20 Mar 2011



Everybody thought her father was a charming spiritualist preacher. Only Judy lived in the shadow of his terrifying cruelty.

Judy was three years old when her con-man father snatched her from her mother. Kept like a dog in his backyard, she ate from bins to stay alive.

Judy was then taken to South Africa where her life became unimaginably appalling. Beaten, treated as a slave and subjected to horrifying cruelty, escape was her only option. But living on the streets was just as dangerous. Through sheer determination she survived.
...... Outer back cover.

FIRST SENTENCE: I reckon that as soon as I came into this world I knew better than to cry for my mother.

MEMORABLE MOMENT: I'd always felt I could trust animals; be myself, I was wary around my own kind.

KEEP IT OR NOT?: Not, though I do have several friends who are fans of this genre and I will be passing this amongst them.

Not that I often read this type of memoir but when I do I somehow always feel guilty. Guilty that though I can't say I enjoy reading them, I generally find them interesting and informative and take the view that perhaps, just maybes, that individual needed their story to be heard. I certainly felt this way reading Judy's story as it enabled her to 'advertise' her charity, PEGASUS CHILDREN'S TRUST, which works with today's Street Kids.

A very disturbing story in many ways, and yet I somehow wasn't as upset as I thought I would be. Maybes this was because of the author's very matter-of-fact way of writing or perhaps it was because she seemed to find some humour in her situation no matter how bleak it was OR maybe it was because she never seemed to lose her faith in humanity, her faith that someone somewhere would bestow on her some act of kindness, no matter how small.

All in all, a very inspirational read, Judy's story is a truly amazing one.

The 26th book read for my 100+ Reading Challenge.


Suzanne Ross Jones said...

I don't normally read these types of memoirs, but Judy sounds like a remarkable woman, so I may look out for this one.

Thanks for the review.


dr.antony said...

I have to find this book. Thanks for sharing.

Kelly said...

Not usually my genre, either, but I did enjoy (if that's the right word) the one I read earlier in the year.

I'll keep this in mind should the urge to read another strike any time soon.

The Bookworm said...

wow, this would have me in tears, it sounds very emotional.

Suko said...

Petty, this does sound inspiring, rater than merely bleak. Wonderful, concise review.

Alexia561 said...

I'm not big on memoirs either, but it sounds like the author is a remarkable woman!

Jenners said...

I was hoping this was going to be fiction. I imagine it feels cathartic to share your story and reach out to others. Very brave of her.

Misha said...

I have recently discovered a love for memoirs. This book sounds like a thought-provoking read. I will be adding this to my TBR!
Thank you!

Gina said...

Oh wow...it's a memoir? I was hoping it was only fiction after the synopsis.....what a horror to have lived through. "Nice" to see that she's come out on the other side with a good spirit nonetheless.

Melissa (Books and Things) said...

Hm... this one sounds like a book I would enjoy. I'm going to have to look it up.