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Why Do Monsters Come Out At Night?: A Mother's True Story of Two Very Different Childhoods Paperback – 28 Jun 2007
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"Uplifting" Scottish Daily Mail
Like most women, Christine Fieldhouse's life changed forever when her son was born. Four months later, her mother died and she was catapulted through a range of emotions. As she mourned the death of her mother she began to face the pain of her own childhood. Inspired by people such as Jane Elliott, author of the bestselling "The Little Prisoner", Christine decided to write about her own experiences in the hope that, whatever happens in the future, she will leave no questions unanswered for her son Jack. Christine beautifully juxtaposes her life now as a mother, journalist and wife bringing her son up in a loving family environment, with her own upbringing and the mental and physical abuses she suffered at the hands of her father. This is Christine's pledge to ensure that history does not repeat itself. It is more than a story of survival, it is a story of contrasts, which reflect the rollercoaster of emotions that families put you through.See all Product description
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Helen Carroll (London)
This book is an absolute must read!
I became so engrossed in the gripping story about Christine and her family that I literally found it difficult to put the book down. When I felt I could take no more of the anxiety she described, the story had a clever and timely change (mercifully for both of us!). That was when she sharply contrasted her own son Jack's calm and loving upbringing with the almost daily violence she was forced to live through at the hands of her father.
Tales about little Jack cut through the harrowing bouts of abuse and at times they would lull me into a much needed sense of relief ... that is until the storyline changed again and jolted me back into Christine's harsh reality. All that the poor girl and her mother went through must have bonded their relationship with ties of steel. As I read on, I started to feel very afraid for them both.
Christine Fieldhouse writes with the skill of making the reader feel they have been dragged into her sad and violent upbringing to witness every painful moment of her life...yet, frustratingly, the reader remains powerless and is not able to save Christine and her lovely mum from the taunts and tantrums of their horrific monster. Even so, the book is beautifully written despite the fact it graphically documents the abuse and suffering endured by Christine and her mum at the hands of an exceptionally wicked man.
Although I didn't want Christine and her mum to suffer any more, I didn't want the book to end either...but the finish was inevitable, especially as I couldn't put it down! The ending was poignant and sad to the point that I choked on a sob, then cried uncontrollably.
The book made me glad to identify with little Jack, rather than Christine, when I thought back to my own happy, safe and secure childhood, oh but my heart went out to Christine and her poor mum.
I really enjoyed this book for those reasons - I'd definitely class it as unputdownable. What made it so compelling was the detail Fieldhouse went into. This meant you could really identify with her as a child and also get to know the other people in her family. I adored the passages on her life now, and the endearing stories she told about her young son, and the cute things he said.
The book also brought a tear to my eye at times because Christine talks about her childhood, then her son, and says although she sometimes gets angry with her son, she could never envision treating him the way her father treated her. Although physical violence only occured once in Christine's childhood, the mental abuse she must have been through is horrific - and I think it's fantastic the way she has bared her soul because it increases awareness of alcohol abuse and the way it can affect families. Some people are of the opinion that it's just the person who is drinking that is affected. I know from personal experience that this is not true, and that it can tear apart families. It can, however, bring the remaining members closer together, which is what happens in this case. Christine, although terrified of her father, defends her mother as much as possible.
Despite the serious and emotional subject matter, I didn't find this depressing like some of the 'misery books,' simply because the passages which talk about Christine's young son really bring a brilliant ray of sunshine. The things they do together, and the things the little one says are hilarious and had me tittering along. This was an excellent book and I'd recommend it even if you're someone that has become disillusioned with the genre.
Christine had the courage to write about her experience and if anything should be praised by this fact alone. Many people would be unable to not only survive this but also to later tell there story. I envy her strength of character and know that i am not alone in this.
Absolutely fantastic book, showing the contrast between two very very different childhoods. I would encourage anyone and everyone to read this book!
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