Customer Reviews: Unloved. The True Story of a Stolen Childhood
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on December 20, 2008
Somehow, amazingly, despite terrible abuse in his own home, against all odds, a little child manages to grow up. And we get to read his or her story, because of an incredible survival.

Somehow, amazingly, when that person was still a little, defenseless child, a school teacher or someone belonging to institutions aimed to protect the weak, turned a blind eye (to say the least).

Somehow, amazingly, the particular child in this autobiography was even part of a "study" about the poor in London at the time (1960s). The NSPCC got involved. Pictures were taken by one of the most famous photographers in the world and his entourage for fund-raising purposes. A noble and respectable intent, aimed to help other children like him.

But. Somehow, amazingly, nothing changed for this particular baby, Peter Roche, nor for his siblings. Nothing. Granted that his image was utilized to help others, how could he himself (or his siblings) be forgotten?

This book will make you swallow twice and stare into space reading the atrocities Peter had to go through, along with his numerous siblings, at the hands of their parents. And not only.

The photograph on the book cover speaks for itself. The book begins and ends with it. As hard as I try to take into consideration certain aspects of this story, which could "explain", marginally, the lack of action by the authorities or institutions aware of the Roche family (such as the historic frame at the time -1960s- things have certainly changed for the better these days), I still think there are no valid excuses. It is incredible that not even an attempt was made to help out. The "explanations" Peter was given as he discovered this picture of himself decades later sound lame to say the least.

Still. Peter was able to tell his side of the story and to come to terms with his past. I truly hope that the photograph of himself, which has helped many others in the past and moved the public, is now deservingly serving its purpose to Peter himself and hopefully to other neglected, abused children.
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on August 9, 2011
I am so sad to contemplate how this precious, precious person endured what he did....and that he survived to recount his experiences. I would love to travel back in time and simply rescue him...and prevent all the sadness and pain he suffered. God be with Peter Roche. I only hope he knows his true worth - despite the never-ending and utterly false message delivered to him by nearly ever person he was in contact with for his first two decades of life. Please buy this book, if for no other reason, than to help Peter. He deserves that and so, so, so much more.
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on July 20, 2015
This is the most heartbreaking story I have ever read in my life. I bought it because of the sad picture of that sweet baby boy on the cover. I had just finished reading all of David Pelzer's stories of abuse and survival and was looking for similar stories. (We are adoptive parents and former foster parents.)

It is unbelievably sad to know that this precious little boy was pushed out the door to fend for himself while he was just a toddler and that his parents not only abused him every single day of his young life, but that they allowed all the other kids in the house to beat the crap out of each other on a daily basis. I cannot imagine trying to grow up in that kind of environment. These children (there were 10 of them) had never had a bath and were starving every single day and doing whatever was necessary to survive.

The title of this book was so appropriate. No one loved this little boy. No one cared for him. He had no one to look out for him, no one to make sure he had food in his little belly every day, no one to make sure he had warm clothes to wear, no one to tuck him in at night or tell him what a wonderful little boy he was. I wanted to reach out and rescue him and hold him and take care of him. It's beyond sad that no one did that. How is that even possible???? I will never understand all those who stood by and did nothing for this poor child or his siblings. Their lives were a nightmare 24/7.

Many of us didn't have perfect childhoods, but after reading this book, you will find that whatever minor traumas or minor abuse you may have suffered as a child are nothing in comparison to the hell this little boy went through. We have no reason to feel sorry for ourselves or whine about whatever mistakes our parents made or whatever we feel we missed out on in our childhoods. His parents were the worst. His siblings, esp. his brothers, were also awful, not only as children, but also as adults. This child somehow survived his childhood and managed to grow up and become a decent person in spite of the horrific abuse and inexcusable neglect he went through.

If the author didn't tell you the time period for this story, you would never guess it happened during the 60's and 70's. He is only 2 years younger than me. You would think this story happened long ago.

Every page is heartbreaking but very well written. It couldn't have been an easy story to write, but I'm so glad that he did. I agree that this book should be recommended reading for every high school student. It was difficult to read but I was unable to put the book down. I only took me a day and a half to finish it.

I pray that the author is able to see himself as God sees him, to know his value and his worth, to know that he was a precious child and deserved to be loved, cherished, and taken care of. I pray the people in his life treat him kindly and that God makes up to him for all the loss and suffering he's been through in his life. He deserves true happiness and peace in his life.

God bless you Peter Roche. Thank you for sharing your story. I pray it will open people's eyes to the child abuse and neglect that is going on around them. I hope it empowers people to take a stand and protect a child even if it requires them to step out of their comfort zone. I hope it helps others to quit feeling sorry for themselves and to be grateful for their families and willing to help others who are less fortunate.
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on April 10, 2013
This book is based on a true account, it really is a touching story of survival, It brought tears to my eyes at some points, I had a hard time putting it down, finished reading it in two days. I highly recommend this book to anyone who needs inspriation after going though child hood abuse, It shows you can turn you life around and make something of yourself
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on March 28, 2013
At first when I started reading it, I thought, this had to have happened years ago. Before their were people and places to help these kids. But as I got into the book, it was going on in the 1970's. First off, let me tell you this was happening around London, but if it was happening there, it had to be happening here. And from what you read in the newspapers, it's still happening. So Sad!
I only reason I didn't put 5 stars, is because, it is such a sad story, and some how it seemed wrong, to rate it as great.
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on March 9, 2013
Unloved: The True Story of a Stolen Childhood

Young Peter, child number 9 in the horribly dysfunctional Roche family must care for himself once he is out of diapers. It is a miracle that he actually survived his tragic childhood at all. As a young child his family is identified by the British government as dysfunctional and their activities are monitered for a short period. Photos are taken of him and his family and are later used to generate funding for the child protection agency. As an adult Peter discovers that a photo of him has become famous and has brought in a tremendous amount of money (see cover photo). Yet after the photos were taken the family was dropped from the study. Neither Peter nor any of his siblings ever benefited from any of the money donated to help him and children like him!

What a terrible blow this must have been for Peter to make such a discovery after spending his entire childhood in survival mode! It is easy to point fingers at the government who completely dropped the ball and allowed Peter and his siblings to remain with their parents in a home where they were reguarly beaten, given little food, not taught basic hygiene or social skills, and basics like clothing were almost non-existant.

However, many people must have noticed what was going on and did nothing. Some even chose to make things worse for the poor boy. In particular I have the question why his teachers and other school officials failed to try to understand Peter. He shows up at school in the same rags day after day dirty and smelling of urine. He appears small and mal-nurished and demonstrates behavior problems and difficulty concontrating. He lives on the free lunch and never has school supplies. He keeps to himself and doesn't play with the other children. HELLO....teachers, neighbors, parents of school mates, ect., why did you choose to ignore or add to Peters torment? Why would any teacher assume that a child who wears the same raggedy clothing and shoes daily which are old, poor fitting, and inappropriate for the weather would be at fault because he didn't bring expensive school supplies? Why pick on him in front of the class when they discover that he is part of Roche family? I see everyone around him who ignored him or choose to be cruel instead of understanding as being part of the problem.

I'm sure however that Peter will never forget those few who were kind and understanding. From them he learned that some people can be kind and and are deserving of trust. And somehow he was able to develope enough social skills to make friends, and later get a girlfriend as he became a young adult. It is to his credit that he is married and has a family and has forgiven much. Having come from a dysfunctional family myself (though not nearly as bad) I know that Peter will likely spend the rest of his life playing life-skills catch-up but at least he is trying and he is winning.

It is too late to help young Peter but there are plenty of others out there who are just like him. It behoves each of us to look at ourselves and ask ourselves are we doing somthing to help or are we just like all those people who ignored Peter when he was so, so needy. Do you offer the small child who never seems to go home dinner or offer him some of your child's outgrown clothing? Do you take him home and try to talk to his parent if it looks like something is not quite right? Each of us is capable of making a difference even if it a small one.

I have read many stories of children who were abused and or neglected. Most were eventually removed from the home. Peter's case was different and so his story could be useful for students in ethics class. It also could be used to help social workers understand what they are against and prepare them to do their best for their charges. I encourage educators to consider this book for this type of use. It is a fast easy read, a real eye opener for many. But mainly it would help some to understand and help rather than to gnore or add further torment.
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on October 17, 2013
I would reccommend these sellers. They were quick about getting books out. the books were all in shape described. very very satisfied with their service and look for them in the future for other purchases.
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on April 8, 2013
Great Book, I would recommend to anyone. It can tough to read due to the graphic nature of the book, so I would only recommend to an adult to read due to content.
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on March 26, 2013
I could not put this book down I cried as I read this. Peter went though so much at such a young age one of the worst abuse books I have ever read. Bless his heart
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on February 24, 2013
Great no hold barred book about a young man that not only survived but rose to be an author. I see the truth in his words.
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