Survivors luck?

Hard to Feel Whole Mandy Thomas

This is Mandy’s first book and she’s brave soul as it deals with childhood abuse.

I was reminded of Mandy’s book today when UK media reported the former Deputy Children’s Commissioner for England as saying that child sex abuse in the UK is so widespread that there is ‘not enough land’ to build all the prisons needed to incarcerate offenders.  Shocking.  Terrifying.  Sickening.

The worry of course is that if there isn’t enough space to lock up sex offenders, what can victims expect?

Hard to Feel Whole is the story of Abbie falling in love as she heads out of her teen years.  She hasn’t yet shared the secret of her abuse so she hasn’t had counselling or support.  Her odd behaviour and social remoteness has led to her being bullied at school.  Abbie’s relationship with the mother she holds responsible for putting money before her safety is strained and fraught with tension.  She’s withdrawn and angry.

Her saviours seem to be re-connecting with the little boy she was friends with when she was 8, her best friend and a passion for running.  It felt like she was lucky – yet you know she’s not.

As a book, its a good but uncomfortable read (as it should be).  The two main characters are well crafted and the story flows well.  I found there were some elements that were a bit too convenient – for example Callum and Josh’s fast friendship and the mother’s dinner party.  I wanted more from the ending, but there is a sequel so that no doubt resolves the outstanding issues.  I just prefer a book to be complete.


Thanks to TBC on Facebook & the author for a copy of the book in return for an honest review.