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4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5 stars
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on 27 August 2012
have been looking for this book for a long time and delighted to get it read it in a day
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on 24 November 2008
The story of Eileen's life to the age of 16 covers many issues that are very unsettling to think about, but Eileen's writing style is effortlessly frank and very easy to read. I read it in a couple of days - I haven't read a book that quick in years!

I would thoroughly recommend this to anyone who is interested in all forms of life experience - fear, humour, grief and strength of character.
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on 3 January 2015
Eileen Munro provides a stark account of her upbringing in the care system in Glasgow. The book paints a story of resilience in the face of brutal and neglectful parenting by her adopted parents. (I have seen a reference that suggests she was born in Cirencester?)
I suspect that much of the story will be common to many children growing up in such harsh environments, what makes this unique is that the child experiencing it was to go on to have such a profound impact on how we address child protection issues today. Whilst it does not require our policy makers to have experienced the traumas of their chosen field, Eileen’s story can only contribute a significant degree of credibility to her contribution to debates on Safeguarding. It is written in an open accessible style with a huge dose of humanity shining through pain and struggle. A large part of the book is devoted to her internal reflection of her teenage years in various residential care homes, almost like the diary that she (and I suspect many teenage girls ...) used as a coping mechanism to make sense of a troubled world. At the time of reading I felt some of the minutia of this period could have been too long, on reflection I can sense its huge value. Not just its cathartic value for Eileen herself , but as an invaluable insight into the emotional turmoil , struggles and decision making which might help to inform us of how todays victims of sexual exploitation can fall prey to grooming . Having experienced both sides of the care system as a service user and provider I would suggest that so much of the Eileen’s search for emotional security will ring true for many other children in the care system. Equally accurate are some of the socially incestuous relationships amongst some of the care staff - at the time - whose lack of professional boundaries only add to Eileen’s problems. One male social worker shines through as a beacon of commitment and understanding. I am aware that residential care staff often show similar commitment and integrity in a role that is often unappreciated and untold, and Eileen has gone on to stress the importance of professional training for such roles.
Since David Pelzer first published ‘A Child Called It’ in 1995, the publishing world has seen the phenomena of ‘Misery Lit’ which is common to supermarket book shelves. I regret that the cover to this book may mistakenly lead people to consider this as a mere addition, far from it. It will provide readers with a credible account of struggle and resilience that was to see its author take that experience into the very heart of the system that she experienced. I am keen to read the next stage of this remarkable woman’s journey.
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on 18 May 2014
I enjoyed this book more than a lot of the others of the same ilk. possibly due to coming from Glasgow and really not knowing what an upbringing overseen by social services involved. Eileen had two main things to contend with, being adoption and care. the book rarely brings the adoption up as an issue, more a misfortune, given the parents in which her care was untrusted. how these people were ever allowed to adopt a child, let alone two is beyond me. the book was repetitively self analysing, although I imagine this was Eileen point in writing it. therapy in itself. at times it looked too deep for answers and reasons. I am looking forward to the next instalment, hoping it will be a more content and happier journey.
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on 7 November 2008
Forget the raft of misery lit clogging up the bookshops. Yes, this is the story of a young girl from birth to sixteen. She was adopted,abused, neglected by individuals and institutions. But this book for all the familiar subject matter is written in such an honest, straight-forward, unembellished way as to set it apart from the rest.

It is a rollercoaster ride of a read, in which a girl, adrift in a society which constantly overlooks her needs and potential, tries to cope.She copes, mainly using her mantra of "Nothing in, nothing out."

So powerful was this book that I read it in one sitting and I would highly recommend it. It's not misery lit but it is a powerfully moving read.
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on 16 October 2009
bought this but wish I hadn't found the content quite disturbing couldn't finish it. it's a very powerful book on a very touchy subject maybe others would like it though but it wasn't for me
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on 15 July 2014
I knew Eileen when we met at Hamilton grammar school . so sad that she was suffering so much . she was funny , gorgeous , outrageous at times , like myself only there for a laugh ! but never heard her say a bad word about anyone......... last I heard was when her baby boy Craig was born , an inspiration to us all Eileen x x Lynne Stewart (Hardy)
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VINE VOICEon 26 December 2009
I have literally just finished reading "As I lay me down to sleep."

It was a real life book written by the author about her own life in the care system in the late sixties and into the late 70's. I bought this book back in 2008, and thought I should start to look at some of my older books in my to read pile.

This book I think was written as a catharsis for the woman who had suffered these terrible things in a system that was supposed to be there to safe guard her. I am sure her story will help many others.

I found some parts hard to read as I myself had been more or less left to raise myself, and had had involvement with social workers and fosters families when I was a child, it brought back a lot of past uglies for me, but it was well written.

I do not normally go for this kind of book for the reasons I listed above, and i am not sure if I will go out of my way to read another again for a while. I cried at her story in several places and understood her fears in others.

All in all, a good book, but very disturbing. Thank you Eileen for sharing your story.
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on 22 June 2014
I found this a very good read, very brave of the author to write this to show what children have to put up with
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on 8 January 2012
This book was so moving and just goes to show how we do have strength when we need it the most and how love can concure all.
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