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The Saddest Girl in the World

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Язык: Английский
Год издания: 2018 год
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      The Saddest Girl in the World
Cathy Glass

The Sunday Times and New York Times bestselling author of Damaged tells the true story of Donna, who came into foster care aged ten, having been abused, victimised and rejected by her family.Donna had been in foster care with her two young brothers for three weeks when she is abruptly moved to Cathy’s. When Donna arrives she is silent, withdrawn and walks with her shoulders hunched forward and her head down. Donna is clearly a very haunted child and refuses to interact with Cathy’s children Adrian and Paula.After patience and encouragement from Cathy, Donna slowly starts to talk and tells Cathy that she blames herself for her and her brothers being placed in care. The social services were aware that Donna and her brothers had been neglected by their alcoholic mother, but no one realised the extent of the abuse they were forced to suffer. The truth of the physical torment she was put through slowly emerges, and as Donna grows to trust Cathy she tells her how her mother used to make her wash herself with wire wool so that she could get rid of her skin colour as her mother was so ashamed that Donna was mixed race.The psychological wounds caused by the bullying she received also start to resurface when Donna starts reenacting the ways she was treated at home by hitting and bullying Paula, so much so that Cathy can’t let Donna out of her sight.As the pressure begins to mount on Cathy to help this child, things start to get worse and Donna begins behaving in erratic ways, trashing her bedroom and being regularly abusive towards Cathy’s children. Cathy begins to wonder if she can find a way to help this child or if Donna’s scars run too deep.

Copyright (#ulink_b7137342-fb95-5676-8e43-ffa1597b0cca)

This book is a work of non-fiction based on the recollections of Cathy Glass. The names of people, places, dates and details of events have been changed to protect the privacy of others.

HarperElement

An imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers Ltd. 1 London Bridge Street London SE1 9GF

www.harpercollins.co.uk (http://www.harpercollins.co.uk)

First published by HarperElement 2009

Copyright © Cathy Glass 2007

Cathy Glass asserts the moral right to be identified as the author of this work

A catalogue record of this book is available from the British Library

All rights reserved under International and Pan-American Copyright Conventions. By payment of the required fees, you have been granted the non-exclusive, non-transferable right to access and read the text of this e-book on-screen. No part of this text may be reproduced, transmitted, down-loaded, decompiled, reverse engineered, or stored in or introduced into any information storage and retrieval system, in any form or by any means, whether electronic or mechanical, now known or hereinafter invented, without the express written permission of HarperCollins e-books

HarperCollinsPublishers has made every reasonable effort to ensure that any picture content and written content in this ebook has been included or removed in accordance with the contractual and technological constraints in operation at the time of publication

Source ISBN: 9780007281039

Ebook Edition © MARCH 2009 ISBN: 9780007321575

Version: 2016–08–19

Contents

Cover (#ub641dd09-3e1e-5466-998a-4dcd3e8b2cdc)

Title Page (#u257466ee-f28d-5d82-bd8f-ca688a3463e9)

Copyright (#ulink_2368aaa1-75f7-531d-af91-210114f9078d)

Prologue (#u5ae2c722-3889-5c5c-8e1f-666963281a34)

Chapter One - Sibling Rivalry (#u0efb0b46-0c07-5151-b4ab-5d521c0608e6)

Chapter Two - So Dreadfully Sad (#u24f75101-a7ea-5d54-8064-6b37b47e8b43)

Chapter Three - Donna (#ue4719bb1-a64a-5ea9-8bc5-4a18b620947f)

Chapter Four - Silence (#udce768ef-bb05-52ec-bc69-16265ba9d38e)

Chapter Five - Cath—ie (#ue204a923-4650-5080-b527-dbf092333876)

Chapter Six - Amateur Psychology (#ufabefa8a-0422-566a-9f7d-4a892bddbe03)

Chapter Seven - Runt of the Litter (#uad9a9fc9-e68b-530b-a055-f77f3de4958b)

Chapter Eight - Dirty (#litres_trial_promo)

Chapter Nine - Outcast (#litres_trial_promo)

Chapter Ten - Tablets (#litres_trial_promo)

Chapter Eleven - A Small Achievement (#litres_trial_promo)

Chapter Twelve - Working as a Family (#litres_trial_promo)

Chapter Thirteen - The Birthday Party (#litres_trial_promo)

Chapter Fourteen - No Dirty Washing (#litres_trial_promo)

Chapter Fifteen - Mummy Christmas (#litres_trial_promo)

Chapter Sixteen - Winter Break (#litres_trial_promo)

Chapter Seventeen - Final Rejection (#litres_trial_promo)

Chapter Eighteen - Don't Stop Loving Me (#litres_trial_promo)

Chapter Nineteen - Paula's Present (#litres_trial_promo)

Chapter Twenty - The Question (#litres_trial_promo)

Chapter Twenty-one - A Kind Person (#litres_trial_promo)

Chapter Twenty-two - Marlene (#litres_trial_promo)

Chapter Twenty-three - Lilac (#litres_trial_promo)

Chapter Twenty-four - Introductions (#litres_trial_promo)

Chapter Twenty-five - Moving On (#litres_trial_promo)

Epilogue (#litres_trial_promo)

Exclusive sample chapter (#litres_trial_promo)

Cathy Glass (#litres_trial_promo)

Moving Memoirs eNewsletter (#litres_trial_promo)

Also by Cathy Glass (#litres_trial_promo)

About the Publisher (#litres_trial_promo)

Prologue (#ulink_87efa8b3-3c5e-5aed-9e71-aa4859bb1ec3)

This is the story of Donna, who came to live with me when she was ten. At the time I had been fostering for eleven years, and it is set before I had fostered Lucy, whom I went on to adopt. When Donna arrived, my son Adrian was ten and my daughter Paula was six; the impact Donna had on our lives was enormous, and what she achieved has stayed with us.

Chapter One Sibling Rivalry (#ulink_d6d1190d-099e-5a92-bd71-5dc768e9c806)

It was the third week in August, and Adrian, Paula and I were enjoying the long summer holidays, when the routine of school was as far behind us as it was in front. The weather was excellent and we were making the most of the long warm days, clear blue skies and the chance to spend some time together. Our previous foster child, Tina, had returned to live with her mother the week before and, although we had been sorry to see her go at the end of her six-month stay with us, we were happy for her. Her mother had sorted out her life and removed herself from a highly abusive partner. Although they would still be monitored by the social services, their future looked very positive. Tina's mother wanted to do what was best for her daughter and appeared to have just lost her way for a while — mother and daughter clearly loved each other.

I wasn't expecting to have another foster child placed with me until the start of the new school term in September. August is considered a ‘quiet time’ for the Looked After Children's teams at the social services, not because children aren't being abused or families aren't in crises, but simply because no one knows about them. It is a sad fact that once children return to school in September teachers start to see bruises on children, hear them talk of being left home alone or not being fed, or note that a child appears withdrawn, upset and uncared for, and then they raise their concerns. One of the busiest times for the Looked After Children's team and foster carers is late September and October, and also sadly after Christmas, when the strain on a dysfunctional family of being thrust together for a whole week finally takes its toll.

It was with some surprise, therefore, that having come in from the garden, where I had been hanging out the washing, to answer the phone, I heard Jill's voice. Jill was my support social worker from Homefinders Fostering Agency, the agency for whom I fostered.

‘Hi, Cathy,’ Jill said in her usual bright tone. ‘Enjoying the sun?’

‘Absolutely. Did you have a good holiday?’
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