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Commonwealth Writers Prize, 2006

Paperback / ISBN-13: 9780340998489

Price: £9.99

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You aren’t stupid.
You know there’s no such thing as a perfect mother.
Plenty of other books will tell you there is, but this one won’t lie to you.

I was weak and I cheated and I was punished, but my god I loved my child through all of it.
Love means you never break, and it means you’re stronger than the things they do to you. I know this is true because I have been through fire, and I am the proof that love survives.

I am not a perfect mother but I will tell you the perfect truth, because this is you and me talking.
This is my story.


Stunning... a haunting work of art.
Chris Cleave has the ability to create moving and beautiful scenes within a terrifying backdrop. I couldn't put it down; it's subversive, thought-provoking and well-written.
<i>Observer</i>, Books of the Year
Richly sardonic and often disarmingly poignant... How can one fail to be impressed and moved?
Cleave's heroine is by turns funny, sad, flawed, sympathetic, both damaged and indomitable, and triumphantly convincing.
<i>Sunday Telegraph</i>
<i>New York Times</i> AND <i>International Herald Tribune</i> AND <i>Bookmarks Magazine</i>
This is a compulsive read, sure to stir the dust
<i>CITY AM</i>
Searing.. poignant and compelling.. Utterly believable and mesmerizing
Dark, tense and undeniably provocative
Hilariously sympathetic and convincing
<i>San Francisco Chronicle</i>
<i>Washington Post</i>