“I don’t remember a lot about my childhood: my very earliest memories are of living in a children’s home when I was about 4 or 5 years old.”
I didn’t remember what my favourite book was till I remembered a box of books in a cupboard. Then I had to go raking. I didn’t remember the title; however, soon as I saw it, I remembered the roller-coaster of emotions I felt reading it. Sadness, tears, loss, love, joy, laughter, they were all there. Not like most of the stories out there about abuse, it’s different from those in a way. The abuse is still there, oh my goodness you can’t forget it, but it’s somehow told in a different way. Perhaps I feel this way because I had the privilege of meeting Jon Robinson, the guy who was the little boy at the beginning of the book.
It’s years since I’ve read this book, and yet, I remember details of the story, which I am going to repeat to you now and not regurgitate the summary on the back of the book. I remember meeting him, remember liking him on first sight, I got the best hug, and we had a brilliant chat. He’s so humble, so unassuming, and yet there’s something compelling about him. When I heard he was speaking I jumped at the chance to go, and have never forgotten it. I’m not sure what he’s doing now. I’d like to find out.
Okay… so this is his story as I remember it. He’s in and out of foster-care and children’s homes most of his childhood. His is not a happy one, there is no story of redemption, at least not yet. I remember reading at the start of the book that other children had visitors on birthdays and holiday times, and he did not. He was the one left distraught. This home was okay. There’s another home I remember reading about where he and the other children were only allowed into their bedrooms when the social workers visited, and that was also the only time they could play with the toys. The rest of the time, they were locked in the cellar. At this particular home there was a wee boy, I think his name was Michael? Anyways, he finds out later that this little lad was his brother, so much later that by the time he knows the poor little lad has died.
Jon also ends up in prison, at least once, though I don’t remember what for. A long time down the story, with the support of his future wife, he asks to read, and reads his social work record. This is one of those stories in which, if like me you had a happy childhood, your eyes will open. If like Jon you were in care most of your childhood, you may well identify with it. Whatever your story, I urge you to read this book. I’m off now to re-read this gem of a book. I promise you, if you read it, it will stay with you forever, like only the best told stories do.
Today’s daily prompt if you’d also ike to write about your favourite book.
The link to Nobody’s child on Amazon if you’d like to buy it: