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Mummy Knew: A terrifying step-father. A mother who refused to listen. A little girl desperate to escape. [Paperback]

Lisa James
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (54 customer reviews)
RRP: 8.99
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Book Description

3 Sep 2009

Four-year-old Lisa's world turned upside down when her step-father moved in. Most of the time he was just violent but then he started making her do things she knew were wrong. Soon he was visiting her at night. Lisa begged her mother for help but she just shrugged, telling Lisa he would have his way. It was the greatest betrayal of all.

At first Lisa's step-father would just make her stroke and massage his feet, hitting her if she stopped, but he soon wanted more. Much more. By the time she was 12 he was regularly abusing her. One day, when Lisa turned 16, she came home to discover that her mother had swapped bedrooms with her. 'You're my girlfriend now', her step-father told her. Lisa turned to her mother for help, but was met with a shrug. She wouldn't hear a word against her husband. 'Don't blame me,' she said. Her step-father's abuse was horrific but what completely tore her apart was knowing her mother knew and encouraged it.

Trapped and increasingly desperate, Lisa tried to find a way out. But her isolation was complete. Several months later her mother told her she'd arranged for Lisa and her step-father to move into a flat together down the road. It was too much for Lisa to bear. 'Please don't make me, please,' she sobbed. But her mother just ignored her. Lisa was marched around to the flat with her possessions and her nightmare was complete.

Alone with her step-father, Lisa's life became even more unbearable. Then one day, finally, she got the chance she'd been looking for to escape. Lisa bravely struck out on her own, petrified her mother would find her and hand her back into the waiting arms of her step-father. But Lisa's mother had no idea how determined she was to break away…

Frequently Bought Together

Mummy Knew: A terrifying step-father. A mother who refused to listen. A little girl desperate to escape. + No One Wants You: A true story of a child forced into prostitution + Daddy's Little Secret: Pregnant at 14 and there's only one man who can be the father
Price For All Three: 18.62

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Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Element (3 Sep 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007325169
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007325160
  • Product Dimensions: 19.3 x 12.7 x 2.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (54 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 89,550 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


‘Truly remarkable … Lisa’s courage is an inspiration to us all.’ Shy Keenan and Sara Payne

'Her mother was no mother at all. In the face of the ultimate betrayal, Lisa somehow found the strength to rescue herself. Her plight inspired us to fight for a change in the law and her courage inspires victims everyday to speak out. She is and always will be a true Phoenix Hero.'
Shy Keenan & Sara Payne MBE

About the Author

Lisa James is married and lives with her husband and six children in the north of England. In 2005 she reported her step-father to the police and three years later, when the case came to court, he was convicted.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another victim...another survivor... 29 Sep 2009
By Gav.76
Lisa had the most degrading childhood, one of the very worst I have read. It's a miracle she managed to survive the daily violence that was doled out to her from her stepfather. The cruel coldness of her mother is equally as shocking. It disgusts me to think her mother is out there somewhere being 'doted on' by her other children who so easily turned their back on their sister when she really needed their support.
But instead of letting that beat her, Lisa went on to testify against her 'dad' Frank in court last year.
Without the family support she should have recieved, Lisa found the strength to send her stepfather to prison.

This book is brilliantly written (without a ghost-writer as many are these days). It's honest, graphic in places but not overly done. I totally agree with the other reviewers - You won't want to put this book down until you find out for sure that she did survive her horrors. It's so frightening to hear that people witnessed some of the attacks and did absolutely nothing to help. The most upsetting one for me was the trip back from the doctors. I hope society has changed since then. I know for sure I would step in if I saw something like that happening!!!

I wish you all the very best in the future Lisa. Despite your lonely start in life you are now surrounded by lots of people who care and love you very much. Thank you for sharing your story with us all. I hope the more people that come forward may help those in similar situations to find the courage to take control and report their abuser.

Take care xx
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars exceptional 4 Nov 2009
This Lady, and she is a Lady in every sense of the word, lived through the most horrific childhood, but somehow as an adult found the strength and courage to fight for justice. Let down by the person who should have saved her, her mother, in the most vile way and betrayed by her siblings she still managed to build a life for herself. It is a shame that her mother wasn't jailed for her part in the abuse, she has no right to call herself a mother and is without a doubt the most vile excuse for a human being I have ever read about. That her 'family' would side her over the author shows only that she is better off without them. This is a book that is at times painful to read, but you feel the need to get to the end to see what happens. You will her mother to save her, as she so easily could have, and dispair that she not only doesnt take her away and make it stop but becomes an active part in the abuse tricking her back once she has escaped. It is a wake up call to the reader that these things can go on around us without our knowledge and may get us to open our eyes more to other people. The bravery of this woman and her drive to survive will inspire any reader.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Remarkable Memoir 19 Oct 2009
Lisa James, I take my hat off to you!

You have written a remarkable book about the most vile abuses but somehow managed to do it with both dignity and great charm. Your writing hooked me from the first page with your amazing spirit shining through. You are so couragious and brave to have taken that brute to court without any support. You deserve every happiness you now have with your husband and wonderful children.

I highly recommend this book. It isn't your run-of-the-mill memoir. This is a blinding read that you'll think about for a long time after. It thoroughly deserved its spot as a Sunday Times no1 bestseller.

Well done Lisa. Thank you for telling us your story. You will help many people with this.

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A heart breaking story 31 Jan 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I couldn't put this book down, the on going abuse that Lisa suffered made her terrified to tell anyone and even when she did she was ignored and even blamed for the actions against her. A truly heart breaking story and one which I hope shows other victims of abuse that there is always a way out.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars mummy knew 22 Sep 2010
I have just finished reading this book and was completely disgusted that a man (if you can call him that) was allowed to get off so lightly with the horrendous crime he had committed. I felt so sorry for Lisa who tried her very best to get away from her callous and vile abuser. What shocked me more was that her bitch of a mother just let it happen under her nose, repeatedly saying it was Lisa's fault. I have read many books like this, and this has to be one of the saddest, such a poor, tormented girl Lisa was. There are so many people around the world who cant have children, and then you read about these vile creatures who call themselves parents. This is a rivettting read and I finished it within two days, such a brave recollection of the horrific things Lisa had to put up with. My heart goes out to you Lisa, you're very brave and have grown into a proper mother, unlike your own mum. All the best for your future.
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5.0 out of 5 stars great 29 Jan 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
i love all of these sort of books, this is a very good read, very sad though but still a good book
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5.0 out of 5 stars Mummy knew 13 Jan 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Oh my God what a brave brave woman. Her family don't deserve to call themselves that, they should be ashamed of their lives. How can you let so much abuse go on under your nose!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Soo good! 13 Oct 2013
By Paige
Loved this book, couldn't put it down once I started, has such a horrible story line! Most definitely recommend it!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 6 days ago by Janine Carney
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Good read
Published 1 month ago by Tina
5.0 out of 5 stars A touching story
It truly broke my heart reading this but to see the outcome made it worth while ... would highly recommend
Published 1 month ago by Vicky Walker
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Book
It is a good book, but is very sad. It is really heartbreaking to hear of such horrible things that happen in this horrible nasty world.
Published 11 months ago by Mark Kirby
5.0 out of 5 stars Fab
A very very moving read, i couldn't put it down! Unbelievable that a child could love in such awful conditions!
Published 12 months ago by Leah Amy Swift
5.0 out of 5 stars brilliant
A very sad but moving read if you like Cathy Glass books like i do you will also like this.
Published 13 months ago by mrs c m cunningham
5.0 out of 5 stars Mummy knew
Excellent book shocking and sad, difficult to read this goes on but best of luck Lisa you deserve happiness. X
Published 14 months ago by berni
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent read very moving
Very graphic but excellent read. What a very brave little girl who flourished into a brave and wonderful woman,so glad you found a loving man to take care of you and your 6... Read more
Published 14 months ago by bezza
4.0 out of 5 stars A true insight...
Having read "A Child Called It" I was looking for something similar. This book was wonderful, a true insight into a troubled girl's life and society's attitude to child abuse in... Read more
Published 15 months ago by Aishling Scott
5.0 out of 5 stars Sad and heartfelt story
5 star great read sad heart felt story showing how depraved some people in our society are couldn't stop reading
Published 16 months ago by mrs m light
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