Sold: A Young Girl Betrayed by Her Mother into a Life of Vice by Tess Stevens - What kind of woman would sell her own child?
Grace ran a brothel in Croydon just after the war and Tess, a timid child who longed for her mother's love more than anything, grew up in an atmosphere of sex depravity. Then, when she was 11, her mother began passing her to clients and Tess's childhood happiness, precarious as it was, shattered into tiny pieces.
Years of mind control and emotional abuse ensured that Tess followed in her mother's footsteps, ensnared in abusive relationships and unable to escape the world she was born into. It wasn't until after her mother's death that Tess managed to leave prostitution and has now completely turned her life around. From the blurb.
I'm not sure how to go about reviewing this book. It's not a story, it's real life. It's terrible what happened to Tess when she was younger. Her mother was... there isn't a word strong enough that isn't bad language. Detail is giving all the way through the book, even during the dreadful events of her life, but she doesn't go into too much detail. One can almost turn the page and try hard not to think about it, like Tess does herself, but it's so disturbing.
The emotion in this book is so strong, you can feel Tess' fear, her worry, her sadness. You can understand how she wants her mother to love her, but despair at what she puts herself hrough to try and gain it. The brainwash her mother puts her through, you just want to slap her.
An example; Grace covers her leg in lipstick, and wraps bandages round it, and tells Tess that God is punishing her for being a bad mother - because she must be if her daughter doesn't love her enough that she keeps visiting the lady upstairs and loves her instead. Her leg will bleed and bleed until she dies, unless Tess promises not to visit the lady upstairs anymore, and to love her mother. When she does, a miracle takes place, and God turns the injury into lipstick. It's disgusting.
Tess has had such an awful life, and reading all the things she had to go through made me so emotional. It's an eye opener for people to realise how normal - not lucky - we are who live good lives and have loving families.
Publisher: Hodder and Stoughton
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