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4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
Format: Paperback|Change

Shy Keenan's autobiography is incredibly moving, raw and a powerful read. It covers her childhood, growing up with a neglectful immature mother and a step-father who systematically sexually abused her from the age of four. Keenan details her abuse at the hands of Stan and at the hands of his paedophile friends. She escaped into the care system, only to be abused there and ended up on the streets of London. Every time Shy voiced what was happening to her, she was ignored or demonized as a 'problem child'. Eventually she was able to get justice via the BBC Newsnight programme in 2000. She bravely confronted Stan as an adult and he finally got the prison sentence he deserved, for abusing many children.

The book made me reflect on how we need to give survivors of abuse a voice. Too often we, as a society, do not hear their words or have preconceived ideas about victims or abuse. As I was reading, I was wishing that just one professional had taken the time to see the pain Shy was going through and to act.

Shy Keenan has established herself as a campaigner and advocate for those abused by paedophiles. She is one of those women that I have a huge amount of admiration and respect for. She is a fighter for justice and to support those who have also gone through similar experiences to her. She amazes me. A very courageous woman.
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on 30 July 2011
After reading the reviews I thought I'd brave this book. I was reluctant to read it as I was worried it would be too upsetting being a mother. I was hooked from the first page, started it on Saturday and finished it on Sunday night. Karen / Shy wrote this book in such detail yet without it being graphic. You knew exactly what she had endured without the graphic scenes.It felt as if she was telling this story only to me. I cannot believe one child went through such horror, the people who abused her need to endure the pain she went through. I hope the government institutions have improved with time and this won't happen again, unfortunately paedophiles and unfit parents will find ways to deceive people. Shy/Karen is so brave, she has taken her experiences and used it to help other people rather than use it as an excuse to be wayward herself. She is truly a remarkable woman and such an inspiration.
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on 3 September 2012
This book warns you early on that it's very disturbing and upsetting,it is.
Shy (a name she soon adopted) is a girl that from a very early age became a victim of abuse,pysical,sexual and mental.
We aren't just talking the usual kind of disturbing abuse that books of this ilk tell us about,this is brutal as hell.
Shy not only has to do sick things to please the sick freak she lives with,she decides to take her sister's share too,just to spare her,though she wasn't always able to do this.
Abuse is such an everyday thing for Shy that she doesn't know a world without it,she just bravely fights on with life.
In short,Shy is basicly raped thousands of times in her disturbing life.
As if doing these things for that monster she lived with wasn't bad enough,she had to put up with her mother not doing anything about it,she simply must have known what was going on,but never protected Shy from it.
To make matters worse,Shy is sold or lent to other dirty old men. There's one or 2 men that she encounters that seem fine at first,but sure enough,they aren't. It's no wonder she soon assumes all men want her to do these nasty things.
Then there's the beatings,how she lived through them,i don't know.

This is certainly well written and gets you turning page after page just hoping for her to escape this horror she sees as normal. Then we get the court case
where shy begs for justice,that these monsters get put away for what they did. So we follow Shy as a young girl suffering abuse from not just men,but women who seemingly help the abusers or don't care,then we follow Shy as she gets older and struggles with the past haunting her,still ruining her life,then she knows something has to be done. And so she bravely keeps going at times suicide would've been understandable. If abuse books interest you,this is a must read about a tragic upbringing,but as broken as it left Shy,she can now stand proud. Here's to you,Shy.
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on 30 November 2011
i will never forget this book as i was totally moved by shy's story. i can not imagine any child having to live this life and its tough to read but a book you cant put down. i cried at the end and its not often a book can make me do that.
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on 1 April 2009
This book was as disturbing as it was inspiring. The graphic descriptions of everything that happened to Shy made for a very hard read, only made better by the fact that her paedophile stepfather (amongst others) was eventually brought to justice. This is the best book of this genre, was very well written, and I finished this book from cover to cover in about 12 hours.
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on 17 August 2008
I sat up for four hours last night to finish this brilliantly written book, finally going to bed at 3.30am.

This is the most amazingly written book I have read in quite a long time, it is extremely hard to read at times and yet difficult to put down.

As a parent I find it so hard to imagine how anyone would want to or could harm children in this way. And as someone who is around the same age it is hard to accept that as my siblings and I lived a life full of love and care Shy and her sister were enduring the most horrific things imaginable.

As for Social Services and the Police what can anyone say, the people that should have been there for her never were.

A brilliant, brilliant book, written by an amazing, amazing person.
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on 18 November 2009
I read a couple of chapters of this book and wasn't sure if I could carry on with it as it is so upsetting what Shy had to endure, however I felt as though I must carry on with it. I could not stop thinking about it as it is truly horrific, how she got through it I will never be able to comprehend. I do not understand how anyone (especially a mother) could treat a child like that and as a nearly qualified social worker it shocked me to see what she was treated like by the 'caring professions' Social Workers, Care Workers etc;

PLEASE READ THIS BOOK as it is truly inspiring as Shy goes on to help people in a similar situation.
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on 9 January 2013
I knew when reading this book it would literally leave me reeling as I haven't read such an absolutely shocking story. Having known many child abuse victims,including in my own family,I found this to be utterly heart breaking and the way Shy wrote it in the innocence of a child was even more traumatic but made you see it how she saw it,felt it how she felt it as such. To say she has triumphed over extreme adversity is to say the very least and she is a strong,determined lady who has done so much good for this country. An absolute inspiration to all!! Also "Where Angels Lie" her book with Sara Payne, was absolutely superb and gives you a big insight into the work they do for child abuse victims nationwide and the laws they've tried an helped change and the people and families they've helped I'm there darkest hours. God bless you both,if only there were more people like you in this world!!
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on 8 April 2010
This book is absoloutly heart wrenching. What Shy's step father & group of paedophile friends did to her is sickening & so shocking I can't put into words.
Her mother wasn't much better, beating her so severely that she left her temporarily deaf & blind at one point, not to mention turning a blind eye to what her husband was doing to her children. Social Services, the police & other people who she tried to tell let Shy down in every way imaginable putting the blame on a nine year old for her father forcing her to perform oral sex on him is unimaginable - but they did.
Shy now an adult with her own family helped to secure a conviction on her step father many years later. She had to do it, not just for herself but the other children he was still abusing. Shy is a woman to be admired not only for coming out of all this but for putting it all down in a book which after reading some of the things done to her MUST have been so hard to do.
I recommend this to book to everyone though it is hard to read in parts she eventually gets the justice she deserves.
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on 11 August 2010
As an avid reader of these types of book, I thought it would be the along the same lines as all the rest, but this book totally blew me away. From the start I was gripped by the honesty and naivity of the poor child in question. A totally excellent read and a brave lady to share her story with us all.
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