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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Unmarried Mother
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...
Published on 30 Mar. 2013 by Damaskcat

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A decent read
The author concentrates a lot on her relationship with her mother. Also included. Is her two later marriages. To be honest this lady wasn't an unmarried mother for more than the first few years of her daughter's life ! She also had the support of a sister who was willing to take over childcare responsibilities whilst she worked. Also the authors mother accepted the child...
Published 4 months ago by karen


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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Unmarried Mother, 30 Mar. 2013
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Damaskcat (UK) - See all my reviews
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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. It tells a poignant story in a very simple way which gives it a much bigger impact than it might otherwise have had. The author freely admits she made mistakes in her life and that she would have done some things differently given a choice. Her relationship with her mother was always problematical but at least her mother did accept her granddaughter in the end and allowed her daughter to live at home with the baby.

This is far from being a misery memoir and I enjoyed reading it. I found it most interesting for its portrayal of the attitudes and way of life in the nineteen fifties.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A true story, 29 Mar. 2013
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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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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A very moving read, 14 April 2013
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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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Book, 10 Oct. 2014
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This review is from: The Unmarried Mother (Paperback)
Love is probably the wrong word and used only in sense I can't put it down....v honest book, painfully so sometimes and yet the writer manages to be objective - would have thought the author was in her late 20s, vibrant, tight with good eye for detail....then discover she's 80+!! Amazing versatility of mind and graphic, brilliant writer - and then every so often when writing about the pain of childhood, she becomes the wounded child....every page has touched my heart and know it's true because my life's much the same - I would certainly buy another book by this author, and a whole shiopful if she'd write them - hard to explain why but something about her and her book is unusual, unique and I love her thoughts, I love her style and I've been gripped by every page....I would highly recommend it as a read.....Squirrel 59 - F 10.10.14
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A decent read, 13 Feb. 2015
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The author concentrates a lot on her relationship with her mother. Also included. Is her two later marriages. To be honest this lady wasn't an unmarried mother for more than the first few years of her daughter's life ! She also had the support of a sister who was willing to take over childcare responsibilities whilst she worked. Also the authors mother accepted the child living in the family home at weekend. Sheila pregnancy and delivery were without doubt in unpleasant circumstances, however I think she should give those around her who helped her more credit than she actually does. Whilst her mother did some uncaring things and appeared selfish at times she did not banish her unwed daughter and grandchild from the family home. A decent read but feel the author didn't always appreciate the family support she received.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Different to expected, 12 Dec. 2013
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This review is from: The Unmarried Mother (Paperback)
I did enjoy the book as an easy read but it was very different to how it is portrayed in the blurb - the book tells the story of this 81 year old lady's entire (fairly eventful) life, only a small part of which was as an unmarried mother, and she didn't actually fight to keep her baby either - which is obviously a good thing but does make the cover quite misleading. I also felt that most of the events were just recounted and that I didn't get a feel of what it had actually been like to go through them, I was left wondering what she had really felt like when she found out she was pregnant, when she moved away from home for the first time, and so on. I bought the book because it came up as an Amazon recommendation after buying The Maid's Tale, which I would highly recommend.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent !!, 5 Aug. 2013
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This review is from: The Unmarried Mother (Paperback)
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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Mixed up pages, 6 May 2013
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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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Missing Pages in book, 15 April 2013
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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
3.0 out of 5 stars The Mostly Married Mother, 16 Sept. 2013
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Despite the title, the heroine of this tale spends more time married than not!

The prose is basic misery lit standard, so don't expect a literary great. The characters are bland, personality-wise and little attention is given to detail.

Standard airport read, nothing challenging in any sense.
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The Unmarried Mother
The Unmarried Mother by Sheila Tofield (Paperback - 28 Mar. 2013)
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