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I always enjoy reading true stories, and Tressa Middleton’s story (ghost written by Katy Weitz)  I found quite shocking and sad in equal amounts.  Tressa, now 21, spent much of her early childhood in care in Scotland when her mother, an alcoholic and a drug addict, found herself homeless and was unable to cope with childcare.  Tressa’s siblings were also taken into care, a younger sister Dionne, whom Tressa was close to, and an older brother Jason.

When Tressa’s mother tried to sort her life out and was given a flat, the family were reunited when Tressa was 7.  By the age of 9 she was being raped by her brother Jason, and sexually abused by two family ‘friends’.   Tressa found herself pregnant with her brother’s child at 11, giving birth to a daughter at the age of 12 and winning the unfortunate accolade of Britain’s youngest mother.

The book tells not only how the life of Tressa’s mother dissolved into chaos through drink and drugs, but also how this dysfunctional upbringing affected Tressa, who found herself going down the same drink/drugs route to escape the harsh reality of having to give her daughter up for adoption.

I was impressed at Tressa’s forgiving nature, as she looked back at her life.  She really is a most remarkable young woman, who has lived through more misery and hardship than most of us will ever see.

I give this book 5 stars, and recommend it to readers who prefer to read biographies and true stories about families.