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Publisher Description

This heart-wrenching memoir from Toni Maguire tells the deeply moving story of an idyllic childhood that masked a terrible truth. Underneath her mother's gentility and her father's roguish charm lay horrifying secrets, which eventually led to their only child's near destruction.

The first time her father made an improper advance on Toni, she was six years old. Her father warned her not to tell her mother, or anyone else, because they would blame her and wouldn't love her any more. It had to remain ‘our secret.’

When she finally built up the courage to tell her mother what had happened, she was told never to speak of the matter again. With no one to turn to, isolated and alone in rural Ireland, the abuse continued unhindered.

At fourteen Toni fell pregnant by her father, and when her state was discovered she was made to have a late abortion which almost killed her. The truth of her childhood could no longer be kept hidden but, just as her father predicted, Toni found herself judged and rejected by her family, teachers and friends. The blame and anger she was treated with only worsened when her father was sent to prison as a result of his actions. This is the compelling story of her struggle to put the ghost of her childhood to rest, and emerge ultimately triumphant.


‘Hard to put down …. I truly felt I was living her life alongside her, being taken back in time. I could almost smell the honeysuckle and soda bread but also feel the dread and fear.’ Jane Elliott, author of the No.1 bestseller ‘The Little Prisoner’

'This memoir is testament to [Toni Maguire's] amazing courage'. Closer magazine.

‘Amazing'. The Mirror.

About the author

Toni Maguire lives in the UK and has lived in Ireland. She spends 3 months of every year in South Africa.

Andrew Crofts (ghostwriter) has ghost-written three hardback number one bestselling memoirs including ‘Just a Boy’ and ‘The Little Prisoner.’

September 4

Customer Reviews

Glory Fox ,

Don't tell mummy

This book was heart wrenching from the beginning to the very last page. The author definitely took me on the journey with her. In fact, the description of her pain was so intimate, I carried her sadness around with me during my days of reading. Toni will leave her mark on your mind.

Dizza 54 ,

Don't Tell Mummy

Such a sad,sad story my heart goes out to this young woman.

Powwowgirl ,

Don't tell mummy

I just wanted to hug this poor girl. The hell she went through is a testament to the strong woman she grew up to be. Her compassion was a thing of beauty and grace. I was so proud of her and for her in the end.

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