#BlogTour Emmet and Me by Sara Gethin

It’s my turn on the BlogTour Emmet and Me by Sara Gethin. It’s truly an incredibly moving story. From the Not the Booker shortlisted author of Not Thomas comes the kind of book you never forget.

About the Author

Sara Gethin grew up in Llanelli. She has a degree in Religion and Ethics in Western Thought and worked as a primary school teacher in Carmarthenshire and Berkshire. Writing as Wendy White, she has had four children’s books published, and the first of these won the Tir nan-Og Award in 2014. 

Her debut novel, Not Thomas, was shortlisted for the Guardian’s Not the Booker prize and The Waverton Good Read Award. While west Wales is still home, Sara spends much of her time in Ireland. Emmet and Me is her second novel for adults.  Follow @SGethinWriter on Twitter, on Facebook

About the book

Summer 1966: When her father comes home with lipstick on his collar, ten-year-old Claire’s life is turned upside down. Her furious mother leaves the family and heads to London, and Claire and her brothers are packed off to Ireland, to their reclusive grandmother at her tiny cottage on the beautifully bleak coast of Connemara.

A misfit among her new classmates, Claire finds it hard to make friends until she happens across a boy her own age from the school next door. He lives at the local orphanage, a notoriously harsh place. Amidst half-truths, lies and haunting family secrets, Claire forms a forbidden friendship with Emmet ‒ a bond that will change both their lives forever.


Sometimes you get a book that has the capacity to smash your heart into a million pieces. I think given the extraordinary circumstances of the past year and a half there will be more open ears and eyes to this story. Dancing with fear, existential worries and our own mortality, and especially because many of us have been forced into spending time with our own thoughts, this story will perhaps garner more of an audience.

It is certainly deserving of it. It’s power doesn’t draw energy from gruesome details, but rather from the inferred burden of reality. The contempt, the neglect, the hunger, the abuse, the pain and the deaths. The generations of damaged children grown into broken adults. Who bears the guilt, shame or even the moral bill for these heinous acts? Why does the truth still fall on deaf ears and blind eyes even after so many years and testimonies? 

When their family is torn apart by a mother who puts herself first and a father who has been defined by cruelty, Claire and her brothers are sent to Ireland to live with their paternal grandmother. It’s there that they learn how generations of adults were molded by sadistic neglect, families destroyed and how it in turn will change them forever too. 

The brilliance of Gethin’s story is built within the sparse confines of subtlety and scarcity. The bare landscape, the isolation, the lack of anyone to turn to due to the ingrained indoctrination of religious authority, and the simple gestures and interactions of children.

I remember the sinking feeling of sorrow during the first scene between Claire and Emmet. Knowing even then that fantasy was an escape, conversation a gateway and the friendship a possible glimmer of hope in a preordained future. I knew what would come, and the fact the author was able to convey all of that without actually writing any of it, is a testament to her talent as a storyteller.

I loved it. I think it is an incredibly moving story. It’s also a moment of truth, vindication and validation. The voices of many, the silenced and the forgotten, are held within the lines of this multi-generational experience.

Buy Emmet and Me at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher : Honno Presspub date 20 May 2021. Buy at Amazon com.

#BlogTour And The Swans Began to Sing by Thora Karitas Arnadottir

Today it is my turn on the BlogTour And The Swans Began to Sing by Thora Karitas Arnadottir. It’s a heartfelt and emotional journey. Kudos to Gudbjorg for sharing it and for looking for help.

About the Author

Thora Karitas Arnadottir studied drama in Britain and is best known for the award winning TV series, Astridur, in her home country and for hosting Unique Iceland, a highly popular travel magazine show about Iceland.

Thora is currently working on her first novel, which will be released in Iceland in 2019.

Thora Karitas is an Icelandic actress and author and this is the English translation of her Icelandic debut. It’s a narrative non-fiction about her mother’s life in Iceland. Throughout her childhood Thora’s mother, Gudjborg was raped on a regular basis by her grandfather.

Follow @ThoraKaritas @Wildpressed on Twitter, Visit thorakaritas.co.uk

Buy And The Swans Began to Sing

About the book

The swans on the pond, quite abruptly began to sing. It was a singing so loud they were almost screaming. The swans were screaming, screaming as if they saw the horror of the world.

Gudbjorg Thorisdottir has been hiding from the ghost of an ugly secret for most of her life. When she finally faces the truth of what happened throughout her childhood, the ghost floats away. Painting an evocative picture of her life in Iceland, this is the story of a little girl who didn’t know how unnatural it was to experience both heaven and hell in the same house.

Thora Karitas Arnadottir (b. 1979) studied drama in the UK, and is a producer as well as appearing on stage and television. And the Swans Began to Sing is her first published book; her mother’s story, and formed the final dissertation for her MA in Creative Writing. The book was nominated for the Icelandic Women’s Literary prize Fjoruverdlaunin in 2016.Review

This is the story of Gudbjorg Thorisdottir, the grandmother of Thora Karitas Arnadottir. In a way it is her way of healing the wounds of the past by telling the world her story in her own words, even if it is through the pen or medium of her granddaughter. She is facing the gossips and the tellers of tales head-on.

I think this is one of the things that seems to hurt her – the fact others have taken it upon themselves to tell her story, her secret. People, and I am thinking of her ex-husband in particular, who believe it is their secret to share just because they think it is their knowledge to control. Gudbjorg is an adult, who has confronted her abuse, has worked through it in therapy and is trying to come to terms with it, so it is her secret to share with others.

It would be entirely different if we were talking about an ongoing situation or someone who needed help to deal with the abuse. If you do suspect a child is being abused, especially if it is a gut reaction, then don’t wave it aside. The majority of sexual abuse is ignored because adults would rather not confront a taboo or label someone by mistake. Believe me you will know, but our instinctive reaction is to ignore what we find impossible to believe. This is definitely the case when the abuser is a family member.

The other element of this tragic story that shines through is the relationship Gudbjorg has with her mother, and the question of whether she knew what was going on. I think Gudbjorg is well aware, after talking to friends and family many years after the fact, that her grandfather was a known abuser, which then leaves her with the difficult truth that her family left her in a vulnerable position. Her mother chose to ignore her instinct, and her family members turned a blind eye, because placing the truth on the table would have broken the family apart. Difficult to acknowledge, but often the case in family abuse and incest.

I think it is incredibly brave of Gudbjorg to speak out, even after all these years. I hope it brings her some peace and lessens the guilt. The guilt that doesn’t belong anywhere on her shoulders by the way. The drink didn’t make him do it, the grief didn’t make him do it, and I can guarantee you he had more victims than Gudbjorg realises.

All of that is irrelevant though, because the most important thing is that she was a child and he stole her childhood, her innocence and many first moments from her. It’s time she stopped letting him steal from her.

It’s a heartfelt and emotional journey. Kudos to Gudbjorg for sharing it and for looking for help.

Buy And The Swans Began to Sing at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for an other retailer.

Publisher: Wild Pressed Books (10th January 2019)

Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward

singSing, Unburied, Sing is a heart-wrenching reading experience. It is the kind of book you may have to put down for a moment, because the content is upsetting at times. Simultaneously it’s also so compelling you can’t tear yourself away from it.

It tells the incredibly sad story of Jojo, the biracial child of a black mother and a white father. Mother spends the majority of her time getting high and his father is behind bars most of the time. Jojo and his baby sister are cared for by his mother’s parents, mainly because Leonie neglects them and they don’t exist for the white side of the family.

Leonie decides to take the children along on a road trip to pick their father up from prison, which becomes a catalyst for fragile relationships and tensions between all of them. Throughout the whole ordeal I just wanted to reach out and help Jojo and his baby sister. To save them from the brutal reality of their existence.

Ward has created a passionate and lyrical vision, which is simultaneously fraught with emotion and tempered by the brusque reactions of the characters. The reader is confronted with the harsh realities of racism, child abuse and neglect, and drug abuse.

It sings the silent song of all the men, women and children who have fallen prey to hatred and injustice. The forgotten who are trapped in an endless hell that is neither here nor there, because they can’t cross over or find peace. The ones who will never have any kind of justice.

It is both magical and mystical in equal measure. It is an outstanding piece of literature.

Buy Sing, Unburied, Sing at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer.

Shortlisted for the Women’s Prize for Fiction 2018

Follow @jesmimi 

Follow @BloomsburyBooks

Visit jesmimi.blogspot,co,uk

The Fear by C.L. Taylor

the fearFear, shame and confusion go hand in hand in this story. Lou is still haunted by her past and the way it follows her like a lingering bad smell.

Unfortunately this tale of grooming and abuse carries the misnomer of love, because that is what paedophiles convince their victims it is. What is even more tragic is how many people confronted by these scenarios or read about them think that it is about a convoluted love story. It isn’t, it’s about a child being preyed upon by a sexual deviant.

It isn’t a vivacious Lolita seducing an unsuspecting older man, and then crying rape after the event. This is how the majority of society sees situations like this. It is easier to put the blame on a naughty little girl than to accept we have men and women in our midst who want to have sexual relations with children.

Lou has to live with the doubts of others, the recriminations and the guilt of not knowing whether she was to blame, and yet at the same time fearing the person she knows was to blame.

After the death of her father she returns home to sort his belongings and his house, and finds herself drawn to the man who took her childhood away from her. She walks a fine line between complete terror and the need for Mike to admit his guilt. Nothing too outlandish or unachievable until she stumbles upon proof that he is in the middle of stealing another childhood.

The Fear is a crime hidden within a crime with a stark layer of reality throughout. As a reader you feel empathy for the child Lou used to be and the adult still suffering from the fallout of being groomed by a predator. Although Lou feels guilty for getting revenge and trying to save someone, I applaud her temerity and her courage.

I think Taylor has written a well-timed story in the midst of the #MeToo movement and chorus of voices speaking out about abuse against girls and women in our society. Shedding a light on the hypocrisy victims encounter and the fear that sits in the back of their neck for the rest of their lives. It’s a captivating read with some hard home-truths. At the same time it is an equally compelling psychological thriller, so kudos to Taylor for bringing the two together.

Buy/Pre-order The Fear at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer.

Follow @callytaylor @AvonBooksUk

Visit cltaylorauthor.com

The Fear – Pub. date 22.March 2018 published by Avon Books Uk

Read The Lie by C.L. Taylor

Read The Accident by C.L. Taylor

Paper Butterflies by Lisa Heathfield

paper butterfliesThis isn’t exactly a happy read, but it is a stark reminder of the reality of the insidious nature of abuse. It also paints a vivid picture of how quickly people make assumptions when it comes to children with behavioural issues.

A victim of a never-ending circle of terror at home and bullying at school, June is too afraid to speak up and say something. She is teased, blamed for things she hasn’t done, over-fed and spends 24/7 in a state of perpetual fear.

So it isn’t really a surprise when she starts acting out. First it is simply sticking up for herself and then her behaviour becomes more aggressive. No one seems to question why?

There are quite a few people through the years who know there is something not right, but they never act on their gut feelings or suspicions.

June feels betrayed by her father, for not seeing what is going on. A deep well of inner rage eventually leads to a tragedy that changes everyone’s lives forever.

The story is presented in a before and after scenario. Before the event and after the event. It is often an uncomfortable read, because this is how many children have to live. Society is full of silent victims, who spend their time just wishing for someone to rescue them and at the same time being afraid anyone will.

I liked the fact Heathfield didn’t try to make it a comfortable read or a read with some sunny funny moments. With that in mind I was a little surprised by the ending, I think I would have preferred the full throttle and consequences scenario.

Definitely an author I will be revisiting.

Buy Paper Butterflies at Amazon UK or go to Goodreads for any other retailer.

The Problem with Forever by Jennifer L. Armentrout

problem.jpgAlthough the relationship between Mallory and Rider is the main focus of this story, for me the selective mutism is the more pivotal message and storyline.

Watching her find the voice she knows is deep inside of her, and her battle to externalize what she has kept hidden inside for so long.

Rider and Mallory have a bond no one can really understand. They have lived through horrific child abuse and comforted each other throughout the fear and pain.

Relationships built in an atmosphere of terror and oppression can either create a huge chasm or a bond as tight as super glue. The problem with that is feelings of guilt, because someone ( a child) in that situation feels guilty for not being able to save the other person (child), subsequently they will see it as their life-long goal to do so. Saving someone can become equal to loving that person.

This is the misconception Mallory and Rider have to work through. Mallory needs to learn how to save herself instead of relying on others to do it for her. She needs to recognise that she is no longer the frightened child hiding in the closet. She is out of the closet, she is brave and she finally learns how to roar.

As I mentioned before the selective mutism element of this story was pivotal and well-written. We see her taking one step or speaking one word after the other, slowly evolving from the non-speaking mouse to the Mallory capable of telling everyone how she feels.

Armentrout uses the topic of child abuse without feeling the need to embellish with overly graphic details. She makes her point without gratuitous scenes. Not that horrible and unbelievable abuse doesn’t happen. It does, and far more often than any of us would care to believe. Armentrout creates powerful imagery with minimal detail, which in turn places more emphasis on the emotional aftermath.

I enjoyed the read. It gives an interesting insight into how children have to deal with life after abuse.

Buy The Problem with Forever at Amazon UK or go to Goodreads for any other retailer.

Blog-Tour: Pretty Baby by Mary Kubica

Today I would like to welcome Mary Kubica and her book Pretty Baby to the blog. When I read her first novel The Good Girl, I knew she would be an author to watch. She has an intriguing way of mixing the boundaries of right and wrong, the criminal mind and the moral guidelines we live our lives by. I hope you enjoy the fabulous Q&A with Mary Kubica and my review of Pretty Baby.


About the author

Mary Kubica holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, in History and American Literature.

She lives outside of Chicago with her husband and two children and enjoys photography, gardening and caring for the animals at a local shelter. Her debut novel, The Good Girl, was an international bestseller.

Visit Mary online at www.marykubica.com, on Facebook at facebook.com/pages/Mary-Kubica-Author, and on Twitter at twitter.com/MaryKubica


Before we get down to the nitty-gritty about your book, I would like to do a set of questions called ‘Break the Ice.’

The last book you read? (Inquisitive bookworms want to know) Lori Nelson Spielman’s Sweet Forgiveness, which is a fabulous follow up to her internationally bestselling debut The Life List.

The last movie you watched, which you felt left a mark (in your heart, soul, wallet…you name it)? 12 Years a Slave.

Are you more of a Game of Thrones, Outlander gal? (Any kind of TV entertainment that makes you smirk, giggle or gasp.) I honestly don’t watch much in the way of TV. In our house, the television is incessantly tuned into the Disney Channel for the kids, though if I were to watch something it would likely be some sort of police drama or home decorating show.

Which famous person (dead, alive, barely kicking) would you most like to meet? Joan of Arc. I’m a bit of a history guru and have always been fascinated with her resilience and fortitude.

Something you treat yourself to, now and again? (Cream éclairs totally count, I myself have a small Twinkie affliction.) Anything chocolate! I have a terrible sweet tooth.

All of the above questions are actually a pretty elaborate pysch evaluation disguised as random questions. Have no fear here come the real ones. Let’s talk about Pretty Baby.

One of the elements I really enjoy about your stories is the way you mix our natural assumptions about what we perceive as good and bad in human beings. The boundaries between morally right and justifiably wrong. Readers are never quite sure where to place your characters, because often they cross back and forth over those boundaries, depending on the situations they find themselves in. So with that in mind…

The first question that popped into my head when I was reading the first few chapters, was about our society in general. Do you believe the bystander effect or bystander apathy is becoming more prevalent in our world and society, and if so, why? I don’t know that it’s becoming more or less prevalent than before, but it is prevalent. It seems common for people to be apathetic to societal issues and believe that someone else will intervene in a certain situation (in the case of PRETTY BABY, the plight of the homeless or children falling through the cracks of an overwhelmed foster care system) and so instead we’re prone to watch and do nothing or simply walk away. We naively believe – or hope – that someone else will help. The person who does step in to intercede seems to be quite extraordinary these days.

Would you have done the same thing for Willow and Ruby if it had been you in Heidi’s shoes? I would not. I think Heidi does a very noble thing by trying to help Willow and Ruby, and yet she also puts her family at risk when she brings this homeless girl and her baby into her home without knowing who they truly are. There are certainly other options for someone in Heidi’s position: she could have given Willow money or she could have sought the help of a homeless shelter or a social service organization.  But that said, Heidi did take the initiative to help, and I certainly commend her for this.

Would it have been better for Willow in the long run, if she hadn’t received any information about Lily throughout the years? It’s hard to say what might have happened had things occurred differently in the novel.  Willow may have been able to move on and find distance from her baby sister had she not received regular updates from Lily’s adoptive family, or Willow’s mind may have made up for lack of details and taken her to places she didn’t want to go. It could certainly go either way.

At this point a shout out to social workers and the heavy burden they have to carry. Do you think a lot of children slip through the system and become easy prey, because most systems in place for children’s welfare are overwhelmed with the sheer amount of work? I can’t speak to this with any sort of certainty, as Willow is one fictional child who managed to slip through the cracks of an overwhelmed system, but I would have to assume it happens. We hear quite often about abused children and the flaws within the foster care system, and it seems as if more priority or manpower or financial backing needs to be placed on the plight of these children.

I felt as if part of the blame (most of it) for the Joseph ‘situation’ was placed on Willow by Louise Flores and Amber Adler, perhaps in an attempt to placate their own guilt. Although we see loads of campaigns about children speaking up about abuse, do you think society still makes them feel as if they won’t be believed, because the truth is more uncomfortable for everyone? Victim blaming is often prevalent in many crimes, whether it’s a child or an adult who is the victim.  Often times, these victims feel they won’t be believed, or that they have more to lose if they speak up against their ill treatment and abuse. I think it’s important that society makes victims feel safe and gives them a voice to speak up against their abuser without any backlash by the offender or society.

I couldn’t decide whether to feel sorry for Heidi, annoyed by her or angered by her actions. I do think you hit upon an important subject where she is concerned though. Women are expected to deal with certain situations without complaining, despite their heart being torn in two. Do you think Heidi would have made the same choices in regard to Ruby and Willow if she had received adequate care and counselling at the appropriate time in her life?Without giving away any spoilers, Heidi is suffering from the overwhelming effects of loss in her life, something which she has tried hard to ignore, leaving those feelings to stew rather than heal. Her life most would certainly have taken a different route had she sought treatment for her grief at the appropriate time rather than masking the affliction for years.

Lastly I would like to thank you for answering all my questions, both the bizarre and the more story focused ones. Thank you so much for having me!


After the phenomenal success of her novel The Good Girl, Kubica is back with another compelling read. The type of read that makes you have a conversation with the fictional main characters of a book.

Women are expected to shut up and endure, swallow and forget. It doesn’t really matter why or what, they are just expected to grin and bear whatever comes their way.

When you spend years of bottling up your emotions without any outlet, psychological and sometimes even physical damage is the result of those pent-up emotions.

In Heidi’s case the shut up and put on a brave face façade begins to crumble when she invites Willow and Ruby into her house and her life. She slowly becomes obsessed with Ruby, and the thought of Willow leaving makes her almost irrational.

Once again Mary Kubica leaves it up to the reader to decide who the bad guys and the good guys are. Believe you me, it is never so cut and dry with a Kubica story. The truth of the matter is that there is a bit of both in all of us.

Kubica merges important social topics with emotional scenarios and family dynamics. She delves into the foster care system, child abuse and most importantly the apathy of our society towards the most vulnerable.

The opening chapters are an eye-opener and are food for thought. What would you do in the same situation? Look away or show some compassion? Unfortunately in the world we live in the number of incidents taking place in connection with the so-called bystander effect are on the rise. People look away rather than get involved. In a way this is one of the reasons Heidi reaches out instead of just turning her back.

This is a psychological thriller with muddied waters when it comes to the good guys and the bad guys, but then that is exactly what Kubica excels at.
Thank you to MIRA UK, Harlequin UK and Mary Kubica for my copy of Pretty Baby.

To buy Pretty Baby at Amazon UK or for other retailers go to Goodreads.

Read The Good Girl and Don’t You Cry by Mary Kubica.

Crash & Burn by Lisa Gardner


This was my first Lisa Gardner and it certainly won’t be my last. She really knows how to keep the story compelling to the very end.

Nicky is haunted by a girl called Vero. The two of them have conversations with each other all the time, or do they? Is it reality, a call from her subconscious or perhaps just hallucinations due to the complications of Nicky’s traumatic brain injury?

Nicky comes to the attention of the local police when she is found hailing help by the side of the road and her car is found at the bottom of a ravine. At the scene of the accident she screams for Vero, so the hunt is on for the missing child. When the police come up empty-handed they start to question not only the accident, they also question Nicky’s sanity. Something just doesn’t ring quite right for Wyatt and he starts taking a closer look at the husband, especially because Nicky has had multiple serious accidents in the last few months.

I really enjoyed the way Gardner kept the question about the identities very fluid throughout the book. Nothing is certain, and the reader is always second guessing who she might be. You automatically feel sympathy for Vero the child and Nicky the adult, regardless of whether they are in the past or present. For the victims of the abuse and the adult, who lives in sheer terror of the truth. Her own truth is so devastating she is literally falling apart bit by bit.

Although this is a Tessa Leoni mystery/case she doesn’t really play a major role in this story. More like the sidekick to Wyatt. The two of them do get a wee bit closer, but overall she plays more of a secondary part in the book.
I have to admit it kept me riveted till the end.
I received a free copy of this book via Netgalley.

Fourth of July Creek by Smith Henderson

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Pete seems to be the exact opposite of what people expect from a social worker, both from a physical perspective and most certainly based on his lifestyle choices.

Alcohol, drugs and violent altercations. The relationship between his ex and their daughter is a shambles. His own family is a superb example of lack of communication and a lifetime of recriminations.

Doesn’t exactly seem like the type to solve the problems of children or teens in dire need of help, and yet he does become the single lifeline of many.

Mary seems like such a breath of fresh air in the beginning, perhaps even a chance or a new beginning for Pete. Her childhood and her tragic past creates a void between them.

What must it be like to know that the inevitability of your past  is always chasing you. Always being present and at the forefront of people’s minds, ergo they judge before they have taken the time to get to know her.

Saying that, is someone who has fallen prey to the system of social care and been dropped into the black hole of Forgotten, able to be anything other than their past?

If you have seen, done , or have had every imaginable and unimaginable cruelty done to you, is there a way of ever leaving that behind? When I say behind I mean trying not to let it guide the future, at least not in a negative way.

Curtis is the perfect example of a child on his way into the same type of black hole in the very much overextended social services system. His behaviour is typical of one that has been abused. He is over-sexualized, has a tendency towards unpredictable and violent behaviour. He ends up where Pete knows he will become a lost cause, just another statistic on the path to destruction.

Pete becomes so frustrated at one point that he actually steps into the group of non trustworthy people in the boy’s life. The one person Curtis has accepted as a type of anchor in tumultuous seas starts to look more like a dinghy with a hole.

The irony of the story is of course the fate of Pete’s daughter. Her life becomes a sequence of predictable events, the type of events that follow in the tread of neglectful parents. Pete swings between worry and forgetting her existence, and he completely ignores her plea for help.

So whilst he is fully prepared to go to the ends of the earth for the children of others his own becomes disappears into the system and out of his life altogether. The reader finds themselves with a conundrum. Is Pete a hero or is he the abuser? How can he bend the rules and go to such extensive lengths to save one family and facilitate the destruction of his own?

I do so enjoy the type of story that ends up shining the light on the perfect imperfection of human nature.

I received a copy of this book via NetGalley, courtesy of Random House UK, Cornerstone.

Little Mercies by Heather Gudenkauf



Everyone makes mistakes, accidents happen and no single person goes through life without making at least one really bad choice.

Is one mistake, one small lapse in good judgement, a reflection on our personality, our parenting style or perhaps even the state of our mental health? That is exactly what this  book is about, someone making the type of mistake you can never quite recover from.

A hard-working stressed out mother, who loves her children and treats them well, becomes the focus of a child neglect/abuse investigation. The moral parameter swings like Poe’s Pendulum,  from guilt to innocence.

Has Ellen become one of the heartbreaking cases she tends to? As a social worker she sees the very bottom of the soulless pit of violence, abuse, pain, hatred and despair. It is her job to rescue children and women from these desperate situations.Not that rescue is always possible or an option. More often than not the victims of abuse, especially children, are returned straight back to the family home.

Ellen is diligent to a fault. She leaves no stone unturned to help the people allocated to her case-load. Leaves as fast as possible when she gets an emergency call from one of her flock. In fact she is so intent on saving humanity that her family often seems to come second to everyone else.

Then there comes the day when her priorities cause an accident of such epic proportions that her whole life, career, marriage and all her close relationships come close to being destroyed.

I really enjoyed the way the author showed the reality of the flip-side of social work and a social workers life. Being the sounding board for people in need and only having the ability to help them in a marginally small way, can really cause havoc in the minds of the people in that particular career branch. It is also the reason for the high number of burnt out individuals in social work.

The pain and frustration of knowing you just can’t save them all, despite all the good intentions you might have. Some of them are going to die, spend their lives in a continuous vicious cycle of violence and neglect. Knowing all that and acknowledging the lack of power you have over being able to change the outcome and futures of these children is enough to drive any person round the bend. Or at least to drive them to a point of complete overload.

This story takes a look at how quickly a person or parent can end up being just another statistic. Going from one end of the parent scale to the other, from good to so-called bad parent. Going  from being the saviour or helper to being the abuser.

All it takes is one small moment of not paying attention, a few seconds out of sight and out of mind or a few seconds of being preoccupied by something or someone else.

A great read that takes a close look at boundaries between abuse, neglect and accidents. Sometimes it is hard to know where to draw the line, and more often than not the benefit of the doubt is given to the wrong person and to the detriment of a child or victim.
I received a copy of this book via NetGalley.