Tuesday, October 7, 2014

REVIEW: DADDY’S LITTLE PRINCESS by Cathy Glass




Title: Daddy’s Little Princess
Author: Cathy Glass
Publisher: Harper Element
Publication Date: August 19, 2014
Genre: Non-fiction
Reviewed by: Angie Edwards
My rating: 5/5

SUMMARY

Beth is a sweet-natured child who appears to have been well looked after. But it isn’t long before Cathy begins to have concerns that the relationship between Beth and her father is not as it should be.

Little Beth, aged 7, has been brought up by her father Derek after her mother left when she was a toddler. When Derek is suddenly admitted to hospital with psychiatric problems Beth is taken into care and arrives at Cathy’s.

Beth and her father clearly love each other very much and Derek spoils his daughter, treating her like a princess, but there is something bothering Cathy, something she can’t quite put her finger on.

Meanwhile Cathy’s husband is working away a lot and coming home less at weekends. Then, suddenly, everything changes. Events take a dramatic turn for both Beth and Cathy and her family; as Cathy strives to pick up the pieces all their lives are changed forever.




REVIEW

I haven’t read many books on child abuse, yet I always go into such accounts with a feeling of trepidation. As a mother of two angelic boys – one being almost the same age as the abused little girl in this book – I started Daddy’s Little Princess with dread in my heart, and countless times reconsidered whether I should continue with it. But looking back, I’m really glad I didn’t give up on Beth’s story.

Emotional incest: although the term is new to me, I understood its significance and the implications very clearly when it was explained. Even though this isn’t the worst case of child abuse I’ve heard of, I can only imagine the long term effects it could’ve had on Beth as an adult had a caring foster parent and other concerned adults not stepped in when they did. Whether the abuse was intentional or not, I found it hard to believe that a father could blur the lines so easily. I’m a firm believer in allowing your child to be a child, and I have to admit that I had very little, if any, sympathy with Beth’s father.

I was instantly immersed into Beth and Cathy’s world. Cathy deals with this heartfelt story with sensitivity and empathy. She allows the reader into the heart of her household and makes us as at home as she did Beth. She also takes the reader through the step-by-step process on how the abuse was identified and dealt with. To compound matters, Cathy also had to deal with a marriage that fell apart without warning, but the way she handled everything just kept increasing my respect for her and her kids. Like she says: fostering involves the entire family.

Beth is such a lovely little girl and she crawls into your heart instantly. Her outbursts are typical of a child at that age, but she has so many other qualities, everything else is easily forgiven. How she reacts to her father – especially if you keep her age in mind – that was intensely disturbing. Every time she spoke to him over the phone, I felt uncomfortable (mostly at the beginning of the book). But for her, all of that was normal because that’s what he raised her to believe.

Anyway, before I say too much… The ending, well, let’s just say I wasn’t fully on-board with the ending. I kept asking, “what if…”. Realistically, no-one can predict the future and I guess we’ll just have to hope that the right decisions were made. Beth’s father dumped too much on his girlfriend’s shoulders for me to believe his sincerity, but like I said, we can only hope.




  


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