Reviews of Surviving Childhood

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on September 14, 2017
Format: Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The UK: Child abuse in the past and child abuse now: This book follows stories of deprived children but in highly developed and materialistic settings alongside real poverty while running a parallel theme of the explorer being abused herself. A novel with very contemporary leanings but which challenges all of us to think back and to think of what was overlooked in the past. Grace, her brother and her sister (+ another brother!) are central to the novel and allow the reader time and again to understand the somewhat severe reactions of abused children to adults – to both those who well wish and those who can’t do the job properly. Written well and sensitively, the book is an eye-opener and a way to deeper understanding. The title should be changed to enable interested readers to understand they are not going to read a manual on how to survive childhood but a deeply felt account of what it is like to be abused by adults. Trauma, heartbreak, separation, selfishness, corporal punishment, lasting psychological damage are all investigated in this novel from the heart and mind of a deeply committed writer who sees child abuse as a great and damaging evil. Although the material is in a sense familiar in that television, cinema and nightly news often indicate the classic factors behind child abuse and the formidably problematic psychological developments of most children as they try to cope with abuse and survive their childhoods with violent, offensive parents, families and outside adults, nevertheless the stories unfold in ways which sensitise the reader to hidden developments which media coverage inevitably overlooks because of time-factors or audience interest. (And while writing about media coverage, it needs mentioning that Carlone Webber’s portrayal does not make the church central to abuse.) Gary’s story is of particular interest and could be a case-study.
A heartfelt account of what abuse does to children and an account of how they try to survive trauma usually inflicted by adults who were themselves abused or who are living such daily psycho dramas that they themselves cannot cope with their own minds and flay out at their children, endangering and destroying life, hope and happiness.
For anyone who believes that the UK is a country of great opportunity, look carefully at this novel and don’t overlook the fact that the divide between rich and poor is greater today than in the past just as schooling of the sort described is by no means a thing of the past. Good to recall, too, that the authorities, the good authorities, are seldom present when abuse, bullying and molestation occur in primary and secondary schools.
5.0 out of 5 stars
By Felicity  on 21st July 2017
This book is a harrowing yet compulsive read.
Follow the story of a family living in Bristol, UK, the suffering of the children is appalling yet they come through the other side to become successful adults.
Definitely worth reading.

Goodreads.com member.

5.0 out of 5 stars A great first novel

By A. J. Payne on 16 Oct. 2016
Format: Paperback
This is a really hard hitting book on a subject that has been hidden for so long. We think that child abuse is a product of modern day living, no, it is a subject that was hidden for many years. Caroline Webber has written from the perspective of a family of siblings, but primarily the two eldest, a son and a daughter. I had a relatively sheltered upbringing and reading of the pain and lack of love made me both angry and unsettled. Even knowing what the subject matter was about I could not put this book down. I wondered how much of this is really fiction as it is so well researched. As a first novel, this is a cracker.

5.0 out of 5 stars

By nicky b on 19 Oct. 2016
Format: Paperback
Really gripped me from the start, a well written, emotional and hard hitting book about the realities of childhood abuse.

5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping

By Amazon Customer T.J. Morrison 19 Oct. 2016
Format: Paperback
Harrowing yet gripping. A real page turner, a book I couldn’t put down until I had finished. My eyes were opened to an area of suffering I am fortunate not to have experienced. Left me grateful for my own happy childhood. A keeper.

5.0 out of 5 stars 

By Lorraine Beechey on 17 Oct. 2016
Format: Paperback
This book made me laugh and also cry as it was about my family and also brought back so many memories of my childhood.

5.0 out of 5 stars Incredibly read

By JenJams on 15 Oct. 2016
Format: Paperback
A truly amazing book; powerfully written and awe inspiring.

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