All entries are from emails sent to Cathy, however she cannot be held liable for the validity of the claims made, some of which are very disturbing. Cathy reads and replies to as many emails as she can.
To add your comments, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Hello, I just wanted you to know how inspiring your books really are to me 🙂 I’m a 16 year old girl from Norwich, England and I borrowed your books from my mum. I have always asked myself the question why do people bring children into the world if they are going to abuse and neglect their children. I’ve always said that there’s no point bringing children into the world when there are many that need a loving, caring home. I can now say from the bottom of my heart after reading Hidden, Damaged and The Saddest Girl in the World, I’m going to pursue a future in helping many children and working within the social care area. I’m studying health and social care level two at college, and next September I’m going on to do level three. You have truly inspired me to follow my dreams and to help all the children out there who desperately need a loving home and family with time to spare. I cried through all three of your books that I have read. My Christmas wish list says any Cathy glass books. I’ve read many books like yours (borrowing my mothers) but none has touched me as much as your books. I wish the best of luck in the future for Donna, Tayo and Jodie. Thank you for writing these books, they make you realise what we take for granted, and have truly changed my view of life.
Andrea, 16, Norwich, UK, 11/12/2009
Heya, I have Damaged and The Saddest Girl in the World. When I first read Damaged I felt so sorry for Jodie, she had so much anger, and the abuse she went through. When I was reading The Saddest Girl in the World after Paula asked Donna what she got for Christmas and birthday I couldn’t believe it, and what her mum and brothers did to her.
Hello Mrs Glass, I am a 21 year old girl from Alberta, Canada. I say girl, however I’m married and have lived with my partner for years now. I have recently started reading for leisure, rather then it being a compulsory requirement for a school project or book report. Today I finished reading Cut. Thank you. Those are the only words I can use for how powerful your book felt to me. I found comfort in your love for Dawn. I’m sure others have told you how similar their stories are to one of the children you have fostered. I need to express my deepest appreciation for you as a human being. I felt your love through your writing. Best Regards,
Krystal M, 21, Canada, 06/12/2009
Hey Cathy I am a 15 year old girl living in Queensland, Australia. I was mesmerised by your book Damaged, and I don’t think words even come close to telling you how much it affected me. In primary school I had a few foster children in my class and I always loved listening to them and helping them wherever I could. I’ve read Damaged 4 or 5 times now and each time I find it more interesting than the last. I’m actually not a big reader but your books are amazing and each time I pick Damaged up I start reading it again. I plan to go to university to study psychology and do a diploma once I finish school. I am amazed at the human mind and the way it works. Your writing encapsulates me and makes me feel as if I am actually there, and its happening before me. You are an inspiration Cathy, and your endless love and support of Jodie is utterly moving. Once again Cathy, congratulations on not only your book but everything you have done to change people’s lives, welcoming them into your house and your home and giving them the love and guidance they never knew. Hope to hear from you soon, Best wishes and kind regards
Jasmine W, 15, Australia, 04/12/2009
Hi Cathy, I wanted to thank you for writing the books you have. I have read all of your books to date. I was fostered, and had an unfortunate childhood. I struggled for many years to come to terms with my past, until I read your books. My partner often worries when he sees me crying whilst I read them, but it truly helps me deal with my own issues. You are a credit to your own children, those you fostered and the profession. I hope that one day I can draw upon the inner strength that you have and help those who need it. Once again thank you for unknowingly changing my life!
Shakira, UK, 03/12/2009
Hi, I’m 14 years old from Ireland. I found your e-mail address on your website and I had to use it. Your books are amazing. I couldn’t put them down! I saw Damaged in my local bookshop and I decided to buy it having looked at it lots of times. After Damaged I read Cut and then I read Hidden which were all great. I’m in third year at school and after I leave school I want to do a course in Child Psychology. After reading your books and about how you helped so many children, I hope to do some fostering as well when I leave school. You’re an inspiration
Jennifer, 14, Ireland, 03/12/2009
Dear Cathy, I read The Saddest Girl in the World on our holiday on the east coast of South Africa. It is such a gripping family saga over three generations. You have shown much care and insight. (So sad that John left you.) Hopefully I will have time over Christmas to read Hidden or Damaged!
Thomas G, South Africa, 02/12/2009
Dear Cathy, I’m fourteen years old and to put it lightly, am going through a few family difficulties at the moment, but decided about a year ago that I want to be a therapist. I’m fascinated by what you write about and insanely curious to know how you deal with such things. I just thought you should know that to know these stories are real make people like myself believe that people like you do exist in the world, and that contentment is possible! Clearly, you are a loved author by all ages. Love,
Summer, 14, 30/11/2009
Dear Cathy, I have just finished reading the books Cut and Damaged. I think that what you’re doing, fostering these children is very inspirational. I am only 17 and currently finishing my last year in High School in an International School. After reading these books, being inspired, I realized what I want to do in the future. I am planning to take a criminology and law program next year in University and in the future, help at least some of these children in the future. Thank you very much for publishing these stories to create awareness of what some children have to go through. I hope to read more of your books in the future. Thank you. Sincerely,
Caroline, 17, Japan, 30/11/2009
Hi. I thought I would send you a little email to say that I have just read your book “The saddest girl in the world” and I loved it. I was so into it that I sat up and read it in one day! I’m dying to know how Donna is now and what she has been up to. I cannot believe she goes to visit that evil “mother” of hers still. I want to know if she has heard from Chelsea or found out where she is yet and how your kids are. I thought you only had 2 kids but I read you have 3. I feel like I know them all personally now ha-ha. You are a fantastic author and I admire the work that you do. I cannot wait to read all your other books now. Keep up the good work you do and I wish you and all your kids the best of health and luck in the world. Thanks for your time.
Hello I have read all your books so far and have loved every one of them. I have been through a lot, from rape to beatings. I just wanted to say thank you for sharing those children’s stories as it has helped me to know it’s not just me who has been through bad stuff. These stories have really helped me to get over parts of my past as some bits of them have been sort of the same. This has also made me realise how much I want to help people. I am also writing my story to share with teens the same as me so maybe it can help them. Thank you Cathy. All my love
Holly W, 18, 29/11/2009
Hi Cathy, I have just finished reading your book ‘Cut’. I don’t usually contact authors but felt so moved I had to contact you, and say how much admiration I have for you and your family. The story of Dawn moved me to tears but then to smiles as I read she had turned her life around! I brought up my 2 lads on my own and thankfully I was able to cope and am now a very proud mother to a 20 & 22 year old! Your dedication to these children I feel is outstanding. There does not seem to be any words that can describe the ‘light of hope’ you have kindled for these children! Thank you for being an angel of this sometimes sad world. Now you have made us aware of the plight of abused children and the system we can certainly together move forward to make this a better world! Yours faithfully
Dear Mrs Glass, just recently I spent a week in the UK and I saw your book The Saddest Girl in The World at the airport. It caught my eye. We started short term fostering 2 years ago and have the 10th child staying with us right now. The system in Germany works a little different but I guess most things are common. I just love the way you write down exactly what I feel. It is very encouraging to read your book. With our two youngest just being 4 and 7 I sometimes wonder if I do the right thing taking these kids in. Especially with my 7 year old having a disorder herself. BUT I can’t help it, as much as I sometimes just want a break or sleep a whole night after getting up 5- 8 times a night I just love this job. My husband has a regular job and we also have two children I watch for a couple of hours a week during daytime for Social Services where I actually watch the parents more than the child. Thank you for being an inspiration. I hope I can order your other books here in Germany. I hope you and all your children are having a wonderful Christmastime and a great new year with just the right mixture of excitement and peace.
Diana S, Germany, 27/11/2009
Hello Cathy, I’ve nearly finished Hidden, I was crying at the end. I felt so sorry for Tayo and I think he is really brave to have gone through all that. On your page I read the update – that he moved away which I am so happy about. It just makes you think how important family is, and how they can be taken from you so quickly. I just wish my 15 year old sister was as grateful. I think you are a wonderful inspiration to the world. Well done for all your hard work and you really are someone to look up to.
Hayley, UK. 26/11/2009
Hi Cathy, I have written before but I feel compelled to write you again. I have read Damaged, Cut and Hidden and am waiting (very impatiently) for my copy of ‘The Saddest Little Girl in the World’ to arrive in the mail. All these stories have touched my heart and my life. I feel as if, through your writing, that I know these kids and your family personal. I truly enjoy reading each and everyone of your books time and time again. You just simply aren’t writing fast enough 🙂 . I have turned all my friends and family into devoted fans. You are a truly remarkable person and your sense of family values and strength and the ability to see the good in all is a rare quality to find in a person. I could write forever at how inspired and how I admire you, but I won’t for fear I will not stop. Keep them coming Cathy, my only sadness is these children had to experience such hardship and sorrow to begin with to enable us to step into their lives briefly. Enjoy your success from your books – you deserve it.
Jodi, North Queensland, Australia. 26/11/2009
Hi I’m 21years of age and I just read you book Damaged. I thought it was very very moving and it brought me to tears when you wrote the bit about what her parents did to her. I thought how could someone who brings a child into this world do such things to a child. When I finished the book that took me a day to read because I couldn’t put it down I felt such sadness, but when I reached the end of the book and went on your site to find out how she was doing I was relieved. I felt like I was taking the same journey as you while reading the book. I am looking into fostering when I am old enough, with my own house and a bit of money behind me. I have wanted to foster for about 5yrs but I know I have to have a house before I can think about it. I know I can be a great foster mom, and maybe if I have the chance adopt one of the kids. I hope Jodie is well and I will be looking forward to reading some more of your books. I am doing sociology in college and I think they can really help me understand what happens to a child like Jodie. Thanks xx
Samantha, 21, UK, 25/11/2009
Good afternoon Cathy, I read your book ‘Damaged’ while on holiday last year and have just finished ‘The saddest girl in the world’. I found your website and was so glad to hear that both Jodie and Donna are happy and enjoying life. I intend reading ‘Hidden’ next. You truly are a special person.
Leona, UK, 24/11/2009
I just finished reading The Saddest Girl in The World. I cried tears of joy at your achievement. I have read Damaged and Cut as well. and your job with kids is reflected in the way the kids, now adults, still keep contact with you. Keep the good work.
Dear Cathy, Just to let you know I will be collecting my copy of The Saddest Girl in the World later in the week and am looking forward to reading. This will be your 4th book in my collection (I really enjoyed reading every one thus far – Damaged was the most painful one out of the lot). I really take my hat off to you – you have been bless with an amazing spirit. Take care
Georgina, Cape Town, South Africa, 22/11/2009
Dear Cathy, I have just finished reading your book Hidden and Tayo’s story fired me up so much I had to contact you and tell you what I thought. I have read all your books but this one inspired me the most. It took me a day to finish it because I couldn’t go to sleep until I had. I think what you do is the most rewarding thing possible and I have decided that one day I too would like to foster. It is because of people like you that some children do not fall through the cracks in our society. You have inspired me to do what I can in my own way. Thank you!!!
Lauren L, South Africa, 21/11/2009
Hi Cathy. I’ve never written to an author before but after reading Damaged and Hidden I had to write to you to tell you what a true hero I think you are! Your books are so sad but so difficult to put down, and what you’ve done for these children is just fantastic. I could not do the job that you do and it’s very comforting to know there are people like you out there who do such a great job looking after children who have had a terrible start in life. I’ve just been reading about Jodie and Tayo on your website and it makes me really happy to hear they’re doing so well. The things they went through were horrendous and it’s amazing that children can go through such things and go on to lead a normal life in a family environment. I truly believe that this is due to the help you gave them at the start of their journey to recovery. I would also like to give a message to your own children – I think they are truly amazing! They allow other children with serious problems to share their mother’s time and love and they accept them as part of their family. A lot of children could not do that and yours are very special people. I look forward to reading your other books but I have to leave some time between them as once I pick one up I cannot put it down. I hope you keep telling your stories and raising awareness as I’m sure it will help others you cannot reach directly.
I read your book, Cut. Amazing is the word that I am using to describe this journey. I agree when your husband John said that withholding information is criminal. I hope that today the system has changed and foster parents know more about who they bring in their house. You both did an amazing job and Cut is a book that I will never forget. Keep on writing. Your books are the best. I am reading everything that you write.
Micheline D, 20/11/2009
Is there an order to read these books in? I read ‘Cut’ first and was wondering which one to read next. Cut was brill and can’t wait to read the next one .I love your style of writing – so fluent and easy to read. Amazing lady you are!!!
Hayley, 32, UK, 19/11/2009
CG: Hi Hayley, Thanks, if you would like to read my books in chronological order then the sequence is: Cut, The Saddest Girl, Damaged, Hidden. Although you can read them in any order as I always state near the beginning of the book how old my children are so the reader knows when the book is set. Very best wishes, Cathy x
Hi Cathy, I just wanted to say I read Damaged in one go. I couldn’t put it down, it brought me to tears at the end. I came from a similar background as Jodie, abused and neglected. I was one of the unlucky children that went unnoticed and un-helped. I would have loved a caring hug or a kind word. Jodie was very lucky to of found you. I would like to write a book but my memory has blocked out a lot of what happened to me and I can’t remember enough. I have just turned 30 and I think all the years of trauma and neglect I had are beginning to take a big impact on my mental health, all these years of thinking I was ok!! Anyway I just wanted to say it’s nice to know that there are kind people out there, and that some of the children get lucky lucky and get people like you.
Hi, I am 16 and have just read you amazing book Hidden and wish to read more. I never put the book down unless my eyes gave in ha ha. At first I wanted to look after disabled children after leaving 6th form at college but I now wish to go on and do what you do. It will take some time I know and it will be hard emotionally. I know I am only 16 but you have inspired me so much I am looking forward to reading “Damaged”. Hidden is one of the best books I have read in a while. You’re a lovely lady. Lots of love your way.
Jade, 16, UK, 18/11/2009
Dear Cathy, I would like you to know how happy I am to have read your book and to know there are people like you in this, often confusing world. I have just finished reading Hidden and am hinting to my children for a lovely present for Christmas (Damaged or any other book by Cathy Glass!). I have wanted for some time to be a foster carer and applied to my local council but due to me being in part time work as I have 3 children of my own, they said I was unable. I am a single parent and needed to remain in work to pay my mortgage. But my children are now 22, 18 and 15, and I have now, some 12 years later, met a wonderful man and things are looking good. He has been in touch with a fostering agency who say it’s ok to be at work part time and to foster. You are truly an inspiration, and a wonderful person. I hope I can give as many children a chance, just like you.
Tracey S, UK, 18/11/2009
Hello again Cathy, Well I have just finished Hidden. What a great story. Where can I find updates about these kids. I’m really enjoying your books and am getting Cut from my sister this weekend and can’t wait to read it. Are you going to write any more stories? Keep up the great work
Andrea M, Auckland, New Zealand, 16/11/2009
CG: Hi Andrea, I am so pleased you enjoyed Hidden. There are updates about the children on my website – on the relevant book page. Yes, I am writing more books and I have three coming out next year. I hope you enjoy them. Very best wishes Cathy.
Cathy, I know you get loads of e mails from people, but when I read your book, Damaged, I felt as if I knew you really well at the end. I empathised with everything you wrote. I’m 51, single and am in the middle of a foster training course. Your book really opened my eyes to how social services operate, although I already had quite a good insight about them anyway!!!!! When I was half way through the book I thought I couldn’t carry on with the course because I’d never be able to cope with the needs and emotions of the children and would be overwhelmed by it all. But I realise poor little Jodie was an extreme case and I’m full of admiration for your understanding towards her anger and self loathing. So I think I’ll give it a go and try and stick it out. I just hope I’ve got the patience you had with your foster children. I’ve learnt so much about fostering just from reading your book. Regards
Sylvia, UK, 15/11/2009
Hello Cathy, Just to say I agree with your blog article concerning electronic ‘books’. I’ve got one of these, it doesn’t match up to a proper book. If you want just a lot of text I suppose they are ok but I find them lacking in feelings, cold and you loose the personal touch that comes from the writer. My software is in the ‘ not so useful as I thought’ and going to the next jumble sale. Take care
Hi Cathy, My wife said I should read one of you books, she has read them all so far and cannot wait for the next one to be published. As a rule I hardly read books, but I have started reading Damaged and cannot put it down, it is very moving. It is hard to comprehend the terror Jodie had faced before coming to you. You are a true inspiration.
Richard, Somerset, UK 14/11/2009
Hi Cathy, I have read all your books and I think you are a very good and inspiring writer. Your books are compelling. I really appreciate your effort and patience. I admire you for all you’ve been through. I am only 16 and I love to read. I love you Cathy and I feel like am part of you, like your family. I’d love to meet you one day and your family, both Adrian and his sister. I really can’t wait for, “The Girl In The Mirror”. I am from Nigeria, same country as Tayo. When I read that book, I felt proud to be a Nigerian and I wondered how many fathers like Tayo’s still exist. byeeeeeee!!!!!!!!!!
Aishat, 16, UK, 12/11/2009
Hi Cathy, I have just read your book Hidden and I just wanted to write to tell you how much respect I have for you. I have read 4 of your books and was so gripped on each and every one. I am studying to be a Social Worker and hope to be a foster carer in the future. I don’t know whether I would make a lot of difference in a child’s life but even if I help one that would be an achievement. Keep up the good work and I look forward to reading more of your books.
Emma, UK, 11/11/2009
Dear Cathy, I’m 22 years old and for as long as I can remember I have suffered from anxiety and panic attacks. I think it began when my father passed away when I was 10 years old. I’ve always wished for 1 thing in my life now that I’m older and that is to be free of this burden of anxiety that can take over my life and body. Ever since reading your story about Jodie it made me realise just how much of my life is good although I still suffer from the odd panic attack. Yes I miss my dad every single day but I just think I was so lucky to have known him for 10 long happy years. I just wanted to say that you’re such a fantastic woman and you deserve all the happiness in the world. I really admire you Cathy. There was one other thing you mentioned that you looked after Lucy as well. I just wondered how she is because she seemed so content in your family and I liked the way you always pronounced her as one of your children. I hope she is doing well in life and so are Paula and Adrian. Thanks you for touching so many people’s hearts, I know now that my goal in life is to help others who need it.
Lisa D, 22, 10/11/2009
CG: Dear Lisa, thank you for asking after Lucy. I went on to adopt her, something I shall be writing about in a future book. She, Adrian and Paula are all fine. Very best wishes, Cathy.
Hello Cathy, I have read all of your books, Damaged, Hidden, Cut and The Saddest Girl In The World and have been moved by all of them. Not one book has been read with dry eyes. I think you are such an amazing person for doing what you do for the children you have accepted into your care, your home and your family. Your children Adrian and Paula and later Lucy deserve a big Well Done too for the patience and understanding they have shown to children who are not as lucky as they are to have a wonderful Mum like you. Amazing work and you make it sound so effortless sometimes! I am a single Mum of 2 boys and it’s not easy, but you are a true inspiration to me. I do the best I can for them, and provide them with the things so many children don’t have…..love, care and stability. I have always wanted to do something as rewarding as you, but I don’t think I would be able to cope emotionally with the situations I could be put in. I am a Teaching Assistant in a local Primary School and that is very rewarding. I am looking forward to 2010/2011 and the release of Happy Kids, Girl in the Mirror, Kids in Care and Eclipse of the Heart. It is nice to hear you are writing novels…can’t wait for those. Every time I have finished one of your books, I look forward to the next. Just this time I have to wait a bit longer! I would like to wish you Best Wishes and Good Luck for your future, keep writing please xx you are an inspiration.
Love Melanie, 30, Burton, UK, 09/11/2009
Hi Cathy, I just finished Cut and I thank god you continued fostering, you’ve changed so many lives. I find it’s impossible to put the past behind me because it’s a part of who I am. However like Dawn did I tried to come to terms with everything, and become a stronger person from it. I’m glad that Donna is doing good. I’m going to read Damaged next, and I am way too excited. Unfortunately it’s hard to get your books in my school library because everyone keeps taking them out before I get a chance. I really enjoy your books, and I hope you continue writing. It is a huge inspiration to read about people who change their lives from the most difficult circumstances. It reminds me of a poem by Tupac Shakur called “The rose that grew from concrete”.
Hi Cathy, I am a 37 year old woman and I have just finished reading “Hidden” before that I read “Damaged” both books in 8 days and I’m now well and truly hooked. I’m gonna start reading “The saddest Girl in the world” and I’ve just bought “Cut”. Your books are so well written that I find it difficult to put them down and often fall asleep at night with one of your books in my hands. I feel that I can slightly relate to some of what you have written, as I also have had a slightly difficult upbringing in that my father and mother divorced when I was 7years old and he left to live with a school girl, leaving my mum with me and my 2 younger sisters. I had to grow up very very quickly because of this and have always felt a sense of responsibility and a need to be in total control of everything, in an attempt to help my mum. Myself and my sisters did visit my dad and his new wife every Saturday from the age of 7yrs – 24yrs during which time my dad was physically abusive towards me most weekends in front of my siblings. If we were noisy when the football pool draws were televised, he would throw me across the room to scare us into being quiet, and it worked. My dad was my hero, I really looked up to him, but he scared me stiff. In 1996 however, my step mother who went on to have 3 children of her own with my dad, issued him with an ultimatum, in which she asked him to make a choice, to continue seeing me and my sisters regularly and he would subsequently lose her and their children. Predictably my dad chose them and I haven’t seen or spoke to him since that day. The way in which I can relate to some of the context of your books is in the way family dynamics and abuse can seriously damage a person psychologically !!!! As I mentioned earlier I have always felt a need to be in control of my life and I obviously could not control my dads decision to turn his back on us, this has affected me in that I have now been diagnosed with OCD and Anorexia, which is my way of controlling a part of my life. I have lost 5 stone since having my son in 1995, and my weight is now dangerously low. Since reading your books I have realised that I need expert support and guidance and have asked to be referred to a Clinical Psychologist. I want to thank you Cathy for assisting me to reach this crossroad in my life where I need to off-load a lot of emotional baggage so that I can heal and move forward with my life for my sake and that of my husband and two children. Please keep on writing about your experiences!
Sam, West Midlands, UK, 09/11/2009
Hi Cathy! I have just read Damaged and I thought it was a really great book. I felt very sad after I read it but I wanted to say that you’re amazing! You should be very proud of yourself and I hope the best for all the children. I wish them happiness in the future. I look forward to reading your other books and I want to say again what a wonderful person you are for doing this. Best wishes.
Gabriella, 21, Sweden, 08/11/2009
Hey Cathy, I don’t really know what to say, just that I’m on your third book now “Cut”. I’ve read Damaged and Hidden, they were amazing! They were brilliant. Just wondering why don’t you have any pictures of you or your family on your site. Just one last thing, can men be foster carers when they are older?
Liam, UK, 07/11/2009
CG: Hi Liam, Yes, men can foster – either in a partnership or as a single parent. They are assessed on what they can bring to fostering and their experience. Sadly, I can’t post photos of my family on the website because I have to protect the anonymity of the children I write about. There are some of me though. Best wishes Cathy
Hello Cathy, I have just read Damaged. When I finished I wanted to keep reading, what a great but sad story. I saw another of your books at our warehouse and it’s my 30th Birthday this Friday the 13th of November so I’m wanting it. In fact I want all 6 of your GREAT books. I have 4 children of my own. The stuff Jodie went through was terrible, how can anyone put a child through that. Look forward to hearing from you. Thank you so so so much for your great stories.
Andrea M, Auckland, New Zealand, 07/11/2009
Dear Mrs Glass, I am emailing you just to tell you how much I admire you for being brave enough to share your experiences of foster caring with others. Your books are brilliant and I am very inspired by your writing. I would love to be a foster carer when I am older but am unsure if I could do the things you have. I am the same age as Jodie now and to be honest having some of the same past. Her story was much worse than mine but at least she got help with it and is trying to live a normal life. You were brilliant with her and she must really have felt safe with you to confide with you the things that she did. I am half way through Hidden at the minute and I am really enjoying. I understand that you cannot reply to all the emails you receive but I hope you get the chance to read it so you know how I feel. Thanks so much.
Ellie J, Liverpool, UK, 06/11/2009
Dear Cathy, I have just finished reading Damaged. I have read Cut and have just ordered the other books you have written. I was moved to tears with your patience and have so much admiration for you. You have truly inspired me and I have always wanted to work in the counselling/physiotherapy field but was always afraid of how I might feel. I know it will be tough but you have inspired me with the way you write as you focus on the end result and never give up. Without people like you these children may never have moved on. I am not usually the sort of person who seeks out someone’s email to tell them how I feel – but I was truly moved and wanted to tell you how amazing I think you are. Keep up the good work best wishes
Gail C, 06/11/2009
Dear Cathy, Today I picked up a copy of Damaged, and it was truly one of the most moving and powerful books I’ve ever read – it took me a total of four hours to get through from start to finish! I have come across many books of a similar genre, but none of them quite delivered the same amount of emotion that this did – I felt angered, disgusted, moved and relieved. You are truly Heaven sent and such an amazing person to do what you did for Jodie, and to continue to foster afterwards. Souls like yours are too pure for such a cruel, twisted world! I wish you all the best and look forward to reading some more of your wonderful life stories. Thank you for sharing them with us, and I pray towards your continued strength and the love you are able to provide such unfortunate children. All the best,
Asia G, 18, UK, 06/11/2009
Hi Cathy, although your books are about children who have had deeply unhappy childhoods it is hard to put a book written by you down. I cannot imagine having the patience required to do what you do day in day out, but am glad there are people out there who can, and wish there were more like you! Although the books start out with saddening scenarios there is always a happy ending for the child, and a great sense of achievement, satisfaction and a job well done by you. I feel at a bit of a loss now I’ve read everything published by you and will definitely be keeping an eye out for your next book!
Sophie T, 06/11/2009
Hi Cathy I have read all of your books and I think you are an excellent foster carer. I was brought up in foster care and was fortunate enough to have a very happy upbringing and was later adopted by my foster parents. Your books were a real eye opener to what goes on and stuff that was kept from me to make sure I had a safe upbringing. The book that really got to me the most (they all did in their own way) was Damaged. I had to put the book down on several occasions to cry! It was so sad. The world is a better place knowing that there are people with the love, patience and understanding that you have. Your children must be a credit to you to put the needs of others first, I look forward to reading anymore books you write yours sincerely.
Lynda M, UK, 05/11/2009
Dear Cathy, I have read all of your books and am always looking out for the next one. Through reading about the way you deal with children it has made a better and more understanding mother. Your own children are so fortunate to have you for their mother. Thank God for people like you. Best wishes.
Denise H, 03/11/2009
Hello Cathy. I am 15 years old am just writing to you to tell you what an inspiration you are to me. Also you sound like such a nice mum/carer! My mum lent me some of you’re books. I really don’t know how you had the patience to put up with Jodie (I know I wouldn’t be able to!). When reading Cut I recommended it to all my friends and when I’d finished it I lent it to my boyfriend (who really isn’t into reading at all!) I forced him to read it and he really enjoyed it! When I was reading Damaged he kept pestering me to lend him it! But I couldn’t because when I’d finished with it I gave it to my sister. So he went out and bought it himself. Bless! You have honestly inspired me to work with children in my future. And possibly even consider being a foster carer! I’m really glad you shared you’re experience through the books because I was definitely touched by the stories. Once again thanks so much for it all.
Fiona, 15, UK, 02/11/2009
Dear Cathy, I have just read your book about Donna (The Saddest Girl In The World) and I was completely blown away. It is so sad that it took 10 years before anyone realized what was going on in her life. I also find it amazing that you were able to stand face to face with Rita and Chelsea as they tormented Donna in the store. She made such an amazing improvement while living with you. I am 16 and have had a slightly difficult upbringing involving some things that you mentioned in your book, but I had brothers and sisters who helped to raise me, your book made me so much more thankful for that, seeing how Donna was treated by Chelsea especially. After all, it is her baby sister. I have a little sister myself and could not imagine what that girl was thinking. It almost shows you the savagery when a child is put into a situation where they are not nurtured at all, and the key concept to them is survival. I think maybe Chelsea treated Donna this way in fear that if she did not follow her mothers cruel expectations the abuse would turn to her. Without someone teaching compassion, and fear being the only expression of respect, it does not surprise me that Chelsea turned out the way she did. It was bad that she was not given the chance that Donna got with you. Anyways you are an amazing woman, and I’m very glad you write so that people have the chance to see what it is like from a realistic view. Your books touch people, and inspire people to be better human beings with compassion. You believed in Donna through the whole situation and I think that made a huge difference.
Christina, 16, 02/11/2009
Dear Cathy, I have just finished reading Hidden, Damaged, and The Saddest girl In The World-all in the space of a week! I must say I was in tears at quite a few points in those books, but, towards the end, when I saw what a difference you made to those children’s lives, I felt a feeling of warmth spread all over me. Also, being a private foster carer myself to a teenager, you have given me a few tips on coping strategies, which was more useful than speaking to any Social Worker!! I admire your works greatly, and cannot wait for your next publication. You are one in a million, Cathy, and your children are very lucky to have such a loving parent. Please keep the good work going, for the children’s sake, and, for your readers’ sakes as well! With the highest respect to you,
Deborah, Essex, UK, 01/11/2009
Hi Cathy I’ve just completed Damaged and I must say it’s fantastic. I read it religiously everyday. Your patience through Jodie’s care was amazing. Her abuse is despicable, I felt sick to the stomach reading how her sick family hurt her like that. I was also in care for a short time 12 years ago and like you my foster parents were lovely people. I have a daughter myself and in the future want to become a foster parent to help kids and families cope with their troubles. I hope all is well with you and your children. I wish you all the success in your fostering and writing. Take care
Sarah N, 31/10/2009
Hi. I’m a big fan of both you and your books. I have read all your books and enjoyed what I read. I love the way you are with the foster children and how much you do for them. Hope there’s plenty more books yet to come
Hello Cathy, I want to thank you for your books as they are brilliant. They reduce me to tears but are a great insight to a great foster carer. My niece who is now 2 years old has been in care for a year now and she has a brilliant foster carer. If it wasn’t for your books I wouldn’t have understood how demanding a foster carer’s job is. I am in the process of applying for a special guardianship order for my niece and if it wasn’t for your books (especially the one about Tayo), I don’t think I could of coped with all the waiting and disappointment. I keep thinking good things happen to people who wait just like they did for Tayo. Please keep writing and I want to thank you for the hard work you put in for those little lives that need you. If it wasn’t for people like you my niece might of not been the happy gorgeous little girl that she is right now.
Tanya, UK, 29/10/2009
Dear Cathy, I have just finished reading your book Damaged.. I was so moved by your experience that I wanted to write to you. I would like to say that you are amazing and I don’t say that lightly, we desperately need more foster parents out there just like you. I know someone who is very similar to you and wish you had been blessed enough to have known her yourself. Her name is Nell Roche and she was a foster parent for over 55 years…she was also my foster mother. I was in an orphanage as a baby for a few years then mum (Nell) received a phone call from children services asking if she would like another child to care for just temporarily maybe 2 weeks. So mum and dad came and collected me and took me to my new home. They already had their own 4 children plus 5 other foster children at the time. So I was 3 when I arrived and Mum asked the welfare department if she could keep me as my progress was good and mum thought that I was very happy, healthy etc….plus she had fallen in love with me. She told me when I was older that all I had was a summer strappy dress on and a black toothbrush that looked like a dog had been chewing on it for quite sometime. My mum was 53 when I first came to live with her, she passed away from cancer at the age of 78. My mum was a nurse in world war 2 and my sister and I are both nurses now. I just want you to know that apart from my mum and sister I have never known anyone like you who is so patient, understanding and offers unconditional love. I often think how grateful I am to have had the stability and healthy influence in my life and didn’t think there was anyone else in this world quite like her…that is until I read Damaged. You absolutely are meant to be doing what you are doing and not only helping others in need but also inspiring other families. I am going to write a book about my dear mother and the stories of her parenting skills that work, “firm with love” that’s what mum would say. When I have finished my book I would love for you to read it. My mum won Mother of the Year in 1991.for fostering over 1000 children. Mum was strict but for good reason, respecting others especially your elders was a must, not swearing, no running in the house, make your own bed, etc… these rules applied to everyone. She would come to your door and say goodnight and I would say a prayer with her, I loved this time and I always felt loved and secure. Mum never swore, yelled or held a grudge. She was my guardian angel! She was tiny and looked fragile yet she was as strong as a heavy weight champ. Her natural ability with children taught me so much and I later found that caring for children was something I was good at from all the influences I had in my life. I am now a paediatric nurse and get to help children, babies and teenagers everyday. If I didn’t have her in my life I hate to think where I would have ended up. Fortunately as far as I know I wasn’t abused before coming to mum’s but I was extremely insecure and a very frightened little girl especially if I heard gun shots on TV. I would hide under the kitchen table and it would take mum a while to get me out and to get me to talk…but I definitely have come out of my shell. Before she died she told me that I was her girl and she was so proud of me….she wasn’t just my mother…she was the only person in this world who completely loved me unconditionally and never stopped. Like my mum and my sister (her biological daughter) you are truly an inspiration to others. I am now 38 yrs of age and everything I do in life, any decisions I make, they are all done by what I was taught in life from mum. I was also accepted by her own children and they are very much still a part of my life and I of theirs, they call me their sister and do not treat me any different. Like Jodie I am one of the lucky ones who had this wonderful lady who chose me to be a part of her life. Thank you Cathy for being the special person that you are. I look forward to reading the rest of your books. God Bless
Crystal R, 29/10/2009
Hi Cathy, reading your new book just now and really enjoying it. I am a single parent of 3 year old girl Chloe, her dad has never had anything to do with her. I have learned a lot from reading your books about parenting skills and different ways to deal with situations, so thank you.
Hi Cathy, I am not generally a reader, I think I read 2 books until the age of 27 until I discovered your books. I have read Damaged and Cut and they really are absolutely brilliantly done. I cannot put these books down once I have started them. I cannot wait to get started with the rest. I just wanted to congratulate you on your excellent writing and your patience with these children, you truly are an angel sent from heaven. You officially are my idol. Kind regards
Hi Cathy, I just finished reading your new book “The Saddest Girl in the World” and was really touched by it. I really love your books and I love your writing style. I start reading them and before I know it its 2.30 am and I’m shattered in the morning! I saw on your website that you have a novel coming out. Sounds very exciting! Looking forward to it. Keep up the good work,
Hey Cathy, I have just finished reading Cut and wanted to say how amazing and emotional I find your books. When Damaged first came out, it was passed around a group of 5 of us in under two weeks. All girls in year eleven at high school and all of us agreed how touching and amazing it was. It started with one of my friend’s cousins and it went round my family, all agreeing how great a book it was. I find it great how much passion you have in being a foster carer and helping the children you write about. I then went on to buy your other books and not one failed to be a great book that couldn’t be put down. I am just about to start The Saddest Girl in the World and I can not wait for your new book in next April. Keep up the brilliant work you are an inspiration.
Dear Cathy, I have just finished reading Hidden, and like so many others, it reduced me to tears; happy tears in the end. Although I didn’t end up in care I had a very turbulent childhood suffering sexual abuse at the hands of my father and uncle, as well as witnessing horrific displays of anger from my father and his extreme aggression against my poor mother and my younger brother. I’ve had therapy a few times, and that helped enormously with my feelings of guilt at not being able to help, and to cope with the images that have been left in my mind. Also, I think I am a relatively balanced, intelligent person who has been able to put things into perspective over the years, and so deal with my childhood. I’m telling you this because I so wish my mother had had the courage to leave my father or that we children had been taken into care and placed with someone like you. I’m sure you get told what a marvellous job you do lots of times, and I am completely in awe of the work you do. I just hope you realise what effect you have on these children you help. It must be monumental in their acceptance of their situations and their recovery; I wish I had had the opportunity to just be a normal child. I’m not bitter about my childhood, it happened and I think I’ve dealt with it very well. I’ve had tremendous support from my wonderful friends, one of whom is from my childhood and witnessed first hand my reactions to the situations. Without these ‘normal’ families in my life I wonder how I would have turned out, indeed my siblings have suffered probably more than I have, because of the lack of normality. My 2 wonderful brothers have moved as far away from the family as possible (one in Canada), but that fear that ruled the house still prevails and we all are in regular contact with my parents. Obviously, we all love our mother and still worry about her, and because my father has mellowed and in his 60’s now, we can have that normality now. The similarities with Tayo’s situation are acute, although our mother wasn’t a drunk or took drugs, she still failed to protect us and indeed, instilled feelings in us that made us feel protective towards her. And, even though my father was so aggressive, we knew he loved us, and he had his nice moments, like Minty. I just wanted you to know Cathy, that people like you are invaluable to society. Throughout the book I felt a real connection with you. Your level-headedness, fairness and feelings towards Tayo were completely awe-inspiring. I’ve got 2 children myself and became a registered childminder 15 years ago. The children I look after are from good families, with no issues whatsoever, so my job is easy and very rewarding. I teach and mentor new childminders, and am very active in my local early years organisation. I just wanted to get over to you that you really are wonderful and to do the job you do, and do it so well must be top-of-the-world stuff! I can’t imagine many people being able to do your job and just wanted to let you know how much I admire your qualities. I’ve read a few books that have moved me to tears, but I’ve never felt the need to write to the author before.
Annette, UK, 27/10/2009
My daughter gave me your book Damaged when we visited recently. She didn’t think I would want to read it but read it I did. God sent Jodie to you. Your updates on her erase a tiny bit of the horrors done to that child. Blessings to you and her – keep us posted on Jodie’s progress.
Suzanne, USA, 27/10/2009
Hi Cathy, I have just discovered and read one of your books – Hidden. As well as being a great foster parent you are also an amazing writer. The story was very moving and people’s hearts will be captured by it. I will be reading the rest of your books now. My best wishes go to you and your family for the work that you do. I hope that Tayo is very happy and that he keeps in contact with you. Kind regards
Sue, UK, 26/10/2009
Hi Cathy, This is just an email to say how fantastic your books are. You have really inspired me and have made me want to become a social worker. I have just finished reading “Hidden” and was really moved by Tayo, what a credit he must be to his dad and gran. I think your doing an amazing job.
Tara, UK, 26/10/2009
Hi Cathy, I just finished reading The Saddest Girl In The World today. I think it is an amazing book and it’s so good to hear that Donna has qualified as a nurse. I have only read two of your books, I read Damaged some months ago after my friend let me borrow it. I’m only 15. I think you’re an amazing person and I tell me Mam so. How come you only mention two of your children in the books, and how are your children? I guess their real names aren’t Adrian and Paula are they? Anyways I am looking forward to reading your book, Hidden. Thanks
Gemma, 15, 26/10/2009
CG: Hi Gemma, I use pseudonyms for all the people in my books to protect the children I write about. I have three children but at the time of The Saddest Girl In The World I only had two – Adrian and Paula. I adopted Lucy after Donna had left us. Cathy x
Dear Cathy I just wanted to say how much I love your books. I’ve just finished Hidden and also Cut and Damaged, and I’m now about to start The Saddest Girl in the World. You are an amazing lady and if only there were more like you the world would be a much better place. Your a true star! x
Kerry, Ipswich, UK, 26/10/2009
Hello Cathy, For the last 2 years I have been reading your books and I have to say that I love them. I have just finished reading Cut. It was a really good book and I hope to see more of your books coming out soon. I have been in foster care and I know how it feels. I would some time love to meet you as I think you’re a great author.
Sydney, 14, UK, 25/10/2009
Hi Cathy again, I have just read Cut about Dawn, as previously stated to you, when I read Damaged May 2009, I couldn’t put the book down and find your books so easy to read. You really feel as if you are in the story. I am waiting for Hidden from the library. Thank you for sharing your story with us, you truly are an inspiration to us all. Best wishes
Diane H, Australia, 25/10/2009
Hi Cathy, just finished The Saddest Girl in the World, well where do I start? Her mother, if that’s what you call her was despicable as a mother and a person. That child did not ask to be brought into this world, what a way to treat your own. I thought it was a challenging case not because of Donna’s past because you are used to that but the potential of her violent outbursts. You had to protect your own children as well. What a fab job you did. I think that after all the work your family put into her you should have had the right to keep her. She was happy and settled for the first time in her life, all she needed was what you gave her love and understanding. I think social services put too much on colour. I am pleased Donna turned out well but I don’t think it had anything to do with background but the time and understanding you gave her. I think you are fab. Thanks