Eight year old Marianne, the eldest of five children, was neglected by her slovenly mother and her violent alcoholic father. Uncared for and unkempt she was rejected at school by her peers and scarcely tolerated by her teachers. Only one person gave her the affection she craved; a neighbour who seeing the vulnerable child knew she was easy prey for his perverted desires.
‘Little Lady’ he called her over the few months he groomed her. Less than twelve months later she was caught in a trap of fear - if she talked she would be punished. With no one to turn to she kept ‘their secret’. At thirteen she fell pregnant.
Still too frightened to speak out she refused to tell the social workers who the father was. Without family support the teenager gave birth to a daughter in the unmarried mother's home.
Six weeks later the baby she had already grown to love was taken away for adoption. Marianne returned home, but the neighbour's abuse continued and a year later she was pregnant again.
This time her father literally tried to beat the baby out of her but she failed to miscarry. Scared for her life and that of her baby's she ran away from home carrying only a plastic bag stuffed with her few possessions.
Marianne who still missed her first child desperately struggled to keep her second daughter. Two months after the birth she realized that for the baby's sake she would have to hand her over for adoption.
Helpless is Marianne’s heartbreaking story as told the bestselling author of Don’t Tell Mummy.
Toni Maguire lives in the UK and Ireland.
Marianne Marsh lives in Kent with her husband. She recently retired from the local hospital where she went into nursing. She now enjoys spending time with her grandchildren.
Despite an horrendous early life, Donna is now a successful artist and mother of three with an enormous enthusiasm and an optimism which completely belies her experiences.
In 2003, Donna watched as her stepmother was found guilty of 'procuring a minor' for sexual abuse and sentenced to two years in prison.
Beautifully written and savagely honest, The Step Child is Donna's story. It is an inspiring tribute to the resilience of the human spirit.
Anna Lowe grows up on the doorsteps of pubs, waiting for her mum to come out. Having to give up her bedroom to her mother's drunken friends. And regularly calling out the ambulance, after finding her mother unconscious and covered in vomit.
But it is when they move in with her mother's boyfriend Carl that things take the ugliest turn. Not only is he violent with her mother, but he also sexually abuses Anna from the age of six - destroying any semblance of normal childhood she had left.
Wake Up, Mummy is the heartbreaking true story of a little girl who eventually found the courage to break free from the past.
"I was used to Daddy screaming 'whore's child' at me, over and over again. But I couldn't get used to what he made me do."
Anya was too terrified to tell anybody about what her uncle did to her. But then he got careless and started abusing her in front of the other children. When her brothers started calling her a 'whore', Anya cracked and all her terrible secrets came pouring out.
Anya had always coped because there was one woman who loved her deeply, her 'Mummy'. But this time love was not enough. One morning 'Mummy' just left.
Determined to make a new life, Anya buried her feelings and tried to move on. But when she ended up homeless, living in her car, she knew she had to face her past if she was ever going to find happiness and security again.
Top 10 Sunday Times Bestseller, Abandoned is Anya's inspirational story of her fight to find love, acceptance and a place to belong.
He sexually assaulted Barbara from a young age, often when the rest of the family were in the house. He repeatedly threatened to kill her, and made two very serious attempts. During the final attempt, as he was raping and choking her, Barbara made a vow - if she survived, she would come forward and get justice against her father ...
Without Hope is a powerful and inspiring true story of a girl who finally found the inner strength to escape her brutal childhood.