The Saddest Girl in the World

  • by Cathy Glass
  • Narrated by Denica Fairman
  • 9 hrs and 49 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

The Sunday Times and New York Times best-selling author of Damaged tells the true story of Donna, who came into foster care aged 10, having been abused, victimised, and rejected by her family. Donna has been in foster care with her two young brothers for three weeks when she is abruptly moved to Cathy's. When Donna arrives she is silent, withdrawn, and walks with her shoulders hunched forward and her head down. Donna is clearly a very haunted child and refuses to interact with Cathy's children, Adrian and Paula. After patience and encouragement from Cathy, Donna slowly starts to talk and tells Cathy that she blames herself for her and her brothers being placed in care. The social services were aware that Donna and her brothers had been neglected by their alcoholic mother, but no one realised the extent of the abuse they were forced to suffer. The truth of the physical torment she was put through slowly emerges, and as Donna grows to trust Cathy she tells her how her mother used to make her wash herself with wire wool so that she could get rid of her skin colour as her mother was so ashamed that Donna was mixed race.
The psychological wounds caused by the bullying she received also start to resurface when Donna starts reenacting the ways she was treated at home by hitting and bullying Paula, so much so that Cathy can't let Donna out of her sight.
As the pressure begins to mount on Cathy to help this child, things start to get worse and Donna begins behaving in erratic ways, trashing her bedroom and being regularly abusive towards Cathy's children. Cathy begins to wonder if she can find a way to help this child or if Donna's scars run too deep.


What the Critics Say

Reviews for Damaged:
"Cannot fail to move those who read it. (Adoption-net)
"Heartbreaking" (Mirror)
"A truly harrowing read that made me cry" (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)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Wonderful true stories!

I have just finished listening to the audio version of "The saddest girl in the world" where at every new chapter I was shocked to hear of more awful things poor Donna had to survive! But survive she did and with your help she's turned into a beautiful woman. You are a wonderful person!

I listen in the car to and from work each day and find myself looking forward to the time when I can listen... and my (10 year old) daughter listens as well when she's with me... and when she isn't, she always asks for updates.

Thank you so much for sharing your experiences!!
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- LaughingSun

Another amazing book that I couldn't put down.

I love this one as it's clear that the effort Cathy put in with Donna paid off in the end. As with all of Cathy's books, she reminds that goodness, faith, trust, forgiveness and hard work pay off.
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- Lauraji

Book Details

  • Release Date: 08-28-2014
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers Limited