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Damaged: The Heartbreaking True Story of a Forgotten Child

Narrated by: Denica Fairman
Length: 8 hrs and 41 mins
5 out of 5 stars (49 ratings)

Non-member price: $18.22

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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Unfortunately Jodie becomes increasingly withdrawn, and it's clear she needs psychiatric therapy.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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Damaged.

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

2 people found this helpful

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Truely heart breaking

Beyond the saddest story and life of a child I have ever heard . Worth the read

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Sad but well told!

It was a sad story but true! It was very well written - foster careers are special people

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Such betrayal

Wow what a good listen. I’m a 46 year old male who’s wife has seen cry maybe 2-3 times ever. At certain points in this book I sat on the trails edge (I listen while trail running) full of sadness, disbelief and anger and shed tears.
Cathy is an angel and life saver to do what she does as a carer. Respect Cathy!

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heartbreaking

absolutely loved this book feel horrible for Jodie hope she gets justice in the future

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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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  • Manuela Hernandez
  • 11-10-2018

good book

love it. very detailed.it was very sad aswell. this is my first book w audible.

3 people found this helpful

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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.

2 people found this helpful

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  • tanya nix
  • 08-11-2018

Heart racing

This was a tough one, I had to stop many times. What a horrid time this child had.
So brave for roughing this one out and giving her some help and hope..

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • tonya cary
  • 27-10-2018

Read, listen

Once again I was formed to stop listening so I could do my daily routine. I would have just prefered just listening to my book.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Nicole Hutto
  • 20-01-2020

sad

heart wrenching example of how the system fails these children. the social workers should've been held responsible.

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  • Teresa D.
  • 31-12-2019

Brilliant

I couldn't stop listening! From intense feelings of anger to tears of joy and sorrow this book kept me intrigued the whole way. Anyone in a truama field should read this story. Excellent, vivid story telling that keeps you wanting to hear more.

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  • Kristi
  • 31-08-2019

excellent look into foster care

Narrator was great. Story was impossible to stop. A hauntingly realistic look into the trauma of foster care.

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  • momm243
  • 26-08-2019

very disturbing and eye-opening

loved it, I've listed to it many times. I love Cathy Glass books. 5 stars

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  • Miss Julie B Monks
  • 09-05-2019

Damaged:the heartbreaking true story of a forgotten child

Disgusting, shocking and inspiring. Thank God we have people like Cathy in our world. I’m not sure I am glad I read this book but it is a must read. It shows the cruelty of adults and the beauty and strength of others.

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  • Hayley11
  • 15-12-2018

Sad story but beautifully written

Loved the way the author told the story. Cathy is an angle with these children.

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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!

3 people found this helpful

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  • 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

2 people found this helpful

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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.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 20-04-2020

Amazing!

So glad I chose this for my first audible. Started and finished within a day I was so hooked. Incredibly emotional and touched my heart strings in many ways.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Kerry wadsley
  • 13-05-2020

Touching

this was my first ever audio book as since getting depression I struggle to concentrate reading.
I will be starting another one straight away by Cathy Glass.
This was beautifully written and beautifully read. I hope all the other readers I listen to in the future are as good as Denika.

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  • Miss S Moore
  • 29-04-2020

Gripping

I will definitely listen to another book by Cathy Glass. It’s disturbing but very gripping.

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  • JLG84
  • 17-04-2020

Very insightful

I found this incredibly insightful into the long term psychological affects of abuse.
I have read a number of Cathy Glass books and absolutely love her writing but I struggled warming to the narrator of this audio book.

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  • c a.
  • 29-02-2020

Amazing

Simply a heartbreaking story, but as always superbly written and brilliantly read. A must have

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  • Yorkshire 25
  • 22-01-2020

Another excellent book

Very sad story but I’m glad there’s decent people out there that can support these poor children

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  • helen tyacke
  • 04-12-2019

Heartbreaking!

As always a remarkable book of a very sad situation that no child these days should be in. I hope Jody has continued to make progress and living life as full as she can. Well written Cathy truly inspiring glad you decided to carry on fostering. They would be lost without you!