Sunday Book Club: Damaged by Cathy Glass

Damaged by Cathy Glass is definitely not the kind of books that I would typically pick up – a story about a sad, abused child is not exactly light summer reading for me. But somehow something about the book caught my eye as I was browsing around the Kindle store. As usual, this cost only $0.99 on that day so I thought I’d give it a try.

**This part of the review may consist of Spoilers

As mentioned, this is a sad story about Jodie. I didn’t realise it at first but this is actually based on a true life story, by Cathy Glass who is the author and also the main protagonist in the book. Cathy is a very experienced foster carer; she has 3 children herself, one of whom was once a foster child and later adopted by Cathy.

Jodie had been been shuffled through five foster carers within a short span of four months; Cathy is pressured into taking Jodie as a new placement or Jodie will be put into an institution. She’s only eight years old, but she is extremely angry, violent and manipulative. When Jodie arrives, her first act is to soil herself and then wipe it on her face. On the first night, she cuts herself and smeared the blood over her face.

Over time, as Jodie starts to trust Cathy, she innocently starts to reveal horrible details of her abuse and rape by her parents and others. They realise that Jodie’s parents were in a paedophile ring and Jodie has been subjected to the abuse and rape for years with neighbours and incompetent social services not seeing the signs.

Final Thoughts

The book is a sad one so I wouldn’t recommend it as a holiday reading book, but it is one that should invoke some emotions from you and is a pretty easy read. I hope this doesn’t spoil the story, but it doesn’t have a happy ending. There’s also a lot of graphic descriptions of the cruel sexual acts done to Jodie, as well as some other twisted acts.

I think the writing style is not very professional, but at least it feels quite personal – it’s as though the woman next door wrote about all the weird things that’s happening in her house and you finally understand. Also, it does make you question some of the things that happens in the book. At some point, I was wondering if this was a true life story, why doesn’t Cathy do anything about the incompetent social service workers?

In a weird way, I do like reading this book. I find myself wanting to read more in her series and wanting to find out what happened to the children in the end. On her website, she does provide an update, if she can, on the children that she has written about. But she doesn’t always have an answer and the ending may not always be pleasant, so you have to be mentally prepared to be sad.

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