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Publisher's Summary

Fourteen-year-old Shazia has been taken into care after a conversation at school leads her teacher to suspect that the teenager's family are planning to send her to Pakistan for an arranged marriage. 

To her family's fury, Shazia is sent to live with foster carer Maggie Hartley whilst social services investigate. But with Shazia denying everything and social services unable to find any evidence to support the teacher's fears, Shazia is allowed to return home. 

But a few weeks later, Maggie is woken up in the middle of the night by a phone call from a terrified Shazia, who has managed to escape the family home through a window. Sobbing, she confesses to Maggie that her parents are planning to send her to Pakistan to be married in a few days and have threatened to kill her if she speaks out again. 

Returned to Maggie's care, Shazia is petrified that her parents will track her down and kill her, and Maggie must be on constant alert. But the worst is yet to come when it emerges that Shazia is the victim of FGM. Can Maggie help this damaged and traumatised young girl understand what has happened to her and to find a way to heal?

©2018 Maggie Hartley (P)2018 Orion Publishing Group

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Awesome story brave young woman

Awesome story about a brave young girl. Thank you for the wonderful foster givers.
I would highly recommend this book for listeners

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  • linda chenapa
  • 09-26-18

Heart breaking

WOW!! As heart breaking as this story was to listen to, I was completely engrossed in it. The content of the book had me feeling so angry about other cultures beliefs and traditions. Working at a school I knew about FGM and all the consequences it bought but to actually have an 'experience' with it 'first hand' bought me to tears and can't believe a parent would allow something as barbaric as FGM to be performed on their daughter.
Once again, superbly read, overall, a 5* read, highly recommended.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Heather
  • 11-15-18

Fantastic book

Such a sad story beautifully told. Really hope this poor girl has a happy life now.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 11-15-18

easy listening

easy listening, but I felt the title over hyped the story. The story is more of an account as a foster carer.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • ian mcnamara
  • 10-17-18

Fantastic as always.

Maggie Hartly is a really good author. The stories she writes are always good and she's clearly a caring person who does everything she can for the children in her care. This was quite a complicated case but her Cmpassion and care for Shazia was amazing and lovely to see. Maggie is clearly somebody who loves her job and it's always great to read her material.

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    5 out of 5 stars
  • George
  • 10-09-18

Maggie does it again

Brill story line that I learned so much from reading and truely enjoyed, beware tissues required

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Natalie Hibberd
  • 09-29-18

Harrowing

This is an incredibly moving book but the horrors endured by the central character are so disturbing that I would say this is a book is not for the faint hearted.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Lisa
  • 09-24-18

An insight in to the often very difficult job of being a foster carer

An honest account of one woman’s commitment to the role of foster carer focusing on the main character; a young Asian girl in her care, who having escaped her family and the threat of being married off to her cousin in Pakistan, has to learn to come to terms with some terrible things from her past and an uncertain future. Sensitively written and thought provoking.

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  • Kathaleen
  • 09-21-18

A provocative insight into a mysterious system

I liked the realistic way this book was written. I would recommend this book to anybody. I gave it this rating because I felt that it was well written.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 12-16-18

unsung heroes

it shows what foster parents do for the children who need help. It is a very sad but great story that needs to be told and shared