• A Family Secret

  • My Shocking True Story of Surviving a Childhood in Hell
  • By: Maureen Wood
  • Narrated by: Rachel Atkins
  • Length: 7 hrs and 30 mins
  • 4.9 out of 5 stars (416 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Each time my mother laid a finger on me...it was another step into the jaws of hell. Her abuse, more so than any other, destroyed me. It was the ultimate betrayal.

Abused from the age of eight by her older brother and then her step-father, Maureen Wood quickly became numb to the constant suffering. But Maureen’s world crumbled when her own mother started to abuse her too....

A Family Secret is the harrowing true story of how one little girl survived sickening abuse by the people who should have loved her most and how an innocent baby finally saved her.

©2021 Maureen Wood (P)2021 HarperCollins Publishers Limited

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What listeners say about A Family Secret

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Bravery in Spades

The author shares her life with brutal honesty and reveals the darkest of taboos. As someone who has suffered similarly, her story of justice provides hope. Please be aware that this book is filled with triggers and survivors should proceed with caution.

5 people found this helpful

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Amazingly written

It’s difficult to say I enjoyed this book. The trauma inflicted on the author for so many years was horrifying and sad. It was well written, but hard to read. There are some really graphic descriptions of the abuse that I had to take a break from time to time so I didn’t cry. However I am glad that Maureen and people like her speak out and bring abuse like this to light. I only hope that we could help all children who are in such dire situations.

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Excellent

It was an AWESOME Read and I’m so glad you saw it through and your parents and brother got what they DESERVED!!!!

The social services was a DISGRACE!!!!!

2 people found this helpful

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The triumph of the human spirit. Women are amazing.

Women face so many challenges just from being women in a male-dominated culture that can threaten, undermine, hurt, dismiss, even destroy them. But women like Maureen Wood find their way through and inspire all other women. And hopefully teach men how it can be to be a woman in a violence-prone male world. Excellent memoir. Well-written. Such a brave woman.

1 person found this helpful

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Beautifully done

This horrific and sad story was so beautifully done and narrated. You and I are the same age within a few months and so I couldn’t imagine myself as a nine-year-old and what I was doing on my birthday and then hearing your story was so incredibly sad. I admire your bravery and your strength and I’m so glad to hear that you are doing well and your kids as well!

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good listen

Truly a sad story but a very happy ending!! the Narrator keep me wanting to know what was going to happen yes.

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Such a Great Read!!!

Narration is WELL DONE! Seriously, the book is well written and the narration is emotional. Great read and the triumph at the end is heartwarming and inspiring!

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Great listen, disturbing real story

Narrator was wonderful. Story was insanely disturbing. How a mother could do something like to her child. Gross. I am so thankful for the happy ending.

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amazing read!

I loved this book! I couldn't stop listening! I have a very long commute to and from work and this book made a good use of every minute! as someone who has dealt with childhood abuse... it feels good when some justice is done.

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Love

So happy to hear a story about a woman who brought herself back from hell. Congratulations to you and your family.

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  • Ajay
  • 06-15-21

justice

A courageous lady to bring her abusers to justice. Giving hope to many victims suffering in silence.
The guiltier person in my mind was the Mother in which I use the term loosely.
Her stepdad was a predator making Maureen an easy target.
What confused with the brother they were once so close protecting her yet changed so dramatically I think encouraged largely by the mother I think once he had committed the awful act he too become the monster.

2 people found this helpful

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  • lou
  • 04-17-22

Good but sad

Very good account of her real life abuse, I kept thinking just tell someone but when I thought back to my own childhood abuse (nowhere near as bad as this) I remembered that I didn't tell anybody for years either! Very sad in parts but very honest, well worth a listen if you can cope with the reality.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 01-20-22

so shocking and very sad

a well read but horrifying story, the ultimate courage of the writer is amazing to be able to first tell and then act on such a frank but terrible story with bravery to move forward with her family.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Ross cooper
  • 12-19-21

Captivating and devastating

Maureen’s story shouldn’t exist. It’s hard to listen to at times a tale told with such honesty and raw emotion. The strength held within is the most amazing takeaway from this book

1 person found this helpful

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  • Stephen Kemp
  • 08-09-22

A truly courageous author

A truly horrific story, courageously written by a lady whose only mistake was to be born to a sadistic, heartless mother.

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  • Hannah
  • 06-23-22

A family secret ~ my own review

It’s a very honest and heart felt book Maureen worked so hard to get the justice that she completely deserved and she truly is a warrior!
This book is highly recommended!
Completely deserves 5 stars and more!!

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  • Sam
  • 04-22-22

One of the most heart wrenching abuse stories I’ve read.

The author and victim has suffered the most horrific abuse but holds seems to have held herself so well throughout her life. I could not stop listening, the audio was easy to listen to. I had to know she had justice and the end seems to ease all the pain from a readers point of view.

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  • joseywailer
  • 11-24-21

Amazing

I have no words to describe this book it was extremely graphic My heart went out to Maureen I thank God with the support of her 1st child Christopher that she was able to hold the evils accountable for what they had done to her. the family that you should trust to protect you done the evils. In the end Justice was served I wish Maureen all the best in her life nothing but happiness with her children. Moral to the story: what evil you do in the dark will always come out in the light in the end

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  • Jen
  • 10-25-21

Remarkable story!!

The narrator is fabulous and the writer very skilled. This is a harrowing account of the entire life story of an absolute survivor of sexual abuse and tornent at the hands of not one but three family members including her mother and a system that failed her from the start .... an incredible insightful and inspirational read - highly recommend!

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  • Ina Margrethe Gabrielsen
  • 09-04-21

A horrific and thrilling tale.

So horrible and gruesome story about bravery, endurance and dissociation. The author's experience is the worst a young girl can be exposed to, and she tells her story incredibly well. How she endured, and how she survived

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  • Jo
  • 05-20-21

heartbreaking

Was a very sad story but had a good ending. She was very strong. xox

1 person found this helpful

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  • Liz Pralica
  • 05-14-22

Wow, what the human body and mind can do!

Hell on earth and she flourished. A very poignant look at abuse of the very worst kind, and the survival of same. You are a wonderful human Tori 💚

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  • Dale
  • 02-19-22

Horrific child abusr

The story was true. Therefore I read it with interest. The narrator was excellent and very clear. The only fault was that the story went on and on often repeating what was already known. Could have finished a lot sooner.

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  • Jenna Medlen
  • 10-24-21

Heartbreaking

Unbelievable story well narrated, left me feeling like I was hearing Maureen tell the story herself.

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  • karly d.
  • 09-05-21

I wish this book was never written, a devastating story of broken trust and heartache.

I so sorry there was ever a reason to put pen to paper.
Devastating story of trust broken, relationships and future bound by secrets.
Bless little Christopher for the gifts of freedom!
While the story is heartbreaking it’s one of truth and substance, I feel like I could feel what she went through. Well performed and written.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 08-05-21

Shocking

Very sad true story of beautiful young girl being abused by her own family, including her own mother! Evil, evil people. I’m so glad you survived and finally brought these monsters to justice! Well written and narrated.