Wednesday's Child: One year in the life of an Irish child protection worker (Paperback)Shane Dunphy (author)
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Shane Dunphy was involved in social care for fifteen years. This book is a distilling of the cases he encountered in that time to make a single, year-long narrative. Apart from that compression, and some necessary changes of identifying details, everything in this book is true. And what the truth reveals!
Here are the cases of three dysfunctional families, struggling at the margins of scoiety that barely acknowledges the existence of such people. This is a portrait of fatalistic despair, of families so sunk into chronic poverty and neglect that they are beyond saving themselves or their children. All the elements of social dysfunction are present: the unkempt houses, truant children, endless television, anorexia, alcoholism, suicidal depression. Yet out of this mess there is hope as well as tragedy. Most of Wednesday's children don't make it, but some do. Some survive the most appalling childhood horrors to make it through to the normal adult world. But more are doomed. Despite the heroism of child protection workers and the best efforts of well-intentioned people, we still face a hidden mountain of avoidable human misery. Wednesday's Child is shocking and disturbing. And most of all, true.
In three amazing stories childcare worker Shane Dunphy reveals a world of hidden heartbreak and survival against the odds. When Shane meets her, Gillian is starving herself to death and in thrall to a mother more interested in abusing and manipulating her daughter than cherishing and protecting her. Though he tries to help, it seems Shane is just another adult destined to fail Gillian ... For the daughter of disturbed violent parents, Connie is an amazingly well-adjusted A-grade student. But when Shane finally gets behind the facade, he unearths a shattering truth behind her apparent normality... Cordelia, Victor and Ibar are three loving siblings left with a hopelessly alcoholic neglectful father. It's a race against time to see if their father can ever become the kind of Dad he wants to be, or if they are destined to be split up and sucked into the childcare merry-go-round...
Number of pages: 222
Weight: 215 g
Dimensions: 197 x 129 mm
'This harrowing book should be read by anyone who cares how the State copes with troubled children' -- Irish Examiner
Wednesday's Child is a serious but accessible book, and it casts an illuminating light on the lives of people who are so often unacknowledged. * The Book Bag *
'Shocking, heart-breaking and inspiring' * Clare Champion *
Wednesday's Child is that rare beast: a serious work of non-fiction that reads like a thriller. A book, about childhood and what we do to our children, that never exploits but seeks only to understand. By turns funny, angry, touching and, ultimately, almost unbearbly moving, it is a stunning achievement. -- John Connolly
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