The second volume of Helen Forrester's powerful, painful and ultimately uplifting four-volume autobiography of her poverty-stricken childhood in Liverpool during the Depression.
The Forrester family are slowly winning their fight for survival. But 14-year-old Helen's personal battle is to persuade her parents to allow her to earn her own living, to lead her own life after the years of neglect and inadequate schooling while she cared for her six younger brothers and sisters. Her untiring struggles against illness caused by severe malnutrition and dirt (she has her first bath in four years) and, above all, the selfish demands of her parents make this a story of amazing courage and perseverance.
"Records of hardship during the Thirties or earlier are not rare; but this has features that make it stand apart." (Observer
"The story of a young girl's courage and perseverance against adversity...warm-hearted and excellent." (Manchester Evening News)
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Way up top. I love that it's a series, and I hate that each one ends. I always wonder, after listening, "Then what happened?"
Helen. Her resilience in the face of such adversity astounds me.
I have a hard time listening during the parts of illness, and the invisibility of Helen and so I have to shut it off to collect some courage to listen again. I feel so awful in my heart during those parts. Just awful.
And I celebrate with her, her holidays, and when people recognize and acknowledge her successes. That she does without and somehow survives without a word of thanks is beyond my comprehension. It reminds me that I have a lifetime of everything to be thankful for.