Posted 20 hours ago

A Family Torn Apart: Three sisters and a dark secret that threatens to separate them for ever

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As is my custom I looked up the author, Cathy Glass, before starting the book and to my dismay I learned that she’s ground out dozens of what looked like tearjerkers about pitiful foster kids who end up living happily ever after. They loved their mummy and daddy and seemed to have been well cared for, but their older half-sister Ashleigh, had accused their father of raping her. Yes I'm sure sometimes children lie but it is extremely rare compared to how many children are actually being abused. Yes, they are unique and tragic stories of individual children, but the themes reflect the experiences of millions of children across the world.

Since other Goodreaders have indicated that the book is not up to Glass’ usual standard I will withhold recommendations until after reading some of her earlier books. I was looking forward to a new Cathy Glass book, but like other reviews, I agree there was too many references and explaining of Covid protocols (Like we’ve all been living under a rock all this time! The baby is coming to her straight from hospital and will have no contact with her teenage mother, Haylea. It was the first time reading one of Cathy's, and I found her writing style to be somewhat simple, which in turn made it difficult to follow. Cathy has been a foster carer for over 25 years, during which time she has looked after more than 100 children, of all ages and backgrounds.I also worked closely with the police on abuse cases and understand why social workers cannot share all the information discovered during the assessment process. I suppose the only interesting part was that it occurred during 2020 COVID pandemic so the author perhaps wanted to document how strange life was then.

g. "Joy wasn't Janet's SSW" when written in context, implies strongly that Joy was doing a good job for Cathy and that Janet needed similar support but wasn't getting it. We were all there so we know what it was like, but it was every other paragraph was about covid restrictions! 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. I would highly recommend this book and all of Cathy's books to anyone who is interested in fostering or social work, those who enjoy memoirs, or those just looking for something interesting.

The plot plays out in a surprising way that gives an important lesson for anyone involved in child protection. Cathy tries to comfort the girls, but they want their mummy and daddy, and are inconsolable for days. Even more worrying, she will be brought to Cathy with a police escort as it’s vital her extended family don’t know where she is. She should have stood by her daughter throughout the process and then she never would have lost the younger two. I just hope that the readers don’t think that is the norm and shy away from these important roles out of fear.

On top of that, this was written during the height of Covid, so there's constant talk about restrictions and social distancing and hand-washing, and I don't think an editor ever looked at this because there was a lot of repetition and grammatical issues that an editor would have caught in an instant. The discussion Q's seemed slightly insensitive, as of course children's allegations should be taken serious.I feel like this is such an unusual event to happen, and it was honestly difficult to read about a story where the "child" (a fourteen year old) is actually at fault as opposed to the adult. This memoir toys with the readers emotions as they try to find the truth within this family's chaos. Maybe it was the constant reference to covid it’s restrictions and their compliance or jumping to conclusions whilst also saying she didn’t judge? Cathy is very diplomatic in the way that she discusses and interacts with the families of the children she looks after, a characteristic which shines brightly throughout this particular story. The girls were inconsolable for days, not helped by only being allowed to see their mother online because of covid restrictions and concerns that she may frighten them into not telling the truth.

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