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Don't Tell Mummy: A True Story of the Ultimate Betrayal [Paperback]

Toni Maguire
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
RRP: 6.99
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Book Description

5 Mar 2007

This heart-wrenching memoir from Toni Maguire tells the deeply moving story of an idyllic childhood that masked a terrible truth. Underneath her mother's gentility and her father's roguish charm lay horrifying secrets, which eventually led to their only child's near destruction.

The first time her father made an improper advance on Toni, she was six years old. Her father warned her not to tell her mother, or anyone else, because they would blame her and wouldn't love her any more. It had to remain ‘our secret.’

When she finally built up the courage to tell her mother what had happened, she was told never to speak of the matter again. With no one to turn to, isolated and alone in rural Ireland, the abuse continued unhindered.

At fourteen Toni fell pregnant by her father, and when her state was discovered she was made to have a late abortion which almost killed her. The truth of her childhood could no longer be kept hidden but, just as her father predicted, Toni found herself judged and rejected by her family, teachers and friends. The blame and anger she was treated with only worsened when her father was sent to prison as a result of his actions. This is the compelling story of her struggle to put the ghost of her childhood to rest, and emerge ultimately triumphant.

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Don't Tell Mummy: A True Story of the Ultimate Betrayal + When Daddy Comes Home + Don't You Love Your Daddy?
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Product details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Element; New Ed edition (5 Mar 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007223765
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007223763
  • Product Dimensions: 19.6 x 12.7 x 2.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 186,532 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


‘Hard to put down …. I truly felt I was living her life alongside her, being taken back in time. I could almost smell the honeysuckle and soda bread but also feel the dread and fear.’ Jane Elliott, author of the No.1 bestseller ‘The Little Prisoner’

'This memoir is testament to [Toni Maguire's] amazing courage'. Closer magazine.

‘Amazing'. The Mirror.

Closer magazine.

'This memoir is testament to [Toni Maguire's] amazing courage'. Closer

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
39 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely heartbreaking and unputdownable 2 April 2007
I read this book yesterday - I finished it one day and I don't think I have ever felt such a wide range of emotions whilst reading a book.

This book truly takes you on a journey - I had moments of feeling sick, not being able to breathe, complete outrage and anger, such terrible sadness and heart break to think of a little girl being put through this - yes, this is an extremely harrowing read but I would also highly recommend this - it demonstrates how child abuse used to be dealt with and how we MUST stop the prejudices and shame that surround this kind of abuse.

Toni was ostricised by her family for finally telling the truth and even the POLICE asked her if she got any pleasure from what her father was doing to her - I wanted to find this police officer and shout and scream at them! Their view was that she never said anything for so long so she must have enjoyed it! I am so glad that victims of abuse are no longer treated this way and that people in authority are now far better educated to deal with this problem. I wanted to meet Toni to hug her and tell her she was one of the the bravest and most courageous people I had ever read about.

I suppose this is the same kind of read as 'A Child Called It' - you just cannot believe that parents can act in such a way towards their own flesh and blood.

Whilst this book is very distressing and makes you feel sick to the stomach at points, I would also highly recommend it - it highlights the abuse that young children should never have to suffer at the hands of strangers, let alone their own parents. It is really unputdownable and such an emotional read that really did open my eyes to the way abused children were treated in the 50's and where the stigma comes from.

Highly recommended - am looking forward to reading her next book.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars heartbreaking 21 Mar 2007
Truly heartbreaking tale of child abuse. Toni Maguire must be such a strong person to have been able to write this book which must have brought back horrendous memories.

This book deals with Toni's relationship with her father who was the abuser and her mother who was most certainly aware of the abuse between her husband and daughter. Unbelievably the mother stands by Toni's father even after he is sentenced to prison for abusing Toni.

This is a very hard to read autobiography yet beautifully written with an equally beautifuly photograph of Toni on the inside back cover. I am sure this book will give strength to other abuse victims and I admire Toni's courage in being able to face her demons to complete her book.

Compelling page turner - read in one day.

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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Survivor of Child Abuse 13 April 2007
By Sam
As a survivor of child abuse, I felt very emotional when I read this book. This was a very good book. People don't realize that child abuse and molestation is something that is still happening. This is a book that every mother should read. Another really good book is This Can't Be Love!by Patricia Goins. That book had me glued to my seat, I couldn't put it down. Child abuse is a serious situation that should no longer be ignored, it could be happening to a child that you know.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A good read 23 Mar 2007
I think this is one of the best book I have ever read! I just couldn't put the book down. It took me 4 hours to complete it. I just wanted to know what's gonna happen later and how she came out of it. If you still haven't read this, get it.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Heartbreaking and Incredibly Brave 19 Oct 2007
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book had me in tears in various places throughout the account of Toni Maguire's childhood and adolescence. It is the emotional account of her relationship with her physically and sexually abusive father and the mother who stood by him through it all.

Antoinette was 6 when her father first sexually abused her and the abuse continued for nine years. She was told, and believed, that any admission to anyone would result in her being blamed, that is if anyone believed her in the first place.

This story is so well told that I can only assume that it must have taken an enormous amount of courage to write. Having said that, it is written so well that the reader almost becomes a fly on the wall through it all. I can't say that I enjoyed reading this story, but I am glad that I did. It is an amazing story written by an amazing woman.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Heartbreaking 11 Oct 2007
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
An emotional, heartbreaking journey through Antoniette's childhood, molested and raped by her very own father. A string of crimes perpetrated repeatedly for several years under her very own mother's nose, who deliberately chose not see, adding to the psychological side of the torture. The bottom line is, how could it all be? Unfortunately, it just was.

Strictly speaking about the narrative, I believe that the sense of helplessness and hopelessness conveyed by the voice of the child Antoniette, combined with her solitude, innermost feelings, fears and desperation are very well depicted. I can only hope that Ms. Maguire found it therapeutic to write down her memories. One would hope that by reading her book the awareness of the general public becomes higher and that victims and abusers of similar crimes find the courage to face and speak about it, and get the necessary help.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars gripping 12 Aug 2007
what a brave lady!! to be able to put down in words details of such a horrendous "childhood". such a moving and heartbreaking record of abuse and cruelty has to my knowledge never been printed. i couldn`t put this book down. so often these horrible crimes are swept under the carpet for the sake of "family status" i would highly recommend this read to anyone. cant wait to read the next one Toni, in fact i have just ordered it not 5 minutes after finishing the first!!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A triumph against all odds
Until I read this book I never truly understood how resilient, strong and utterly brave one person can be. A total inspiration.
Published 2 months ago by tilly mintball
5.0 out of 5 stars Really good
Really good book to read very emotional at times and just shows what some have to deal with in those days
Published 5 months ago by w m coburn
5.0 out of 5 stars very heartful
i felt for toni and thought there was no hope for her throughout the book but glad she got justice in the end
Published 8 months ago by jessica lane
4.0 out of 5 stars Don't tell mummy
This book was very touching and and inspiring. I chose it because I had been told about it and wanted to read it.
Published 15 months ago by Esther Owusu
5.0 out of 5 stars really good read
This was given to me by a friend for Christmas. i really enjoyed this book and i couldn't put it down. Read more
Published 15 months ago by Mary J Hart
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best
I will always be in awe of the strength it took to write this heartwrenching book, never mind having to live it and come out the better person. Inspiring.
Published 16 months ago by Heather Kennedy
5.0 out of 5 stars Very good
Very good quick and fast way to get a book for my girlfriend to read couldn't be happier great service and great price to.
Published 18 months ago by Pen Name
3.0 out of 5 stars Dont tell Mumm
Without a doubt it was a compulsive read, however,it is a fairy tale alongside Sophie Andrews 'Scarred'. that is frightening.
Published on 9 May 2011 by LouCostello
5.0 out of 5 stars Heart Wrenching
I read this book in a couple of days. At times I was moved to tears by Toni's story. There are many books of a similar nature on the market at the moment, but not once, like others... Read more
Published on 21 Jan 2011 by Lincs Reader
5.0 out of 5 stars Dont tell Mummy
What a great book this was. Heartbreaking and infuriating. It is hard to think a mother would do this to their child.
Published on 10 Oct 2010 by J. L. P. Herbert
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