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Publisher's Summary

Although Jodie is only eight years old, she is violent, aggressive, and has already been through numerous foster families. Her last hope is Cathy Glass.

From the Sunday Times and New York Times bestselling author.

At the Social Services office, Cathy (an experienced foster carer) is pressured into taking Jodie as a new placement. Jodie's challenging behaviour has seen off five carers in four months. Despite her reservations, Cathy decides to take on Jodie to protect her from being placed in an institution.

Jodie arrives, and her first act is to soil herself, and then wipe it on her face, grinning wickedly. Jodie meets Cathy's teenage children, and greets them with a sharp kick to the shins. That night, Cathy finds Jodie covered in blood, having cut her own wrist, and smeared the blood over her face.

As Jodie begins to trust Cathy her behaviour improves. Over time, with childish honesty, she reveals details of her abuse at the hands of her parents and others. It becomes clear that Jodie's parents were involved in a sickening paedophile ring, with neighbours and Social Services not seeing what should have been obvious signs.

Unfortunately Jodie becomes increasingly withdrawn, and it's clear she needs psychiatric therapy. Cathy urges the Social Services to provide funding, but instead they decide to take Jodie away from her, and place her in a residential unit.

Although the paedophile ring is investigated and brought to justice, Jodie's future is still up in the air. Cathy promises that she will stand by her no matter what - her love for the abandoned Jodie is unbreakable.

©2009 Cathy Glass (P)2014 HarperCollins Publishing Limited

Critic Reviews

"Cannot fail to move those who read it." ( Adoption-net)
"Heartbreaking." ( The Mirror)
"A truly harrowing read that made me cry." ( The Sun)
"A true tale of hope" ( OK!)
"Foster carers rarely get the praise they deserve, but Cathy Glass's book should change all that." ( First Magazine)
"A hugely touching and emotional true tale." ( Star Magazine)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Damaged.

I cried oceans for all children who have suffered from the evils of sexual predators

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Incredibly raw, truthful and insightful

My mother is a foster carer and I have met and connected with many troubled children throughout my life, which made me feel prepared to tackle this novel. I wasn’t.
It is currently 3:30 am and I couldn’t sleep until I knew Jodie was okay. The traumas this innocent little girl suffered broke not only my heart, but tore at the very foundations of my soul.
Knowing the many complications, frustrations, trials and tribulations foster carers endure not only with the children in their care, but with the care system itself, I honestly expected this novel to be yet another glorified account of a highly functioning system with sunshine and daisies and a few rainy days in between. Instead I was impressed at the brutal truth unveiled, showing the intensity of the frustrations that every foster carer faces on a day to day basis, while also highlighting how rewarding the job can be and the importance of good foster carers and just how much difference can be made.
Cathy Glass reminds me so much of my own mum and her foster carer Aunty Betty. If it weren’t for the hard word and determination of Aunty Betty my mum likely would not have been able to overcome her own traumas to become the wonderful, caring foster parent and mother she is today.
Despite the tears still streaming down my face over this tragic story, I feel privileged to have had a peek through the window of one of Cathy’s precious memories and of Jodie’s life.

Cathy, you are one amazing, brave woman and you should be so proud of yourself for all you have done. Your children sound incredible and so insightful and empathetic.

I wish the best for young Jodie and am so glad that someone took the time to reach her and help her to become the best she can be.

This book will stay in my heart and mind for a very long time to come.

Also a brilliant performance by the narrator for this audiobook. Best I have come across.

I wish I could give this a higher rating than five stars, because it takes some skill to write such a horrifying tale with so much emotion and insight. Thank you.

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Horrifying and Sad but Eye-Opening

Absolutely loved this book. It was such a sad story. Made me cry multiple times. I am reading Cathy Glass books as a recommendation from family to help me gain patience and knowledge on how to get me through life with my difficult step-son and I am already noticing a motivation and change that is a first for me. I will definitely read all of her books.

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So very sad

Very sad. Makes me mad how children are abused by the very people who are supposed to love them.

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  • Alaina Johnson
  • 15-05-2018

Fabulously written but not for the faint of heart

Coming from someone that works with children with severe trauma, this story touched my heart in so many ways. It was truly a wonderful story about the pain, exhaustion and endless challenges a foster parent faces. The guy wrenching story is sadly one other children face but needs to be heard. It became one of my favorite books almost instantly.

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  • Destiny
  • 22-12-2017

Brutal but Educational

It was heart wrenching and I had to fast forward almost everything Jodie said about her biological parents. But I learned a lot about how to respond to the foster children I plan to have. It's the perfect book for those who are interested in foster care.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • b.reeder
  • 24-09-2017

Heartbreaking

This is a hard story to listen to but the reader does great at reading.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Jennifer L. Midgette
  • 12-09-2017

Forensic Point of View

As as Forensics Nurse I see such a limited glimpse into the world of my patients and how the navigate through the system. I am glad I listened!

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 29-06-2017

chilling story!!

loved it this author is amazing makes you feel like you are in her living rm

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • charles k.
  • 22-06-2017

It's ok

not impressed with this book. I'm surprised by the many 4 and 5 star ratings. Unfortunately it's a story I've heard one too many times.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • SushisArmy
  • 01-03-2017

I was hooked on this.

I was so hopefully for change, but as more gruesome details came out, I found I was succumbing to the depression Cathy must have felt. I also wanted to kick Eileen. lol. I understand why contact has waned, as Jodie may have blocked this beginning recovery period out, as many victims of child abuse do. I do hope she reaches out to Cathy though. thank you for recounting your experience Cathy!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • dolfin
  • 10-02-2017

Damaged heartbreaking story of a forgotten child

This is a very heart breaking story, that is well written. It very sad that people who were supposed to protect this child could do such horrible things to a child.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Cathy Sweeney
  • 06-10-2016

Heartbreaking does not do it

When I started this I was not sure if I would like it and then things started to change. This story tugs the heart strings so tight and then twists them one more time. This child came from a background that is hard to believe but is true. Reading this shows mistakes that occurred and how they are discovered while Jodi was in foster care in England. It is worth the read or listen, it certainly got to me as I had to finish it even though I was at home.

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  • Sandy
  • 27-09-2016

Truly heartbreaking

I definitely would recommend this touching story. What amazing love and care Cathy Glass offers her foster children - even those who are emotionally, physically and mentally broken like Jodi, the one in this story. My heart breaks just trying to imagine the horrors young Jodi had to live through. Our world needs more people like Cathy Glass!

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  • Luke
  • 04-11-2016

So so touching

A very very upsetting book, I literally had tears in my eyes how anybody could treat a princess like this :( read it you won't put it down I read it in a day!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
  • laura mcintosh
  • 03-12-2017

Sad and unimaginable

Such a heart warming story how Jodie must have been hurting inside . Cathy glass deserves a medal on how she handled Jodie it was amazing and she has a heart of gold

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Steven Lane
  • 15-03-2015

Shocking but what a book

Very good book that is full of parenting tips for foster carers and adopters. Warts and all it is shocking in places.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Laura Cope
  • 24-09-2017

Wow. What an insight to fostering

Incredible, heartbreaking and powerful. I've learnt so much about fostering from this book and I look forward to reading more.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Robyn
  • 05-09-2017

fantastic!

chilling and heartbreaking, fantastic listening, couldn't turn it off!! Cathy glass is amazing! worth a listen

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 26-08-2017

very intense.

The narrator did a brilliant job with the reading of this heart wrenching story. had emotions on highs and lows through out.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 17-08-2017

heartbreaking

One of the most heartbreaking story of a young girl. very emotional and some parts of story very hard to listening too but Defo worth listening

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 13-07-2017

such a heart breaking story and unimaginiable.

The author tells the story of abuse from the perspective of a foster carer. Poor Jodie is a child who has experienced a life of hell and unfortunately the same but different hell lies ahead for her the rest of her life as she lives with what happened to her.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Mark Baxter
  • 18-05-2017

powerful

powerful and emotional story of the often sad story of abuse suffered by children by those who should be caring for them.

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    5 out of 5 stars
  • tracey burton
  • 25-04-2017

Damaged

I found this story very upseting I can't believer what I was read and the things Jody went through