Sunday, November 27, 2011

Damaged - Glass

For many years I have been a fan of Torey Hayden. Hayden is a teacher who has, over the years, worked with many special needs children. Her books tell of these experiences and how she was able, or not, to reach forgotten and unloved children.  But, I do think I've now read all of her non-fiction.

I was thrilled then to find Cathy Glass, who is a similar writer. Glass is a mother of two who has, since her divorce, become a "foster carer",  as the British say, taking on children who are removed from their homes due to abuse or neglect and give them the hope, love and chance at a future that they need.

In Damaged, Cathy Glass tells the story of Jodie, a child of eight years. Having been on the 'to be watched' list for years, Jodie is finally taken from her parents. But Jodie is so damaged that no one seems to be able to figure out why, not the social workers or the five foster carer families she has cycled through.  What has happened to this little girl?

Glass is finally able to reach within Jodie and get snippets of her story, which includes sexual and physical abuse by her parents and "aunts and uncles" that was horrifically photographed and videotaped for child porn purposes.  Since Jodie was a very young child, one or two years, she has been used and beaten to serve her parents purposes, all while caring for a younger sister and brother.   The constant horror and abuse has left Jodie not only developmentally delayed, but also emotionally damaged. 

Glass does her best to help Jodie overcome her difficulties, but she learns sometimes you just can't fix everything. But sometimes hope is more valuable.

Glass is a good writer who not only tells, but shows how much she cares for these children she takes in and makes the reader truly care about the children's healing.  I was very excited to learn that this book was just one in many that Glass has written and I look forward to reading more.

3/5- Good. Read it, have a good time and move on. Or not.

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