I inititally picked this up with the intention of filling in the V spot on my A-Z Reading challenge. It was much moMy rating: 6/10 (3 Goodreads stars)
I inititally picked this up with the intention of filling in the V spot on my A-Z Reading challenge. It was much more than a filler-in book however, I actually enjoyed the journey and the deep characterisation quite a lot.
The central character of the book is Margot, a slightly overweight, self-conscious and fairly shy woman, who we follow as she develops a relationship with a shady character by the name of Leon. When we first meet Leon, his partner is dead, having bled to death in his own bathtub.
Now, if this seems like a romance book. never fear, it isn't! I did wonder if I'd picked something up from the wrong section when I started reading it, because I usually only read crime books, and it is true that after the first chapter the 'action' slows down considerably to a slow-burning development of their relationship. But the shocks keep coming, just at a slower pace, and the ending was superb.
This wasn't a book I'd likely read again, because once you've read the ending you've had your pay-off, and any subsequent reading would be marred by the knowledge you have from the end, but I did enjoy it a lot. The deep characterisation was my favourite thing, I felt like I truly got to know Margot, and some of the side characters too, and it was really well plotted - I didn't work out the ending at all on this one, and usually I've got them by half way through, which is a disappointment. But this surprised me, which is something I always enjoy in a book!
This is the 'first' (as in the first written, not chronologically) book by foster carer Cathy Glass, and of the three I have read so far this is by faThis is the 'first' (as in the first written, not chronologically) book by foster carer Cathy Glass, and of the three I have read so far this is by far the most harrowing.
The story concerns an eight year old girl named Jodie, who has come into Cathy's care after being kicked out of 5 other foster homes in four months. She is an extremely disturbed child, and we don't fully begin to understand the reasons for this disturbance until some way into the book, when she begins to disclose the horrors of her past to Cathy. This little girl has suffered so much in her short life, including severe emotional, physical and utterly horrific sexual abuse that at times it was a real struggle to carry on reading. It made me very sad, and I cried a few times during it but it was a very interesting insight into the world of social care and the failings of the social services; Jodie had been on the 'at risk' register for her whole life and yet she still suffered in this horrendous way, despite social workers supposedly checking up on her every few months.
Despite the shocking nature of the book, as always with Cathy Glass it is very accessible and well-written and, unlike other so called 'misery memoirs' because it is written by a carer rather than the abused child themselves it is a lot more detailed and a lot less formulaic. If you're going to read any true life stories, make sure you start with those that Cathy Glass has written. ...more