Powerful and emotional must read!
I read this autobiography in one day as I just couldn’t put it down. It was that gripping and to know that this is a true story makes it even more worth the read in order to know what happened in the end.
It is the story of little Anna who lives with her birthmother for the first four years of her life, but gets taken into care when her mother can no longer look after her properly. Anna has known hunger, loneliness, neglect and fear already. It’s when she meets her new adoptive mother that her misfortune really starts and she learns to grow up quickly.
I loved the part when she meets Mrs. Wilson, her loving foster carer before being placed with her new family, as I think that gave Anna some hope and some strength for the time to come, although she might not have known it at the time, but to know that there are some good people out there might have helped a little.
The real horror starts when Mr and Mrs Warren who have adopted two other babies before Anna and lost a biological son when he was one day old are looking to adopt her. They could have easily gone to another agency for another baby, yet they decide to adopt an older child. That was a big mistake and one that little Anna, who was described by the authorities as a ‘problem child’ had to pay dearly for; for the rest of her life probably.
It reminded me of Dave Pelzer’s books, a man I admire for his strength and courage to break through the cycle of hatred and abuse and is able to live a normal life. The same can be said of Mrs Staff, I admire your strength! You are my hero!
It’s amazing how one child can survive through this. The way she was treated as an emotionless thing, a personal house maid and expected to excel at school all at the same time whilst suffering under the hands of one unstable adult who sometimes was nice to her and at other times would nearly kill her, would have broken many a child. Instead she had thoughts of escape and developed a cunning clever instinct of getting to know and to please her new ‘mommy’; someone who was supposed to love her and keep her safe, but was basically a sadist and knew very well what she was doing.
I cried all the way through this book from the moment little Anna was put in a bath of scorching hot water and was nearly drowned by Mrs Warren, until the end.
The author might seem to write a little blasé about all the abuse, but I think that’s to not to make it too depressing for the reader. No one with a heart will be able to keep a dry eye whilst reading this book.
Well done, Carol, I cannot wait for the next book ’Bring On The Rain’.
Disclaimer: I received a free copy for review purposes
Natasja Hellenthal, author of ‘The Queen’s Curse’