As a massive fan of Cathy Glass’ novels, I was over the moon to be asked to take part in the blog by the lovely Rosie from HarperCollins. Thank you so much for having me, and thank you for the ARC. Here is my review:
The true story of Melody, aged 8, the last of five siblings to be taken from her drug dependent single mother and brought into care.
When Cathy is told about Melody’s terrible childhood, she is sure she’s heard it all before. But it isn’t long before she feels there is more going on than she or the social services are aware of. Although Melody is angry at having to leave her mother, as many children coming into care are, she also worries about her obsessively – far more than is usual. Amanda, Melody’s mother, is also angry and takes it out on Cathy at contact, which again is something Cathy has experienced before. Yet there is a lost and vulnerable look about Amanda, and Cathy starts to see why Melody worries about her and feels she needs looking after.
When Amanda misses contact, it is assumed she has forgotten, but nothing could have been further from the truth…
What does TWG think?
I have read many novels written by this author, and each time I read them I have to mentally prepare myself for what might be waiting for me underneath the front cover. Now, some people might take that as a criticism, however, if you have read a ‘Cathy Glass’ novel before, you will be well aware that every one of her books is based on the true story of a child she has fostered. It doesn’t take a visit to Google to cement the fact that fostering can be very emotional to read about (and very emotional to actually do), and Melody’s story is no different. With a title of ‘Where Has Mummy Gone?’, I could hazard a guess that a child would be asking where their mummy had gone, but what I didn’t expect, however, was just how eye opening that innocent question was.
Where did her mummy go?
I warmed to Melody straight away, even though she came across a little aggressive. There was obviously something deep-rooted within her to feel like that, but again, nothing could have prepared me for the storyline that unfolded.
‘Where Has Mummy Gone?’ is such an emotionally charged, heart-breaking and raw novel which highlights drug dependency, as well as the very emotional and devastating life changes which children in care have to endure. Bear in mind that Melody is only eight years old. Yes, children can be taken into care at any age, but even so, eight is still a very young age to have to deal with what Melody did. She really is a little gem and I am sure that all of the people around her are extremely proud of her. I know I am and I haven’t even met her!
Don’t worry if you haven’t picked up a Cathy Glass novel before, or if you have never read a book with foster care as the core theme, as Cathy Glass keeps the language very simple without coming across as patronising. For example, if a social work term is used, Cathy Glass ensures that that term is explained as an ‘off the cuff’ sort of comment instead of making the reader feel like they should know what those terms mean. You aren’t supposed to. Plus, I think the way in which Cathy Glass explains things is probably ingrained in her due to her many years as a foster carer.
Obviously I don’t want to bad mouth the system as they’re there for a reason, however I couldn’t help feel frustrated at one of the social workers attitude to certain aspects of this book. I understand that they have a right of care to the child and have certain boxes to tick, but I just think this person in particular could have been a bit….how can I put this…compassionate.
Once again, Cathy Glass has blown me away with a poignant story about Melody’s life, allowing her readers to watch the little girl spread her wings and have a life that all children should have. I won’t lie, this is incredibly emotional and pulled at my heartstrings something chronic, even the parts which were focused on Melody’s mum, Amanda. I couldn’t help but feel very touched by her story and how that was concluded.
A beautiful, heartwarming, and devastatingly raw novel – I would recommend it in a heartbeat.