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On the Front Line with the Women Who Fight Back

4.25  ·  Rating details ·  1,998 ratings  ·  156 reviews

Put yourself in their shoes.

In 2007, Stacey Dooley was a twenty-something working in fashion retail. She was selected to take part in the BBC series Blood, Sweat and T-Shirts which saw her live and work alongside Indian factory workers making clothes for the UK High Street. This sparked her series of hugely popular investigations, establishing her as one of BBC3’s most cel
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Published (first published February 15th 2019)
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Average rating 4.25  · 
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 ·  1,998 ratings  ·  156 reviews

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Lucy Langford

I am absolutely obsessed with Stacey Dooley's documentaries and have followed her work for quite a few years... so when I heard she was releasing a book I was ecstatic !

This book follows the many women she has met during her travels across the world. The women she meets usually come from impoverished conditions and have had to deal with horrifying events, something very different to how I live my every day life.

Stacey gives such an important voice to these women, she gives them a chance to
Schizanthus Nerd
I’ve followed Stacey’s career from fashion loving teen travelling to India through to the professional journalist she is today, watching and rewatching every documentary each time they’ve aired on television. When I first heard she was releasing a book I was so keen to get my hands on it ASAP. I read the blurb and immediately thought of DVD Special Features. I imagined Stacey’s book as a combination of Deleted Scenes and Director’s Commentary, but it was so much more.

What I love about Stacey’s w
Feb 01, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Stacey Dooley has long been one of my on screen heroes. Her documentaries are hard hitting, honest and cause an impact upon watching them. Of course I had to read her book!

Being a devoted fan I have watched each and every one of her documentaries which did aid in reading the book. The book is written about each of the women she met whilst filming and their story. There was a lot of repetition in the book for me as a lot of what Dooley was talking about I had already watched, however there are a
Dooley's first book focuses on the inspiring women she's met whilst making her documentaries. It's eye-opening and thought-provoking and, at times, makes for an emotional read. ...more
Aug 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm a big fan of Stacey's documentaries and always used to watch them on bbc3. This book was really about Stacey's life, the many documentaries she has done and a bit of behind the scenes info from them. It was really fascinating. I would like to read more of her work and in all honesty she could publish a whole book on each of the adventures she has been on, I would like to hear about them in more detail. The only downside was there were a few repeats in the book, a few spelling and grammar err ...more
Bronte Harris
Jan 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fantastic book

I loved this book, and even though I’ve seen all of Stacey’s documentaries it was like re-watching them through a new set of eyes. The chapters are quite long but necessary to give enough time to each story. Stacey does a fantastic job of maintaining her down to earth presenting style throughout the book and it’s so easy to read. The things these poor people have been through are shocking and upsetting and the book helps shine a light on those that need support the most. Would reco
Kate Henderson
Apr 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Listened via audible. Loved it!! Stacey relived a lot of moments from her various documentaries over the last 10 years. But she also gave added insight.
Wish it was longer and more in depth felt like she was only skimming the service.
Loved her narration. Felt so calming and like talking to a friend.
Really easy yet powerful listen!
Jan 14, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Stacey Dooley is an unexpected serious journalist and documentary maker. As she says herself, she is a girl from Luton who spent her wages of clothes and having fun. Until she didn't any more. Until she became aware of where all the fashion she enjoyed came from, and at what cost. And then began the awakening that has resulted in this important docu-journalist telling essential stories.

I have seen some of her documentaries and I think they work as television because she is not your average journ
Feb 04, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: feminism
'While her two young daughters watched, he went for her with the machete and hacked off one of her legs at the ankle and the other mid-calf, leaving her with two bloody stumps and a massive gash across one thigh. He made sure she couldn't leave. She literally couldn't walk away.'

'The girls were my number one priority. You need to be able to look at yourself in a mirror at the end of a day's filming and feel totally happy with how you've treated those around you. You have to ask yourself, If I we
Amy Hamilton
Mar 28, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Full disclaimer, I've loved Stacey Dooley and her documentaries for years so I was really excited to see she was going to be publishing a memoir discussing her time making documentaries. I actually consumed this through the audiobook version of the book which is narrated by Dooley herself which I found really entertaining. Overall, this book is thought provoking and has an important integral message to it - women are hit harder by global problems than men (women includes trans-women and sex work ...more
Jan 15, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've never seen any of Stacey Dooley's documentaries so I didn't know what to expect with this book. I didn't particularly like the way it was written with its colloquial language but once I got past this, the book and the message itself were really powerful, thought-provoking and eye opening. She covers women's struggles in many different contexts and I learned a lot from reading this book. I would recommend anyone to read it to learn about and inform themselves of the struggles that women face ...more
Nov 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fact
I have always liked Stacey Dooley's documentaries. Almost felt that I probably wasn't really her target audience (female - yes, rather too old though) but liked her very personal way of dealing with extremely difficult environments. This book is written exactly as she presents her documentaries; personable, friendly, approachable and very honest. She gives a resume of the important woman she has met during her various adventures and her feelings about the situations they have found themselves in ...more
Lee Johnson
Jan 19, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
OK I will be totally honest, I knew nothing of Stacey Dooley before seeing her on Strictly Come Dancing (yes I know). I think it is sad that she is now getting abuse from some quarters for doing 'light' entertainment as opposed to her previous work.

After reading this I am going to seek out her documentaries as some of the things featured in this book are absolutely incredible.

An excellent book, from someone who has experienced some incredibly distressing scenes, but also met ladies who have com
beth ☁️
Dec 11, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I preordered this when it came out and only just got round to reading it.
I’m obsessed with the docs Stacey does, reading this makes me want to go back and watch them all again (which I have already started doing). How she illustrates that she is in a privileged position to be able to do what she does is something so refreshing. Such a good read!
Oct 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Impressed with how the author has put this together and written it. Giving an insight but leaving the reader to have their own thoughts and investigate further the different situations if they so which, whether that’s by watching the documentary’s she refers to or own investigations. Not sure an enjoyable read is quite right to describe it, but certainly thought provoking.
May 05, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
I knew I was going to love this; I'm a massive fan of Stacey Dooley and as soon as I saw she'd released a book I knew I needed the audiobook version.

Her writing voice is accessible and absorbing, and her speaking voice is friendly and charming. The women featured in the book I've seen before in Stacey's countless fantastic documentaries and to hear more about their lives and Stacey's feelings towards their situations was super compelling.

I'll definitely be recommending this to people.
Emma-Hope Newitt
loved it, really inspiring and uplifting read!
Feb 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Strong and poignant

Wow what a book. It delves deep into what h happening everywhere and doesn't stop at certain points but del established even deeper than most journalists would, giving a perspective from every angle. It's very moving, heart breaking and soul delving.
Apr 17, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Prison; Immigration; Drugs; Child abuse; Femicide; High-end to low-end prostitution; Trans prostitution; Abortion; Child sexualisation; Murder; The Yazidi Women: War; Survival.
Julie Reynolds
Jul 22, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
:-(. Sad. That is all.
Oct 01, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I'm quitting with this book.
she manages to turn everyone's story around and back to her which is pissing me off.
Her privilege certainly shines through alot.
Mar 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book adds another dimension to Stacey’s previous documentaries, her writing style is effortless and very easy to read. The book is harrowing and eye opening, I would definitely recommend giving it a read.
Darius Daruvalla-riccio
At the same time, Stacey's biggest charm and drawback is that she is a basic white girl. This is neither a good or bad thing, it just is what it is. She is the documentary equivalent of a pop star.

I actually really enjoyed the book. The subject matter is very interesting and Stacey does have real charisma. It was eye opening and made me think about things that I normally wouldn't. It's impressive that she is able to accomplish this while also keeping the book very light and accessible to a mains
Michelle B
Feb 15, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I remember watching Stacey on her the first BBC programme in which she appeared, “Blood, Sweat and TShirts”. I liked her instantly; her straightforward talking, innocence and naivety. I have watched several more of her documentaries over the years and like how she has retained her own style whilst growing in intelligence and as a woman.
She writes well in her own voice (I assume with the aide of a ghostwriter).
The book documents some of stories of the women whom Stacey has met on her travels with
Lucii Dixon
Apr 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm a massive fan of Stacey Dooley's documentaries, I've watched them all and some I've even watched multiples times. They're informative, emotional and very in-depth and her book is just the same but in her own words; completely her own.

I was so excited to see that she'd released a book and I was quick to go to Amazon to buy it. I was completely engrossed, reading about the women Stacey has been in contact with around the world, and with each chapter, I remember each episode.

Very well written a
Mar 21, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Until recently I had never heard the name Stacey Dooley , what brought her to my attention was the controversy surrounding her Red Nose Day film. A lot of what was being levelled at her seemed to be very negative. So while at my local book store I came across this book I was curious to see what she was like behind all those headlines. But that wasn't all, I have read many books about the hard lives women have to leave from around the world. It brings me constant reminders of what I fail to see ...more
Apr 27, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"I think it's a privilege, isn't it, to be in a position to be able to have morals?"
Spreading awareness is at the forefront of Stacey Dooley's concerns while filiming her documentaries. She believes that showing those of us who watch telly on a Sunday night in our safe homes, under no threat of violence or fear, will alert attention and action towards preventing some of the atrocities that feature in this book. I learned some pretty horrific realities reading this: entire communities I didn't
Mar 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgallery
Stacey Dooley, a name that is linked with amazing hard-hitting BBC documentaries, ones that you talk about the next day in the office and do some more of your own research on wanting to know more about the subject. The book was no different, I’ll be talking about it tomorrow in the office trying to get everyone to read it!

I remember seeing Stacey when I was younger, she is so relatable and down to earth being honest at every turn. In her documentaries she covers many different topics around the
Lisa Jay
Jun 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm the biggest Stacey Dooley fan and this is such a wonderful book in so many ways. What I really love about Stacey is how determined she is to find and shine light on the positives, no matter what the situation. I love that she's put the complete focus of this book on how strong girls and women are. It's truly heartwarming and uplifting. If I'd seen and heard with my own eyes and ears even a quarter of what Stacey has, I would have found it hard not to ramble on for 300 pages in a pure bitter ...more
Mar 27, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Stacey Dooley is one of my favourite journalists and documentary film makers. I admire everything she does and I have a great respect for her style of reporting. It's unique, informative, yet you feel a connection to her when she speaks in her documentaries. So, I was really looking forward to reading her new book. The book goes through chapters that look at individual issues that have dramatically effected women that she has met throughout her documentary making, such as; abortion, femicide, pr ...more
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