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4.5 out of 5 stars67
4.5 out of 5 stars
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on 7 April 2008
I have nothing but admiration for Celine's courage, tenacity and integrity. She has had the courage to tell her story and persevere through life-difficulties to which many of us would have succumbed. She suffered horribly at the hands of those who should have protected and loved her, but she never waivered in knowing what was good and right and in creating her own loving family.

I hope this book inspires others to shine the light in those dark corners and to have the courage to create a positive life of own's own.

The first edition of the book (not this edition, but one with a reddish cover) does contain some imperfections, but so what. Blame the editors and not the writer. The editors should have done a better job - editing their writers' work IS their job! But, apparently, this, the second edition of this book, has been better edited.
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on 31 October 2010
This is a sad true life narrative of Celine Roberts. Celine was born into an Irish family, her parents were not married. In the 1940's in Ireland, it was very taboo children born out of wedlock was categorised as Illegitimate. Her mother, Doreen was in a home for Unmarried mothers in County Cork, Ireland. After giving birth, 5 months later Doreen left the home. The fee was then paid for Doreen's liberation and Celine was taken care of by foster parents who lived in County Limerick in Ireland. From an early age Celine was told "no one wants you". The years of abuse subsequently followed and Celine was forced into prostitution at a very early age. Whilst at her foster parents house, men regularly came to the house and paid for services, which was accepted by Celine's foster parents. She seldom went to school and didn't know how to care for herself physically, as she was not shown or taught by her foster parents. She was rarely fed and at times ate candelwax and bathed in a pond. Celine then moved to an Orphange, which was controlled by Nuns. Her life was to some extent better, in that she was not subjected to any abuse by men. However, the strict regime was tough and at times having to steal food. The story unfolds into her life after leaving the orphanage working as a maid and then moving to London.
Read this inspiring book and found out how Celine educated herself through her determination, had her own family and traced her long last parents and siblings.
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on 23 January 2014
I have just started reading this book and i am amazed by the facts in a small irish village and so many abusers ?, surely not every man in the area is a rapist/
peodophile ? is it something in the water and if people from this area are reading the book they must be wondering if there husbands or fathers are involved, as it seems a man could'nt pass this child without touching her, not saying she's a liar but its a bit much and thats only the fist few pages,in most reports of this nature it's usually a member of the family or a family friend, one or two sick peodophiles but a full town !!!My husband comes from a small irish town and he and his large family only remember a great chilhood he must be one of the lucky ones,
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on 12 December 2007
It is never easy to have to read about how family members close to you may well have mistreated others - but it happens, and this book is an example of 1950's Ireland, when children born out of wedlock were banished to a life of deprivation and torment.
I absolutely loved this book - I rarely read - but had it recommended by a friend and for the first time in many years, found myself sitting up until 2.00am to get to the end.
It is humbling to think that maybe by writing this book, Celine has been able to deal with the demons that tormented her in her early years.
There are a few books like this on the market - but none so vivid and heart wrenching. A story that will make you feel very grateful for the small pleasures in life.
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on 31 December 2007
It's interesting and sad to read reviews from family members who challenge the content of this book, and unsurprising that they rate the book so poorly.

I would agree with one review below which states that the book is actually not that well written, but growing up in an Irish household, it's very much written in the style of the spoken stories I grew up with.

If you're interested in reading the shocking story of the hidden Ireland, where unwanted children where discarded by society, treated so appallingly by those entrusted with their welfare and a subsequent lifelong battle for recognition from their family, then you will enjoy this book.
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on 23 August 2010
This book is heartbreaking.The Writer,The life she was forced to live,the courage of this young girl.I could not put this book down.I hope the writer finds peace.If you read one book this year,it has to be this one.
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on 28 April 2010
One of many stories of cruelty to children in the 1950/1960. When children were given to any foster parent that was a church goers. Thinking they would be well looked after. A lot of cruelty hide it self behind religion. Thank God now there is stricker assessments. Also the stigma of being an unmarried mother.
Thankgoodness many children have the strengh to tell there stories and hope change the future for many others. It is well worth reading.
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on 5 August 2012
I am a victim, too, working on surviving and becoming victorious over all of what was done to me. But i know of women who had things done to them that is far worse than what was done to me ....... most people can't beleive the things that are done to children (especially those of us who are female) ~~~ just like people didn't beleive what was being reported about what the Nazi's were doing ---- people just can't wrap their minds around what people have the ability to do to other people ...... or that, somehow, most of the victims are female. But the first thing we need to be able to do is to know that we are allowed to tell about what was done to us and to be believed .... and to know that we aren't the only ones --- that we aren't alone. And this book and others like it does that. And it takes profound courage for us victims to tell our stories; many of us can't (there are parts of my story that i can't even "talk about" to myself ... although, they hang there in the background of my mind like a haunting spector ...
Thank you for writing your story.
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on 23 March 2007
I read the book all in two days I couldnt put it down. The tears I cried for her. The hurt I feel the sadness how could a family be so cold and cruel. She was their own. I will never understand. Times where very different then. But Celine is a beautiful person and carries all the ways of her real family.
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on 2 May 2008
I have just finished reading Celine's story and, like others found it an uncomfortable read. That she was abused at such a tender age is terrible but that nobody did anything to help is the real tragedy. Given her Foster Mother had a reputation - why was social services / the garda or anyone else not notified and Celine removed to a place of safety? Why didn't her school inform anyone that she was at risk? Then, when she was removed to return her again to this woman to act as a glorified slave is beyond comprehension even for the 1950's!!

Celine is a remarkable women and no doubt still has many demons to face. She has gone through more heartache that most people would face in a lifetime. Yes she levels critism at her "real" family. Given the circumstances, I would find it more chilling if she DIDN'T! I agree every side has a story to tell but unfortunately her real parents will never be able to tell their side. However, the facts speak for themselves. She was abandoned at an early age - FACT. Her birth mother knew about her - FACT. She wrote her a letter telling Celine to effectively stay away from her "family" - FACT..even though Celine was ONE of her family - FACT.

The comments about the writing style are somewhat niave. If you read the book carefully you will see that the start is written in the style of a child but that the language used progressively becomes more "adult" as the story unfurls which mirrors Celine's own education. The fact that Celine can read or write AT ALL is another issue. Whether this was intented or not, I felt it actually enhanced the potency of the book.

The book doesn't portray the Irish Catholic Church in a good light. While not a Catholic, I always believed the aim of any Church was to spread the "GOOD" word rather than punish the unborn children of girl's that became pregnant outwith wedlock. Surely they were the innocent victims and can not be held accountable for something outwith their control?
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