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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
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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.


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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)

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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.

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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 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!
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Unmarried Mother 30 Mar 2013
By Damaskcat HALL OF FAME TOP 50 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
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.
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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.
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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.
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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
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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
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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.
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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
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