From the first page to the end, my heart went out to Lily and her "baby" brother Simon who never had a childhood. Thank goodness she found Tony who has been an absolute rock to her and without him and her children, she probably would have met the same fate as those she lived with in the "institution" and Simon.
This covers her life from the first sexual abuse right up to the present day. When living with her mother she was abused by her stepfather and brother in law. Her mother......she knew everything that was happening and turned a blind eye to it all. As a mother myself, it beggars belief.
When her mother decided she no longer wanted her and her brother and sister around, she packed them off to their father in Ireland. Surely her life could get better. No, her father was never around, instead choosing to live in the pub. As a result of their neglect, all three were sent to the institution where they spent the remainder of their childhood in apalling conditions and their experiences were shocking, be it from their treatment by the nuns, to their living conditions to the experiences when sent away for a holiday with other families, every page offers another beggars belief moment. Whilst an upsetting read, you are willing the end of the book in the hope that Lily has found true happiness. Sadly, as a result of her terribly sad life, the happy ever after I was hoping for did not arrive, though she has three children she loves dearly and a partner who to be honest deserves a medal for supporting her and not giving up on her.
Don't give up Lily! One day, hopefully you will be able to close all of the doors on your demons and enjoy the remainder of your life happy and peacefully with Tony.