I’ve just done the third new thing and it was quite the most difficult of the three. It’s been a very long time coming because I started to write it 77 years ago. And no I’m not making it up, I really did. Although I didn’t know at the time that eventually I would think I ought to publish it.
To start with it was simply a very private diary where I could write about what was happening to me, being evacuated, being bombed out, being caned by my mother, and how I felt about it. Now that child abuse is in the news and people are at last taking children seriously when they say how much they’ve been hurt, instead of disbelieving them and ignoring them, I can see it could be helpful. The victims hurt by Jimmy Saville and the other powerful men who thought that children were there for them to hurt whenever they wanted to, know how terrible it is to be disbelieved for years and years and years. But one of the reasons for their disbelief is that so many people find it hard to take them seriously because the abusers have convinced them that they are kind, charming people. They’re not. They just know how to put on a good act.
This book which I’ve called ‘A Family at War’ because the family I wrote about was at war in two senses, has an abuser right at the centre, it’s the one I watched in my own home from the time I was five until I was nineteen. At five you simply take your mother’s view of the world and don’t question it but by the time you are nineteen you can see things a great deal more clearly – as I did.
So this book is rather specifically aimed at several different groups of people, those who are interested in World War Two and the London Blitz and want to know what it was like to be there at the time, those who have been abused and disbelieved and those who work with abused children and their abusers. Fingers crossed it will do some good.
It’s been on Kindle for a fortnight now and has gathered two glowing reviews which has encouraged me, I hope to hear a lot more from other people who are reading it or have read it.