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A Long Way From Home

A Long Way from Home

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The true story of 2 year-old Anna, abandoned by her natural parents, left alone in a neglected orphanage.

Elaine and Ian had travelled half way round the world to adopt little Anna. She couldn’t have been more wanted, loved and cherished. So why was she now in foster care and living with me? It didn’t make sense.

Until I learned what had happened. …

Dressed only in nappies and ragged T-shirts the children were incarcerated in their cots. Their large eyes stared out blankly from emaciated faces. Some were obviously disabled, others not, but all were badly undernourished. Flies circled around the broken ceiling fans and buzzed against the grids covering the windows. The only toys were a few balls and a handful of building bricks, but no child played with them. The silence was deafening and unnatural. Not one of the thirty or so infants cried, let alone spoke.

336 pages, Paperback

First published February 22, 2018

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About the author

Cathy Glass

172 books1,830 followers
Cathy Glass is a bestselling British author, freelance writer and foster carer.
Her work is strongly identified with both the True Life Stories and Inspirational Memoirs genres, and she has also written a parenting guide to bringing up children, Happy Kids, and a novel, The Girl in the Mirror, based on a true story.
Glass has worked as a foster career for more than 20 years, during which time she has fostered more than 50 children. Her fostering memoirs tell the stories of some of the children who came in to her care, many of whom had suffered abuse.
The first title, Damaged, was number 1 in the Sunday Times bestsellers charts in hardback and paperback. Her next three titles, Hidden, Cut and The Saddest Girl in the World, were similarly successful, all reaching the bestseller charts.
The name "Cathy Glass" is a pseudonym for author Lisa Stone.

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5 stars
1,563 (56%)
4 stars
771 (28%)
3 stars
330 (12%)
2 stars
65 (2%)
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20 (<1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 192 reviews
Profile Image for Shirley Revill.
1,197 reviews240 followers
August 2, 2018
I have just started listening to this audiobook today. I'm not ashamed to say I have tears in my eyes thinking about the orphanage and the children waiting to be adopted.
This is a truly exceptional and heartbreaking story of how being given up for adoption affected one child's life and the people caring for her. Recommended.
Profile Image for Bookread2day.
2,236 reviews63 followers
January 30, 2018
I'm a very big fan of Cathy Glass who has been a foster carer for 25 years. I found A Long Way From Home a tearful read. Elaine and Ian travel halfway round the world to adopt a 9 month old little girl named Lana. All the paper work has been set. But upon arrival to the orphanage sadly Elaine and Ian are told baby Lana had died the day before they arrived. The orphanage are keen to find Elaine and Ian another baby that they can adopt. Will Elaine and Ian accept to adopt another baby from this orphanage? I very highly recommend this moving true story.
Profile Image for Anna Grace Butler.
27 reviews2 followers
March 31, 2018
I have always loved Cathy’s books. She is a fantastic author and foster mom. I’ve given most of her books 5 stars so I hate to give this one only 3. Very little of the story was about Cathy’s experience fostering Anna. It is similar to “Will You Love Me” about Lucy, where she writes the first section of the book like a novel where she was not there. Most of the story was about the adoption experience rather than the fostering experience. I wouldn’t want it to be embellished because this is creative nonfiction but for this story, perhaps there is a different format it could have been written in. On the other hand the story talks about some important topics such as international adoption, RAD, and that angry children are fearful children. This doesn’t change that fact that Cathy is one of my favorite authors and I’ll continue reading her memoirs. This one just lacked the same fostering journey that her other ones have.
Profile Image for Connie.
70 reviews5 followers
March 9, 2018
So I love Cathy Glass...I own all her books, aswell as have read them all too. I love them.


This book comes in 2 parts.
Part 1 I was bored of, I didn't feel it needed to be in the book. It also didn't feel like I was reading a Cathy Glass Book...It was if she teamed up with another Author...I don't know, it was different, not what I expected and didn't enjoy it.

Part 2 I loved. but I wish Part 2 was alot longer. I wish there had been more Talk on the Life Anna has in England, that part was missed out...as part one was all about finding her, and bringing her home...then we suddenly miss 2 years of her life 😕

And you'll find in Part 2 Anna's adopted mum give a brief summary of what her and her husband went through in order to adopt and bring Anna home...and so I found that pointless considering we had already read all that in Part 1.

So basically what I'm saying is...
Part 1 was pointless, not needed, and boring...

Part 2 much more enjoyable yet not enough of it, not enough of Anna, her life with the adopted parents or her feelings etc.

This book was a Gift, and one I'm grateful for, but personally if I had brought this myself I wouldn't have carried on past pages 54/55

I've loved every book by Cathy and own then all, I highly recommend them. But this was a let down for me (Part1)

Profile Image for Carol.
51 reviews2 followers
February 25, 2018
Interesting but not as engaging as Cathy's previous books in that Anna's time with Cathy's family seemed to be quite limited.
Profile Image for Rebekah Gillian.
28 reviews
May 6, 2018
Another phenomenal book by Cathy Glass.

As someone who has done my own extensive research about attachment disorder in a formal learning environment, and someone who has experienced attachment disorder first hand in the past, it was an extremely educational read. The backgrounds were different in the book and from what I experienced personally, but I could recognise a lot of her behaviours in the ones I had experienced through the individual suffering from the disorder in my personal life. It was extremely touching to learn about why she had acted that way and watch as Glass' own experiences of the behavioural differences aided in the attachment development of the child.

The only criticism I have is that there were quite a few grammatical and spelling errors throughout, and repetitiveness that, at times, ruined the natural flow of Cathy Glass's writing style that I have grown to love. However, this does not take away from the rest of the story, and is a book I'd recommend to anyone that is interested in learning more about the possible difficulties you may be faced with after adopting a child.
604 reviews2 followers
February 25, 2018
I am a massive fan of this author and her books are always emotional and heart breaking when you learn what the children have been threw. This in a way was one of the most heartwarming and emotional stories as due to her past Anna was badly affected and unable to show love to anyone or even communicate how she felt. Despite her parents loving her. This was one of the most lovely stories due to me becoming an uncle a year a go it really tore at my heart to see a family who clearly loved each other but just did not know how to handle there situation. I am glad that Anna ended up with Cathy because if not I feel that family would have not had the ending they did. Cathy is a tromendus and dedicated carer and I am glad that there are people like her who not only care about helping the children but also assisting the family as well.
Profile Image for Chelsea.
115 reviews6 followers
April 3, 2018
I am a massive fan of Cathy glass and have been for years now, I've read every book of hers and I'm always eagerly awaiting her next one, this has been on my wish list for a while now, I'm on holiday from work for two weeks so I thought now would be a great time to purchase and start reading her latest book.. it is an absolutely fantastic and an emotional read as are all her books, being a mother myself her stories touch my heart, what I like about Cathy's books are they are very easy to read and relatable with her own family life and routines. This story is about Anna who was adopted abroad but sadly her adoption didn't work out. I thoroughly enjoyed this story and I was thrilled with the ending, I can't wait for the next release!
1,481 reviews24 followers
February 22, 2018
I have the deepest respect for Cathy Glass and I think it is amazing what she does. This story like all of her stories is an emotional one, to hear what the orphanage that Anna was in was like was unbearable and really made me tear up. I really felt for Cathy and her family when Anna was being disruptive but I knew Cathy would be able to overcome it with her years of training and looking after other children. I enjoyed this story.
108 reviews
August 29, 2018
i love cathy's books and never take me long to read. this was a very poignant story about success when they thought all was lost. And how behaviour is stimulated from experience but with persistance your past doesn't need to be your future.
Profile Image for Stacie Moore.
14 reviews1 follower
March 6, 2018
although i'm a big lover of cathys books i just didn't enjoy this one or her previous one as much as i have her others. i felt once the previous adopters story was told cathys side was rushed and short.
Profile Image for beth ☁️.
20 reviews1 follower
April 30, 2020
Enticing, engaging and interesting.

I have read many books by Cathy and extremely rarely have I ever given less than 5*. This one got 4*. Don’t get me wrong this in now way has changed my love for the Cathy Glass memoirs in anyway. The thoughts that span from the usual memoirs which focus mainly on the fostering (feelings,thoughts, experience ect) being from herself, the young person she is looking after and the support workers-Jill and social workers (with maybe minimal input of people close to the young person- parents/teachers). This one being a little different from others, whereby you get to know child’s (Anastasia/Anna) back story and history at the beginning rather than as Cathy finds out. The book seemed to be more about the adoption than the fostering experience. The inclusion of important factors such as the adoption, RAD and the decisions made by both parents and the social care system.
There are definitely moving moments within where Anna was moved from Cathy and she accepted a hug and cried a tear. The impacts and outcomes from different moments in Anna’s life as well as the behaviour were insightful.
Accepting when help is needed and sometimes the decisions you make and the things you do are not always the best but using them as a tool to grow and learn.

“Angry children are fearful children”

It was an amazing ending where she got back in touch and got to see her 7 years later, along with the adoptive parents. Knowing Cathy has a positive impact in the lives of the children she looks after makes me love the memoirs even more.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Kaisha (The Writing Garnet).
652 reviews163 followers
February 23, 2018
All reviews can be found on my blog at https://thewritinggarnet.wordpress.com

Just like every other Cathy Glass novel, what is written is a true story with all of the important details (names, places etc) changed to protect the identity of those involved. If you think that you’re going to be reading a novel that tells you what you want to hear when it comes to adoption – think again. Whilst Cathy Glass does state multiple times throughout that adoption is fantastic, and how many adoptions are completed with no issues whatsoever, there are situations where adoption becomes the polar opposite to what you had originally thought. Unfortunately, this story is one of them.

Elaine and Ian were a couple who were determined to have a family of their own. You can’t really fault them for that now, can you? After going through all of the legal documentation, dotting their I’s and crossing their T’s, the couple chose to adopt outside of the UK. Naively, I had absolutely no idea that children were left to suffer in such neglected conditions due to the high level of poverty in various countries. Was this an eye-opener? Most definitely. By page 6 of the book, a lump had already formed in my throat – if children can go through such heartbreaking times, I can read the book until the end. The lump in my throat was nothing compared to what those children had to endure.

Elaine and Ian believed that they were doing the right thing by adopting out of the UK, potentially saving a child from a bleak future if they were to be left in the orphanage. Judging by the couples reactions to what they saw that day, I truly believe that their eyes were opened as well. I think that they knew things were bad overseas, but I don’t think that they were quite expecting what they saw with their very own eyes. To be perfectly honest, I wasn’t expecting it either. Obviously, adoption overseas comes with a lot of barriers, with the most important one being language – would the staff in the orphanage understand what the couple were trying to say? Would the child they were going to adopt, learn to understand this new funny language? It isn’t as easy as filling out a few forms, ticking a few boxes and then going to pick up your new child like you were going to pick up a click and collect order from your local Argos. There is so much involved and what really opened my eyes, was the fact that bringing your new addition to the family home is just the tip of the iceberg.

When the storyline changed to Cathy’s viewpoint, my heart sank as I knew what was going to happen, but I couldn’t believe it. I think my heart broke for the child and everyone involved. I applaud Cathy for what she did with Anna and how she managed to turn a questionable situation into something more manageable. That said, part of me felt quite deflated in regards to the adoptive parents. Granted I wasn’t in their situation, nor was I there to witness Anna’s personality, but I couldn’t quite understand their reaction to an older Anna. Here was a child, screaming out to be loved in the only way she knew how, with her new mummy looking at her like a blank piece of paper. I am not judging the parents because like I say, I wasn’t in their situation so I cannot form an opinion on how they acted. However, I can form an opinion from what I read and I would be lying if I said it didn’t catch me, because it did.

‘A Long Way From Home’ really opened my eyes to the side of adoption which people fail to mention. Yes it broke my heart, and yes I found it quite difficult to read, but I needed to be educated about that sort of thing and I am glad that Cathy Glass was the person to do that. As a huge fan of this author for many years, Cathy Glass’ work never fails to let me down, nor does any new release make me less inclined to read another of her books – in fact, with every book I read of hers, I have to go and buy a new one straight away just so that I can get into the mindset of children who find themselves in a situation no child should ever be in.

This book is heart-wrenching, I’m not going to lie, but it is also beautifully written and something which everyone needs to learn about. Not everything is all sunshine and roses, but with Cathy Glass supporting children, I really do think that she is a special type of angel.
Profile Image for Jazz Nightingale.
80 reviews5 followers
March 2, 2018
Another heartbreaking book from Cathy Glass. A foster carer with over 25 years experience, Cathy writes of her time spent with various foster children over the years.

This book focuses on Anna, a child adopted from abroad who struggles with her feelings after having an extremely rough start to life. With Anna's parents at the end of their tether, Cathy is asked to step in and foster her for a while which brings a lot of challenges to be overcome.

All in all, this is another one of the tear-jerking, edge-of-your-seat reads that I've come to expect from Cathy and, as much as they break my heart, I'm left very much looking forward to her next new release.
Profile Image for Jenni.
174 reviews1 follower
March 1, 2018
Another one from my favourite author. Easy to read, the first half tells of international adoption and its lengthy process and then in the second part of the book cathy enters the story i wont give any spoilers but its another winner from cathy, liked it and kept going back to it for another instalment. i would recommend her books to anyone because they are so gripping and she knows her stuff in regards to the care system and her part in fostering children.
Profile Image for William Lomas.
78 reviews1 follower
February 28, 2018
i think although have not read all of this authors titles, that this is the best i've read yet. so glad they are now in audio format, for those who want it, like me. would recommend this to anyone. it shows how even young children from other countries still have problems in life, and how we here in the uk and other countries can help them.
128 reviews1 follower
March 2, 2018
I am a huge fan of Cathy Glass and this was another that didn’t let me down.
When I first began to read the book, I wondered where the story was going as Cathy Glass wasn’t mentioned in the first 1/4 of the book however it then moved to her.
It’s another sad book but one that I did enjoy and finding out what happened to Anna.
I’m glad things worked out in the end.
Profile Image for Taryn.
129 reviews12 followers
May 16, 2018
I think this may be my favorite book of Cathy's. It was certainly the most heartbreaking, though not due to wild abuse or neglect, as are some of the cases in Cathy's books. Cathy is such a strong person and I doubt I would have been able to put aside my feeling's towards Anna's parents decisions concerning Anna enough to forgive them.
Profile Image for kim lidgard.
14 reviews
February 24, 2018

😱 Very different to your usual books but still very good .Did find myself worrying all your hard work with Anna would be for nothing, so glad they got help. can't wait for your next book
1 review
February 28, 2018
Great read as always

I loved reading this book and couldn't put it down. I dont read a lot but always look forward to the latest release by Cathy Glass and yes i have read and loved them all. Looking forward to the next one. Thank you
March 1, 2018
Great read as per

Great book as always by Cathy glass one of my favourites .. Puts you through all the emotions. Brought a lot of her books
Profile Image for Shirley.
482 reviews21 followers
April 29, 2018
Another fantastic book by Cathy Glass. such a sad, inspiring read.
Profile Image for Helen.
201 reviews15 followers
March 26, 2018
I was lucky enough to win a copy of this book in a Goodreads giveaway. It did not take me long to read as it is a very poignant, moving and engrossing story.

The book is split into two sections - the first was very engaging but read much more like a novel than the second half, rather than as a work of creative non-fiction. The first half is also entirely based in the period of Anastasia/Anna's life where the author was uninvolved with. It was very interesting to read about the international adoption experience but I also felt that the first section focused more on that and the 2 adoptive parents rather than on Anna herself sometimes. There is also a two year period of Anna's life we hear nothing about between sections 1-2.

I would have liked to have learned more about her fostering experience although I appreciate Anna was only there a relatively short period of time but I just wished part 2 was longer as I did not feel enough of Anna came across. Having said this I still enjoyed both halves of the book and was pleased it had a relatively happy outcome/ending.

Unfortunately I did pick up on a couple of typos in my copy (on page 48 it says "Anastasia had retuned inside by now" instead of returned and on page 277 it states "However not only would her recommendations help to identity Anna's learning difficulties" instead of identify). With this being said however, I believe my copy may possible be an advanced readers copy so these mistakes may well not have made it into the official published edition. All in all a good book and definitely made me interested in reading more by Cathy Glass.
Profile Image for Ella Stern.
11 reviews
May 25, 2018
In the latest book from Cathy Glass, we are greeted to Anastasia "Anna" Hudson, an adoptee from an unnamed foreign country, who is adopted by British couple Ian and his wife, Elaine. In a departure from her other books, part one focuses entirely on Ian, Elaine, and Anna's journey from said foreign country, to their home in England, where they celebrate Christmas as a family after Anna's adoption. However, Anna is defiant to the point of controlling her parents' lives, and things are not always what they seem.

In part two, from Cathy's point of view, we are witness to yet another phone call by her supervising social worker, Jill, so we know right away (if you are familiar with Glass' other works) that it is quite a long time ago. This is also due to the fact that her biological children, Adrian and Paula, are eight and four respectively, and Glass has not yet adopted her third child, Lucy. Jill asks Cathy to take in Anna, and already there are red flags -- not just Anna's defiance towards authority, or the fact that she's thrown a former carer's cat down the stairs, but that now-five-year-old Anna has been through two carers in the few days that she has been in foster care.

Will Cathy Glass be able to help Anna? Yes, the answer is yes.
Profile Image for Cathie (ClassyLibrarian).
383 reviews2 followers
May 18, 2018
I did not have to report for work until 11:00 this morning so last night, while the laundry was on, I opened up this book. I quickly became absorbed and kept reading even after my laundry was done. I stayed up until 1:00 in the morning so I could finish this book.

It is not exactly what I thought I it was going to be. I have never read any of Ms. Glass' books before but I was pleasantly surprised.

I did find a few chapters redundant. When Elaine is going over the adoption story with Cathy I felt that could have been condensed since, we, the readers, already knew what happened.

Other than that after I closed the book I knew it was a well written due to the emotions that I felt. Whenever a book makes me feel things; anger, happiness, fear, elation, etc. I know it was a good book.

It is not one I will keep or read again but I will pass it along to others to enjoy and will pick up others from her to read.

Profile Image for Julie Haigh.
652 reviews983 followers
March 8, 2018
I enjoyed reading this just as much as her other books.

I've read a few Cathy Glass books now-by no means very many of them-but this one is a bit different.
Cathy's narration doesn't appear until about half way through the book because at first we have the back story to how the child she is about to foster came to be in care. The story is told through the couple who are hoping to adopt a child from a foreign country. Elaine and Ian haven't been able to start a family. All they want is a child, and adopting abroad seems to be the perfect answer....but there will be many hurdles ahead.

I enjoyed reading this just as much as her other books I have read so far and finished it in just a couple of days. Cathy Glass' books are so easy and quick to read and often keep you guessing how things will turn out. Looking forward to the next.
14 reviews
March 13, 2018
This was a confusing book at first. I bought it because it said it was a book by Cathy Glass. I started reading it and thought she must have tried a new style of writing and continued reading it. The book was a child adopted from another country but if it says authors name is Cathy Glass I will read it. I WILL HAVE TO READ IT AGAIN IN CASE I MISSED A FEW THINGS BUT THIS STORY WAS SAD, AND WAS IMPOSSIBLE TO PUT DOWN..Finely it came to the foster child part and realized I was thinking so much I might have missed important information. It was clear this child was amazing to start with as she kept taking care of the babies but then I put the pieces of the puzzle together with her country, her previous life and the partnership of parents,foster care system and Cathy Glass to make it a moving,emotional and amazing story.
Profile Image for Julie Tombs.
308 reviews
July 24, 2018
This is the first story of Cathy Glass I have read and it tells the story of a child adopted from an overseas orphanage by a couple who are unable to have children. The first part of the story tells of the trials and tribulations of overseas adoptions and the difficulties faced by new parents who struggle to cope with a child who has obviously been very badly abused in an orphanage and by her parents for the first 2 years of her life. The second part, told by Cathy as a foster carer tells her story of how she tried to forge a bond with Anna, the child after the adoptive parents were unable to cope with her.

I really enjoyed the book and it provides a fascinating insight into the world of foster carers and children born into difficult circumstances. The world of international adoption is also interesting to read about.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 192 reviews

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