My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Time taken to read - 1 day
Pages - 260
Publisher - Self published
Source - Review Copy
Blurb from Goodreads
My story begins aged 3, when my mother abandoned me and left me with my brutal father to raise me. Nobody knew the secrets that went on inside that house, or the journey that I travelled on after leaving it, until now. This is the story of my survival.
What do you do when no one wants you?
How many people need to destroy a child until that child wants to destroy herself?
What if social services always got told a different story?
What would you do if you were in my position?
Survival is key.
Think of "A Child Called It" and stories of that vein this is Amelia's story and what she endured, surviving, growing up. A little girl, abandoned by her mother, "raised" by her father and his partner, a wee girl who knows very little kindness, love, even just basic respect or an environment to thrive.
This book is a wee bit different from those of the same thread, this one actually has reports, written accounts and documents from the very few people who had interactions with Amelia. For me, this is one of the most infuriating things about the book, so many opportunities for someone, anyone to help this wee girl, to spot the red flags and act. Today everyone is taught to look for warning signs, things that flag up a potential issue with a child, so many things in this book screamed out and yet still where missed. We flip between the authors voice and accounts of what happened then a document then back to the authors voice, this is how the book is presented, flipping between the two.
We meet a child that has a strength evident from a very young age to survive, adapt, push through time and time again with so many horrors thrown upon her. There are so many individuals to dislike and hate for what they allowed to happen, blaming this poor child, denying kindness, love, protection even understanding. They are so horrific, shaming, blaming, hurting even down to the small flash we see from the neighbour I hated the parts she was in, actively enjoying causing distress to a bairn. Knowing these have been living people, real encounters - it just baffles the mind evil like these individuals exist.
There are quite a few graphic scenes in the book, most people know picking up this type of true story that abuse will be covered. My heart was in my mouth more than once and I just wanted to reach out and protect this poor child that seemed to have no one in her corner, failed at pretty much every opportunity to catch what was going on. It is emotional, hard going, brutal, honest and one thing that comes through almost every single chapter is the strength in this wee girl who has now grown up and opened her world to readers to know her truth, her history, her story of survival. A raw and honest look into a heart wrenching account of one wee girls survival against the odds, 4.5/5 for me this time. If I ever met this author, and she was ok with it I would give her the biggest hug, God love her for surviving what she did and being brave enough to allow us into such a personal part of her life!
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