by Sofie Laguna

After penning several children’s and YA stories, One Foot Wrong is Sofie Laguna’s first adult novel. And yet, like a curious playmate out of juvenile literature, Laguna’s crisp language, full of bright and shiny imagery, beckons the reader inward and holds our hand through the most terrifying moments.

The only child of reclusive parents, Hester Wakefield explores the boundaries of her nightmarish childhood. Isolated, she constructs a coded speech gleaned from the pag
...more
Sarah
Jun 22, 2010 Sarah rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: adult-fiction
A painful heart-wrenching book about a little girl, trapped in a world of abuse and her own imagination. Bleak but powerful, with a tiny sliver of redemption.
Anne
Apr 29, 2011 Anne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sofie Laguna is an Australian novelist, this is her first adult fiction book. It's incredibly difficult to relay the emotions that this story evoked for me. The style, the language and the story is unlike anything I've come across before. The nearest comparison, for those that want one, would be Emma Donoghue's 'Room' - if only for the child narrator and the sparse language.
The story starts with Hester as a small girl - an unwanted small girl who is kept in isolation by her fanatical, religious
...more
Nancy
Jun 15, 2009 Nancy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, june-2009
Hester was born past her mother's prime child-bearing years, and her mother repeatedly lets her know that she is a curse to her. Exactly what, or even whether anything is truly wrong with Hester is unclear. Her upbringing is at least in part the source of her limitations. The story is narrated by Hester, and the language, and view is both simplistic, yet magical. She interprets everything through what she understands of the bible stories she has been told.

Her parents, who she refers to as Boot (
...more
Ruby  Tombstone [With A Vengeance]
I like a book written from an interesting perspective, and this book certainly has that. Told from the point of view of Hester, a girl/young woman growing up in a house with distant, abusive, extremely religious parents, never allowed to interact with the outside world, Laguna uses the language and imagery of a small child trying to make sense of a world she can only guess at. Hester anthropomorphises common household objects to be her only friends. Since all of her questions about the world go ...more
Magdalena
One Foot Wrong is a powerful and extremely disturbing novel. It starts off gently, dropping the reader into the lyrical, almost charming narrative of Hester Wakefield. It’s a child’s world, where cats and birds are friends, and inanimate objects such as a spoon, a chair and a broom, communicate warmly. Parents on the other hand, are objectified and kept at a distance wherever possible. The lyricism of Hester’s astonishingly beautiful and myopic voice is constant, even when the plot becomes terri ...more
Lydia Joyner
Sep 10, 2011 Lydia Joyner rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was recommended this book from a friend. It was Poetic. Horrible. Beautiful. Sofie Laguna took a disgusting childhood abuse story and turned it into a terrific storm of words that twisted like tornadoes through my mind. I loved every second. It was a page turner to the end. It was like reading a song. The words would sing through my head.
Jenny
"I was a walking secret that had no sound".
This novel was lyrically and poetically narrated by the central character Hester. Laguna gives the reader the difficult task of hearing the most confronting and mortifying events through the eyes of a much troubled Hester. It is not always easy to follow, nor digest, but there is something so compelling about it. It is terrifying, yet triumphant in possibly the most gruesome conclusion one could imagine.
Definitely a book that I would be very careful
...more
Cam
Jan 23, 2009 Cam rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Whilst this story is of the horrendous abuse that Hester suffered at the hand of her religious zealous reclusive parents. I found it to be a story of a champion that never painted herself a victim. She creates for herself literally the tools of her own survival, spoon, pencil, axe & tree. With their friendship, she provided for herself the love support & companionship she was never allowed or given otherwise. They acted as her own nurture network, they gave her affection, praise, and enc ...more
Franziska
Jun 21, 2015 Franziska rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
ALL THE STARS for this truly outstanding book!!
Dawn
Sep 18, 2009 Dawn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Couldn't put this one down. Read it to the neglect to all others, including sleep, in less then one day.
Sharon
Jan 09, 2010 Sharon rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I thought it was going to be another heartbreaking book about a neglected & abused child & the way she sees the world. It turned into something totally different. a very disturbing ending.
Polly
Oct 26, 2016 Polly rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow! It was a really good book but super every as the cover art depicts. It's not for someone under 16/17 as it deals with some horrid realities. It's really creative though and really makes you think about how certain behaviors could be understood. If you're a psychology major, then this is a great read.
Di
Feb 14, 2017 Di rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
A painful heart wrenching book about a little girl trapped in a world of abuse with only her imagination.
Seemingly the first adult novel this author has done....can't imagine what her children's books are like.
Not for me at all.....the story didn't flow and I'm not sure I liked any of it....very strange
Judith Yeabsley
Unlike the author's portrayal of an autistic boy in a disfunctional family which was heart-breaking but contained so much light (The Eye of the Sheep) - this for me was mostly dark. I found it depressing and so hard going. Yes it was a brilliant glimpse into the mind of Hester but there was so little that showed any hope or redemption.
Jill
Mar 18, 2017 Jill rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I caught the jest of the story but a very, very strange book to read.
Rachel - skullandcrosstales
They say:

‘Outside was forbidden. It was dangerous because it had no walls or roof telling you to stop.’

I say:

This book is absolutely heartbreaking.

I picked it up knowing nothing about it or the author, based only on those two sentences, and right from the start I was hooked. I have now read this book twice – but don’t think that knowing how it will end makes it any easier to read.

This haunting novel tells the story of Hester – a young girl kept locked inside her home by her reclusive parents. In
...more
Sharon
Jan 16, 2010 Sharon rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Meera
Mar 10, 2016 Meera rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was an extremely unsettling and disturbing book, and I have not read anything like this, ever. This is Australian children's novelist Sofie Laguna's first adult fiction work. The narrative is told entirely through the perspective of Hester, the child protagonist. *possible spoilers ahead*

The readers very quickly discover that she is held imprisoned by her ultra-conservative and religious parents, and never sees life in daylight, till she goes to school, but the inadequate system fails to p
...more
Rebecca McNutt
Mar 04, 2015 Rebecca McNutt rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
One Foot Wrong is the incredibly sad and disturbing book telling the story of Hester, a little girl raised by religious fanatic parents and ultimately becoming insane, never growing up because the world was never even properly explained to her. Within her childish mind are hallucinations and voices from the inanimate objects she grew up with, and as she gets older she suffers through her mother beating her, her father molesting her, being sent to a mental institution and kept on mind-numbing dru ...more
Lisa
Aug 19, 2015 Lisa rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: australia, c21st
I have just finished reading One Foot Wrong for our ANZLL discussion which starts next week, and I don’t know what to write about this book.

It’s about a child whose parents are religious nutters, and it’s written from her POV, repeating the things they say to her in a macabre sort of echo. The parents abuse her physically and mentally, and some really shocking things happen.

I find myself wondering why someone would want to tell a story like this. I’m not suggesting that it shouldn’t be done; t
...more
Marissa
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Caitlin
Mar 27, 2013 Caitlin rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: hard-work
Okay, so this book is not easy work to read. I wanted to read it because a bookshop customer, who was into Danielle Steel et al said she hated it, so I wanted to give it a crack.

It's a stream-of-consciousness look into the deprived and depraved mind of a young person who is virtually imprisoned by her heavily religious parents.

Think "Bad Boy Bubby" but the cat survives.

In many ways, it also reminded me a lot of "Room" - the narrator as an innocent being held captive in a world the reader unders
...more
Ann
(This review contains spoilers)
The story of the young life of Hester, the child of parents guided by religious zealotry. Told through the voice of Hester, it is not disclosed what the mental condition is that guides her thinking, but there is an underlying condition which is exasperated by her family experiences. The family is dysfunctional and generational child abuse and rape is perpetuated. She is the victim of multiple rape, carnal knowledge, torture, physical, mental and sexual abuse. The s
...more
Ally Atherton
Jul 27, 2011 Ally Atherton rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Hester lives in the house and isn't allowed outside. She lives with Sack and Boot and often eats her food under the table with Cat and goes to the hanging room if she is bad. God the bird watches over her and Jesus is drumming the beat inside her head. Then one day she has to go to school and learns that everybody is different from her and that a secret has no sound and lives in your darkest corner where it sits and waits.


I cannot praise this book enough, it is simply incredible. If you are look
...more
Debra
Jun 16, 2009 Debra rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition


A child is imprisoned in a house by her reclusive religious parents. Hester has never
seen the outside world; her companions are Cat, Spoon, Door, Handle, Broom, and they
all speak to her. Her imagination is informed by one book, an illustrated child's bible, and
its imagery forms the sole basis for her capacity to make poetic connection.

One day Hester takes a brave Alice in Wonderland trip into the forbidden outside (at the
behest of Handle - 'turn me turn me'), and this overwhelming encounter
...more
Jane
Aug 23, 2013 Jane rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My first five-star read for the year. One foot wrong is horrible, beautiful, bewitching, repulsive. Hester is sensitive to all the voices of the world (animate and inanimate), open and trusting and painfully, unliveably literal. She is betrayed by almost everyone around her. Awful things are done to her, but the author makes it impossible to entirely blame those who do them (except the school: I can’t forgive the school for not saving her!) because they’re all so bruised and deranged themselves. ...more
Rach Denholm
Feb 15, 2016 Rach Denholm rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a situation we hear of, historically and sadly still occasionally in the media. Trapped indoors by religiously fanatical and abusive parents, Hester is childish and naive. The language is powerfully descriptive, describing the thought processes of a young child grappling with the only reality she knows. Her innocence and trust are startlingly explored and are heartbreaking when she has an oportunity to seek help but is unaware that she needs it.
The tale became very dark and almost overw
...more
Jeannettef
Dec 29, 2013 Jeannettef rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Het boek is een mengeling van gruwels en poëzie. Zolang de hoofdpersoon van het boek aan het woord is, kun je genieten van de levendige fantasie van een meisje dat in gedachten praat met voorwerpen om haar heen, en met vogels en een boom. Met een kinderlijke onbevangenheid vertelt Hester wat haar ouders haar allemaal aandoen. Als je dat leest, lopen de rillingen over je rug. Je vraagt je af of Hester werkelijk geestelijk gestoord is, of dat haar psyche zo geworden is door haar levensomstandighed ...more
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Sofie Laguna originally studied to be a lawyer at the University of New South Wales, but after deciding law was not for her, she moved to Melbourne to train as an actor. Sofie worked for a number of years as an actor at the same time as completing a Diploma in Professional Writing and Editing at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology. Sofie is now an author and playright writing for both adul ...more
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