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Damaged: The Heartbreaking True Story of a Forgotten Child [Kindle Edition]

Cathy Glass
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (574 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Although Jodie is only eight years old, she is violent, aggressive, and has already been through numerous foster families. Her last hope is Cathy Glass.
From the Sunday Times and New York Times bestselling author.

At the Social Services office, Cathy (an experienced foster carer) is pressured into taking Jodie as a new placement. Jodie's challenging behaviour has seen off five carers in four months. Despite her reservations, Cathy decides to take on Jodie to protect her from being placed in an institution.

Jodie arrives, and her first act is to soil herself, and then wipe it on her face, grinning wickedly. Jodie meets Cathy's teenage children, and greets them with a sharp kick to the shins. That night, Cathy finds Jodie covered in blood, having cut her own wrist, and smeared the blood over her face.

As Jodie begins to trust Cathy her behaviour improves. Over time, with childish honesty, she reveals details of her abuse at the hands of her parents and others. It becomes clear that Jodie's parents were involved in a sickening paedophile ring, with neighbours and Social Services not seeing what should have been obvious signs.

Unfortunately Jodie becomes increasingly withdrawn, and it's clear she needs psychiatric therapy. Cathy urges the Social Services to provide funding, but instead they decide to take Jodie away from her, and place her in a residential unit.

Although the paedophile ring is investigated and brought to justice, Jodie’s future is still up in the air. Cathy promises that she will stand by her no matter what – her love for the abandoned Jodie is unbreakable.

Editorial Reviews


'Cannot fail to move those who read it.' Adoption-net 'Heartbreaking.' The Mirror 'A truly harrowing read that made me cry.' The Sun 'A true tale of hope. ****.' OK! 'Foster carers rarely get the praise they deserve, but Cathy Glass's book should change all that.****' First Magazine 'A hugely touching and emotional true tale.' Star Magazine

About the Author

Cathy Glass has been a foster carer for over 20 years, during which time she has looked after more than 50 children, of all ages and backgrounds. Cathy runs training courses on fostering for her local Social Services, and helps draft new fostering procedures and guidelines. Cathy has three teenage children of her own; one of whom was adopted after a long-term foster placement. David Haviland is an experienced journalist and ghostwriter as well as being a freelance script editor for a number of leading film and television companies.

Product Details

  • File Size: 790 KB
  • Print Length: 355 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0007236360
  • Publisher: Harper Element (January 19, 2009)
  • Sold by: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007279752
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007279753
  • ASIN: B002RI9TWI
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,856 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
69 of 70 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Painful. Moving. Inspiring. April 4, 2009
This book sat on my Mom's shelf for over a was given to her by her friend from England and she never really intended to read it.

I picked it up and read it in one sitting...beginning at 9 PM and finishing somewhere around 3 AM. I kept saying, "Just one more chapter...just one more page...then I MUST go to bed" but I could not put down the story of Jodie and Cathy.

This story evokes a gamut of emotions...from harrowing sorrow to fierce anger. But, ultimately, it left me feeling hopeful...and grateful. Grateful that there are people in this world who stand up for the Jodies of the world.

Jodie is a little girl who spent her first eight years in an abusive nightmare with her biological parents and their revolting circle of "friends". Once freed from that prison, she went through four foster carers in five months. You see, Jodie *is* damaged...damaged by her parents and damaged by the social system that failed her. Her violent personality reflects that. How can anyone come out of the other side of what she has been through and not be damaged/fragmented/lost. But her one, small, stroke of luck was ending up in Cathy's home. She and her amazing children provided Jodie with a safety net that she would never have been granted with from, most likely, any other family.

This book will make you very, very angry. It may possibly make you weep. But you will also rejoice...and, like me, be thankful for the amazing Cathy...and the love she provided that saved a little, lost girl.
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62 of 65 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Damaged November 27, 2007
Cathy Glass writes a powerful visual book which cannot fail to unleash a stream of emotions in the reader. The disturbing account of little Jodie's eight long suffering years filled me with despair, and more. The incompetence and short sightedness of the Social Services brought intense anger. But, thanks to her carer, Cathy, who introduces stability, structure and most of all love to this damaged child, made me realize there is always hope.
This is a well written page turner.
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29 of 33 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Heartbreaking! June 29, 2009
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I love kids and when I read this book I found myself with a strong urge to see all the bad in the world come upon those who would hurt a little child such as Jodie. I kept trying to imagine as I read, what would happen next or how the book would turn out in the end, then I remembered that this is A TRUE STORY.
If you are faint of heart, be careful reading this heartbreaking story about an 8 year old girl whose life was destroyed and if not for the caring of one woman, would have been condemned to a life of horror forever. I highly recommend this book, Cathy Glass did a wonderful job in telling this tragic true story.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars From Red Adept Reviews July 28, 2010
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Overall: 5 Stars

Plot/Storyline: 5 Stars

Cathy Glass does a brave thing in this book by telling the story of one of her "failures." By "failures," I mean that the child was not "repaired" to the point of being able to enter society by finding a permanent family. This was by no means a failure on Cathy's part, as she did everything that anyone, outside of a trained psychiatrist, could have done.

What amazed me about the story was Cathy's perserverance in keeping Jodie. Sure, a couple of times she admitted to wanting to "send her back." However, she never did so voluntarily, as I feel that many foster parents would have done. Ms. Glass was supremely honest in what she considered to be her shortcomings, but I considered to be her bravery and strength of spirit.

Jodie's story was a horrifying one that will leave the reader gasping and crying. Unfortunately, it was also a story of something that is too often an occurance in our society. Cathy does a terrific job of detailing Jodie's past with the knowledge that she gained from Jodie. She tells of her experiences in a succinct manner, shocking the reader without resorting to blatant tactics.

I think I was most horrified by Cathy's portrayal of the Social Worker's failings.

Character Development: 5 Stars

Cathy not only does an excellent job of allowing the reader to get to know Jodie; she also reveals much of herself in the telling. I felt as though I was getting to know her as well as her charge and her family.

The reader is also privy to the personalities of her children, which gives the story a more rounded effect. It particularly shows the major contrast between Jodie and "normal" children.
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent eye opener March 10, 2008
If you know someone who doesn't believe child abuse exists, this is a great gift for that person.
If you know someone who is a survivor this is a great book, if you want to understand true feelings, read it.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Emotional Rollercoaster July 31, 2010
The author (and I use author rather than Cathy Glass because Glass is a pseudonym she writes under)of this book is a foster carer in Great Britain. It was interesting, as an aside, to compare the foster care/children's social service systems between the United States and Great Britain. Other than that, I wouldn't say "Damaged" was interesting. It was heartwrenching, profoundly moving, tragic. It made me sob and feel vengeful, not only for "Jodie" but for all of our innocent children that are defiled across this world by the very people who should be protecting them the most fiercely - their parents.

I have the utmost admiration for most foster caregivers and most social service people. To some it is just a job but to people like the author it is their life's calling, one that I could never do.

I would not recommend this book for early teens, at least without adult supervision and discussion, or for people who don't deal well with graphic sexual content and violence, especially if it is directed towards children. I thought the author handled these sequences in the book very professionally but they are what they are- child sexual abuse. The title of the book should be "Destroyed" because this little girl was permanently, irrevocably destroyed - she will never be whole. And what does that say for the neighbors that turned a blind eye or the social service system that didn't follow through as it should have?

This book reminded me of the impact another author had on my life - Torey L. Hayden, who is a special education teacher writing about some of her special needs students. The first of her books I read was One Child and she went on to write more. I highly recommend both authors. Just be prepared.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
It is a shame that Jodie was punished for the crimes that were comitted against her.
Published 10 hours ago by Ray Robbins
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent writing
I found this book very compelling. I plan on reading other books of Cathy Glass' series.. I even enjoyed the British accents
Published 1 day ago by Kurthi
4.0 out of 5 stars I really enjoyed this book
I really enjoyed this book. Though the subject matter was gut wrenching at times, it was very well written and impossible to put down till I finished it. Ms. Read more
Published 2 days ago by Robert Sobelman
5.0 out of 5 stars great mature read
Cathy Glass is a spectacular author!! She was able to tastefully share a horrific story of the lasting damage that had been down to a little girl.
Published 2 days ago by mwall
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 3 days ago by Sharon Herbert
5.0 out of 5 stars Damaged: The Heartbreaking True Story Of A Forgotten Child
This story was definitely heartbreaking. I can never understand how anyone could hurt a child. It's really sad that the social services are still negligent even today. Read more
Published 3 days ago by Leigh Byrne
4.0 out of 5 stars Damaged
Truly a difficult read profiling parents that are so evil, they can use and abuse a child until that child can only find ways to survive all that is happening to her. Read more
Published 3 days ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Heart break and healing
One of the best books I have read on the subject of child abuse, and I have read many. Cathy Glass puts her heart into every detail and this book is one of her best. Read more
Published 4 days ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars a must read
Heartbreaking, the abuse some children face. I'm glad Cathy took Jodie in. This shows the love Cathy feels for her children.
Published 6 days ago by Lori A. Moreno
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
So different, so real. Excellant read.
Published 6 days ago by Roni
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More About the Author

I live in England and have three children, two birth children and one adopted. When I left school I held a clerical position in the civil service, which I left to start a family. At the same time I became a foster carer, which is the inspiration for much of my writing. I have been a foster carer for over twenty-five years and am what's known as a specialist foster carer, sometimes referred to as a level 3 carer. This is in recognition of my experience and qualifications and means that I am often asked to look after children with complex needs or very challenging behaviour. I have a degree in education and psychology which I was awarded as a mature student.

I have always been a writer - from when I was at school, with poems in the school magazine. In my teens I began writing short stories, articles, a few radio plays, and entering writing competitions. Like many writers it was a hobby - something I did almost furtively in my spare time, while working, and then later fostering and looking after my family. The two halves of my life - writer and foster carer - came together in 2007 when I wrote about a child I'd fostered and the book immediately became a number one best seller. Since then there have been many bestsellers, thanks to you, my readers. I really appreciate all your support and best wishes. Cathy xx

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