Start reading The Cruel Mother: A family ghost laid to rest on your Kindle in under a minute. Don't have a Kindle? Get your Kindle here or start reading now with a free Kindle Reading App.

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

 
 
 

Try it free

Sample the beginning of this book for free

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

Anybody can read Kindle books—even without a Kindle device—with the FREE Kindle app for smartphones, tablets and computers.
The Cruel Mother: A family ghost laid to rest
 
 

The Cruel Mother: A family ghost laid to rest [Kindle Edition]

Siān Busby
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £8.99
Kindle Price: £4.19 includes VAT* & free wireless delivery via Amazon Whispernet
You Save: £4.80 (53%)
* Unlike print books, digital books are subject to VAT.

Formats

Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle Edition £4.19  
Hardcover £8.65  
Paperback £7.19  
Kindle Summer Sale: Over 500 Books from £0.99
Have you seen the Kindle Summer Sale yet? Browse selected books from popular authors and debut novelists, including new releases and bestsellers. Learn more

Special Offers and Product Promotions

  • Purchase any Kindle Book sold by Amazon.co.uk and receive £1 credit to try out our Digital Music Store. Here's how (terms and conditions apply)


Product Description

Review

"Sian Busby's deeply felt and well researched book is a tale of awful enchantment." Erica Wagner, The Times; "Fascinating, part autobiography, part moving family history, with sharply etched portraits richly embedded in their social and historical milieu." Caroline Moore, Sunday Telegraph; "A gripping tale of madness and infanticide during the time of the Great War... Powerful and disturbing." Margaret Forster"

Product Description

?In 1919 Siân Busby’s great-grandmother, Beth, gave birth to triplets. One of the babies died at birth and eleven days later she drowned the surviving twins in a bath of cold water. She was sentenced to an indefinite term of imprisonment at Broadmoor. The murder, and the deep sense of shame it generated, resounded through the lives of Beth’s grandchildren and great-grandchildren. In Siân’s case, ill-suppressed knowledge of the event manifested itself in nightmares and contributed towards a bout of postnatal depression. After the birth of her second son, she decided to investigate the story once and for all and lay to rest the ghosts which have haunted the family for 80 years…

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 552 KB
  • Print Length: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Short Books (7 Mar 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.ą r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00BS8399M
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #54,406 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
  •  Would you like to give feedback on images?


More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, and more.

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?


Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Cruel Mother 23 Mar 2013
By S Riaz HALL OF FAME TOP 10 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is an honest and heartbreaking account of a family tragedy, when the author discovered that her great-grandmother drowned her two infant daughters. It is a book about family secrets, of the life of women at the turn of the century, the struggle of raising a family in relative poverty, the spectre of post natal depression and the hidden world of infanticide and backstreet abortions. Sian Busby's great-grandmother Beth was a loving mother of three sons, who had lost her little girl Maisie shortly before becoming pregnant with triplet daughters. It was a bad birth and one daughter died - the midwife not even suspecting there was a third baby. What seems surprising in this age of tabloid headlines and internet judgements is the compassion and leniency shown women who killed their newborns and the understanding shown to their circumstances.

Sian Busby was a wonderful author, who died herself, much too young. Her bravery in exploring her own thoughts about motherhood and how her great-grandmother's secret affected her family is a really honest account and an important social history of working class women and their daily struggles. This is a very moving read and one I recommend highly.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
34 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Insight 4 Sep 2004
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
Fantastic book, a real insight not just into infanticide but also into life in Britain during The Great War and World War One.
This book would appeal to all, although particularly to women and mothers. As a mother I have never quite been driven to infanticide but could relate to much of Beth's feelings and emotions. The author's research into pregnancy related medical conditions at the time is also facinating.
Very well written! Read it!!!
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
By C. Bannister TOP 500 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is a sad book which details in depth the facts surrounding the death of Beth's surviving twin daughters who she drowned. Beth already had 3 sons, her only daughter had died the year before and this terrible event appeared to come out of the blue.

This book is a good read, there is a lot of social history within the story including that of lace workers, horse traders, the effects of World War I as well as the fate of those mothers who killed their babies.

Sian Busby is Beth's Great Grandaughter and much of the story has been meticulously researched since although some of the stories had been handed down the generations, Sian's Grandfather refused to talk about Beth the shame and guilt still imprinted upon the family. An interesting but very sad story.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "The past is a foregone conclusion." 3 Oct 2010
By Eileen Shaw TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
Though the title might suggest it, this is not a misery memoir, but the story of one woman's search for the truth about what happened to her grandmother, and by extension, what happened to many women before we truly understood what the trauma of giving birth might sometimes entail.

A very short passage of time - perhaps of no more than twenty minutes duration - on Wednesday 27 August 1919, a few minutes before half-past five in the morning Beth Wood drowned the surviving two children she had recently given birth to - twin daughters - a third daughter had not survived the birth.

This very frail woman had haemorrhaged badly at the birth and the doctor had had to be sent for; she had been in the care of a midwife, and had previously given birth to four healthy children. However, her only daughter, Maisie, had died of Diptheria very recently. She had been told that she would have to have an operation to take care of the mess this latest birth had made of her reproductive organs. She was probably in a state of chronic mental and physical fatigue as well as frightened and confused.

There were worries throughout the country and in many areas there was political unrest and protests. Many men had returned from war to find there were no jobs, and therefore no means of feeding and clothing themselves and their families. Beth was a great worrier, and even though her husband had regular work, she was someone who constantly worried about the future.

Sian Busby tells this story very simply and without any literary embellishment, or much flair or flourish. It is a terrible indictment of the lack of understanding the medical and legal professions of the time had of puerperal insanity.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
32 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, Touching & Heartbreaking. 15 July 2006
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
An incredible insight into the lives of wives and mothers at the turn of the last of the last century.

The book is a biography of the authors great-grandmother, Beth, whom she never knew, but had always heard stories and family legends about her.

I found this book enthralling on every page, as you read about Beth's life growing up, her family, how she endured pregnancy and birth in the 1900's and how she eventually came to do the terrible thing she did, that got her sent to Broadmoor.

I don't often give a book 5 star's, but this one is definately deserving of them! I couldn't put it down all the way through and actually shed a few tears towards the end.

READ THIS BOOK!!!
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars heart wrenching and illuminating story 13 May 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The telling of an incredibly poignant and previously hidden family story about the infanticide of 2 tiny twins by the author's great-grandmother. The personal history of the people involved is woven into the greater social history of the period, with the views on birth control, pregnancy, motherhood, post-natal depression and social circumstances of the time. It is a fascinating read, made even more alive by the author's personal recollections. For anyone who is a parent or who has even thought about parenthood this book strikes many chords - Highly recommended
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
Would you like to see more reviews about this item?
Were these reviews helpful?   Let us know
Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Turned into a very interesting social history of the period ...
Turned into a very interesting social history of the period before and after world war 1 in north London.
Published 1 month ago by David Mooney
5.0 out of 5 stars moving
Moving, brilliantly written. A fantastic insight into maternity, motherhood and life over the last century, mixing a story and history together in a unique way.
Published 5 months ago by Miss V I Phillips
4.0 out of 5 stars Poignant read
A good mixture of facts and real life events. Sian Busby shows a dispassionate view of her familiy's dark secret.
Published 5 months ago by Rosie Paterson
3.0 out of 5 stars The Cruel mother
I did not buy this book so have not the slightest idea whether I would like it or not, your mistake !!!
Published 7 months ago by Shirley Stevens
5.0 out of 5 stars Intriging story line.
Took quite a lot of perseverance to read at first, but amazed by facts and research in this book.
A real story which completely immersed me especially because I am a Midwife.
Published 8 months ago by Pamela Hancock
2.0 out of 5 stars Could not get into this book
Could not get interested in this book at all. Had to delete it from the kindle because I tried so many times to get into the story but was disappointed
Published 8 months ago by Lucille McDonald
3.0 out of 5 stars Sob Story
This is yet another story dug up which was quite sad at times, but it was someone elses past and unfortunately did not have me riveted. Read more
Published 8 months ago by sandysan
4.0 out of 5 stars A Robust Read
This is a painful book to read. Very well researched and put across well; a difficult subject for both the writer and the reader. This balance is handled well. Read more
Published 9 months ago by christine sweetman
5.0 out of 5 stars close to home
I think this is a very brave and brilkiant book about motherhood. It should be compulsory reading for all health visitors and midwives. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Jane
4.0 out of 5 stars History Brought Alive
The author explores a family secret - an act of infantacide. She looks not only at the events, the drowning of two babies by a mother who had been traumatised by their birth and... Read more
Published 10 months ago by Jennifertapir
Search Customer Reviews
Only search this product's reviews

Customer Discussions

This product's forum
Discussion Replies Latest Post
No discussions yet

Ask questions, Share opinions, Gain insight
Start a new discussion
Topic:
First post:
Prompts for sign-in
 

Search Customer Discussions
Search all Amazon discussions
   


Look for similar items by category