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41 of 41 people found the following review helpful
on 28 January 2004
Although at times a harrowing read, this book is a story of a truely strong spirit, it seems unbelievable these things could happen in modern times,(a time of happiness and discovery to most of us in this age group) I could hardly breath when reading of her escape. The fact that she has survived to raise her children is inspiring. God bless you and give you peace in the rest of your life
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36 of 36 people found the following review helpful
on 29 August 2003
I read this book in around six hours as i was unable to put it down. What that poor girl actually went through only she knows. One can only imagine. Im surprised she didnt actually commit suicide. I can honestly say im sure i'd have killed "the husband" and done time for it. How she kept her sanity one can only guess. A must read for those who enjoy reading about real life. Fantastic but very sad.
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31 of 31 people found the following review helpful
on 16 March 2003
Sold into slavery more like. I could not believe this actually happened in the 'liberated' 70's with all the glamrock stuff that was going on. Something tells me that somewhere in this island, similar treatment of young women is still going on.
This book was riveting from the first shocking page until the end. I couldn't put it down and when I did, I thanked God for the wonderful life I had growing up in the same period.
This book was very well written albeit painful for the 'victim' and I hope she can move on from this nightmare.
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
A truly amazing read. I just couldn't put the book down, once I had started reading it. It seems incomprehensible that somebody should have had to endure what the main character did, as late as the 70's.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on 22 September 2003
This book really showed how this girls endurance was tested to the limit. It was an inspiring book that at times left me horrified that this could be done to people. Really worth reading.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on 18 December 2003
wicked being in the sense that this was allowed to happen and for so long.Nualas ordeal was a travesty ,how her parents slept at night is beyond me and why the police and others failed her beggars belief.Thank goodness she has managed to walk away from all this with at least some of her dignity intact,AND hold her head up as well,for none of this was her fault,only societys.
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42 of 45 people found the following review helpful
on 18 May 2001
I found myself unable to put this book down.... I feel so sorry for Nuala, but I also feel angry that this was allowed to happen to her, her whole life has been ruined leaving her to suffer for her Fathers greed of money. A fantastic but sad book....
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29 of 31 people found the following review helpful
HALL OF FAMEon 30 April 2002
I spent a large part of this story being angry with Nuala's mother. Although she herself was a victim of her husband I simply could not understand how a woman could let something like this happen to her own child for fear of what her husband might do to her. Other than that, this is a fascinating story, and it truly boggles the mind to think that this didn't happen 100 years ago, or in the backwaters of a far away place. This happened in Ireland in the 1970s!
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on 23 May 2004
i read this book many years ago now and the heartache and and horror that something like this could happen is still with me. I rember feeling at the end of reading this book that if someone can come out of something as unimaginable at this and still find the will to go on and fight it than what have i got to complain about.It is trully imsipiring into the what the tinest bit of hope can do.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 23 March 2011
One sunny day, 16 year old Nuala is helping out her Da, delivering coal to various househols in the area . One household turns away his order, and left with two bags of coal in the back of his beaten up pick up truck, he decides to take a gamble, turning up a tree lined avenue leading to a large country house. He hopes to sell the last couple of bags of coal to the guy living there, but over a few drinks of whisky, makes an altogether different kind of sale - offering Nualas hand in marriage to a gentleman almost four times her age, for the sum of £2500, and a Morris Mini.

At first, Nuala thinks her dad is joking when he mentions that she is to be married to this old man she hardly knows. When it becomes clear he is serious, she tries to argue against it, but recieves only beatings for her defiance. Eventually, Nuala decides to just go along with it in the hopes of making an escape later - after all, she has been promised this will be a sexless marriage, and her husband to be has told her she will never want for anything.

And at first, it seems things might not be so bad. Whilst she and her husband are strangers living in a large house, he takes a great delight in showing Nuala off, and in buying her little treats, However, it soon becomes clear that he is not content with a sexless marriage at all - and Nuala finfs herself tied down by a stranger who watches as her husband rapes her.

I've read a few books on forced marriage, but in most cases they have been within the context of a certain religion or culture. Whilst forced marriage is NEVER right, there are certain cultures where arranged arriage is accepted, even expected. However, Nuala grew up as a Catholic, certainly not a religion where arranged marriage was the norm. And it's pretty clear that her father had financial gain on his mind rather than his daughters best interests .

Perhaps the saddest parts of the book are the times Nuala tries to seek help - first by going to the Garda, the Irish equivalent of the police. Unfortunately, in the 70's when these events occured, rape within marriage was not recognised as a crime. In the eyes of the law, her geriatric husband was perfectly entitled to have sex with her - even if he did get a bit forceful.

The book is written in the third person, by a reporter from the Sunday World, the Irish newspaper that first publicised Nualas story. I personally find this made it harder for me to engage with the story, as I couldn't really get a good idea of how Nuala herself was feeling at various points. It is almost as though the third person perspective dilutes the emotion of the story, making it seem a lot more impersonal.

Despite the fact that I found it hard to really engage with Nuala, the book itself was well laid out, and the story told in an easy to follow way. I found many parts of it incredibly shocking, and there were times when I was really rooting for Nuala to make a break for it. There were a couple of moments where I came rather close to tears, and others where I was just downright angry.

Overall, I found this an interesting book. I did find that the third person writing style left me feeling distanced from events, for which I am deducting 2 stars, but I do think if you happen to see this book somewhere, it is worth picking up for a read.
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