Tracy Riva's Reviews > Damaged: The Heartbreaking True Story of a Forgotten Child

Damaged by Cathy Glass
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's review
Apr 22, 10

really liked it
bookshelves: non-fiction, mature-audience
Read from April 19 to 22, 2010

Sometimes the system fails and when it does, it’s catastrophic. Damaged by Cathy Glass is the story of one such failure and the little girl involved, Jodie. Cathy is a carer, the English equivalent of a foster parent, with twenty years of experience. Jodie comes to live with Cathy when she is just under eight-years-old and while there makes a series of startling revelations to Cathy. The first thirty pages or so are back story, but keep reading, it’s well worth your time.

Damaged is the true story of Jodie and the way the way the system fell apart, failing her in the most dramatic ways, keeping her in a dangerous home, where she suffered multiple injuries requiring emergency treatment, while they monitored the situation for nearly eight years. Her social services file was so extensive none of her social workers had ever read it in its entirety. What follows is a scene from the book:

“ …suddenly I was awake, with my eyes open and my senses alert. I turned and looked at the clock: it was nearly 2:15 a.m. I listened. The house was silent. Yet something told me all was not well; a sixth sense from years of looking after children.

I eased my feet from the bed and felt for my slippers. The house was cold, as the heating had switched off for the night. I fumbled to get my arms into my robe, tied it loosely, and opened the bedroom door. Suddenly, I gasped in shock. Jodie was standing outside the door, her face covered in blood.

‘What is it? What have you done?’ I frantically searched for the source of the blood. ‘Where are you hurt? Tell me! Come on, quickly!’ I couldn’t find anything, but the blood was fresh.

In a trance-like state, she slowly raised her hands and showed me her palms. They were smeared with blood, but I still couldn’t find any sign of a cut. I pulled up her pajama sleeves, and then I saw it. She had a cut on her left forearm, about an inch long, which was lightly seeping blood…

No one had mentioned anything about self-harming, but I doubted this was the first time she’d done it. I looked closer, and saw there were other fine, pink scar lines running up both arms. How recent they were was difficult to tell.”

Damaged by Cathy Glass is published by HarperElement, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, 77 – 85 Fulham Palace Road, Hammersmith, London, England W6 8JB, copyright 2006, ISBN 978-0-00-723634-3. Available online through Amazon, Barnes and Noble as well as other online book dealers, it may additionally be purchased local your local book store and through several book clubs.

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Comments (showing 1-3 of 3) (3 new)

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message 1: by M.K. (new)

M.K. Jones Hi Tracy,

I appreciate your well-written reviews. I look forward to learning how you like "Damaged." It sounds like an interesting book.

Tracy Riva M.K. wrote: "Hi Tracy,

I appreciate your well-written reviews. I look forward to learning how you like "Damaged." It sounds like an interesting book."

Thank you so much, hearing you are looking forward to my reviews is a huge compliment. I'm so glad you enjoy them. The review for Damaged should be posted by Sunday at the latest. - Tracy

message 3: by M.K. (new)

M.K. Jones "Damaged" sounds like a chilling story, and you've done an excellent job of reviewing it, as always. It's message increases the reader's awareness of the devastating results of trauma that children suffer when they've been abandoned or abused. I'll look into it further. Thank you again for sharing.

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