The Unmarried Mother and over 2 million other books are available for Amazon Kindle . Learn more

Buy New

Sign in to turn on 1-Click ordering.
Buy Used
Used - Good See details
Price: £1.79

More Buying Choices
Have one to sell? Sell yours here
Sorry, this item is not available in
Image not available for
Image not available

Start reading The Unmarried Mother on your Kindle in under a minute.

Don't have a Kindle? Get your Kindle here, or download a FREE Kindle Reading App.

The Unmarried Mother [Paperback]

Sheila Tofield
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (100 customer reviews)
RRP: £6.99
Price: £5.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
You Save: £1.00 (14%)
o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o
Only 11 left in stock (more on the way).
Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.
Want it tomorrow, 23 Oct.? Choose Express delivery at checkout. Details


Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle Edition £2.99  
Paperback £5.99  

Book Description

28 Mar 2013

Sheila Tofield tells her moving true story about being a single mother in 1950s Britain, in The Unmarried Mother.

'A searing, honest testimony' Lesley Pearse

Sheila grew up in Rotherham, the daughter of an uncaring mother who made her believe she was useless, stupid and - most painfully of all - unlovable. As a young woman, her worst childhood fears were confirmed when her fiancé broke off their engagement without an explanation. Heartbroken and vulnerable, Sheila was easy prey to the worst type of man - a man who turned his back on her when she told him she was carrying his child.

In Fifties Britain, an unmarried, pregnant girl received,not sympathy but censure and contempt. Shunned by most of her family, Sheila ended up in a Church of England home for unmarried mothers, with no apparent alternative than to give up her child for adoption. But when she held her newborn daughter in her arms for the first time, Sheila knew she had to do the unthinkable: bring up her baby on her own in a society that would condemn her for it.

Sheila Tofield is a proud grandmother living in Chichester and The Unmarried Mother is her first book. Her touching story was picked up by Penguin when she entered the hugely successful life story competition with Saga Magazine.

Special Offers and Product Promotions

  • Between 20-26 October 2014, spend £10 in a single order on item(s) dispatched from and sold by and receive a £2 promotional code to spend in the Amazon Appstore. Here's how (terms and conditions apply)

Frequently Bought Together

The Unmarried Mother + My Secret Sister: Jenny Lucas and Helen Edwards' family story + Aprons and Silver Spoons: The Heartwarming Memoirs of a 1930s Kitchen Maid
Price For All Three: £17.97

Buy the selected items together

Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin (28 Mar 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1405911344
  • ISBN-13: 978-1405911344
  • Product Dimensions: 19.6 x 13 x 2.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (100 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 31,803 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, and more.

Product Description

About the Author

Sheila Tofield was an entrant in Penguin and Saga magazine's hugely successful life story competition. She is a proud grandmother who lives in Chichester. This is her first book.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
Browse Sample Pages
Front Cover | Excerpt | Back Cover
Search inside this book:

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A true story 29 Mar 2013
By SusieW
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Difficult to believe if you are too young to be aware of the stigma attached to being an unmarried mother at this time.
In the 50's my mother used to knit garments for a mother and baby home, yet still referred to it as the "home for naughty girls"! This book is a compelling read and easy to Kindle your way through in the hope the author finds joy and peace in her life. Read it and find out!
Was this review helpful to you?
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Unmarried Mother 30 Mar 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Anyone born after the nineteen seventies really needs to read this book to see how much attitudes have changed since the nineteen fifties. The author grew up in a family where love was in short supply. Her mother regarded her as a nuisance and while she had a good relationship with some of her brothers and sisters life during and after World War II was not easy. I find it really sad when someone was happier during the nine months she spent in hospital because of Diphtheria than she ever was at home.

The section of the book which is the real eye opener for anyone who did not grow up in the nineteen fifties is when the author became pregnant. Contraception was unreliable and difficult to obtain especially if you were not married and legal abortion was not available. I was born in the nineteen fifties and I remember the mother and baby homes where unmarried mothers went to have their babies and give them up for adoption. It was the worst thing that could happen to a young girl in that era - to become pregnant outside marriage. It was always the woman's fault. It was impossible for a woman on her own to claim any form of welfare payments - benefits were for men only.

The author through sheer grit and determination and the help of her older sister and to a certain extent her mother managed to keep her daughter. She was fortunate that she had understanding employers as well but what she did was very unusual then. Some people she came across didn't judge her but there were others who regarded her as the lowest of the low. When her daughter was a toddler she met the man she was to marry - partly because he seemed happy to accept her daughter. But that was the start of a nightmare for both the author and her daughter.

I found this book compelling reading.
Read more ›
Was this review helpful to you?
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A very moving read 14 April 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The book is so well written without any animosity towards those who inflicted the hurt, just written as it was experienced. It was very moving on so many levels and should be read by as many people as possible, especially the younger generation. The strength but also the vulnerability came through in spades.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent !! 5 Aug 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is a wonderful read. It is very touching, and I could really feel for the writer at all stages of her awful childhood and teenage years.trying to make something of her life, but with the negative remarks and comments, which she was constantly drip-fed by her cold harsh mother.
This is a real page-turner, and the last photograph seeing her so happy, is very uplifting after all that she lived through.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars unmarried mother 27 May 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
very good book very easy reading could not put the book down did not want it to finish good story
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Mixed up pages 6 May 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Was a good story but a bit annoying that the pages were mixed up and you had to find the order of them to follow the story
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Missing Pages in book 15 April 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Would have been a great book to read, only too many pages and sentences missing from book making it totally unreadable.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars GR8 Book! 14 April 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This book is absolutly fantastic I couldnt put it down, it was very much to the truth and factually written. Well done Sheila Totield You have a wonderful book here, cant wait for the next one at all, Thank you once again, Jean Calladine
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
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
First post:
Prompts for sign-in

Search Customer Discussions
Search all Amazon discussions

Look for similar items by category