Saturday, 11 July 2015

The Unmarried Mother by Sheila Tofield. Book review


Hello. I've been a lazy beggar this morning, missed most of the Sounds of the Sixties on the radio, to stay in bed and finish this book. I briefly got up to make a coffee and open the back door so the kitties could go out, then it was back into my pit for the last few chapters of The Unmarried Mother, by Sheila Tofield. Another random pic from the mobile library van. 
Sheila grew up in Rotherham, the daughter of an uncaring mother who made her believe she was useless, stupid, and unlovable. Born in February 1931, her unhappy childhood had the effect of destroying her self esteem, the only respite being a nine month stay in hospital under the care of the nursing staff. 
Her first boyfriend dumped her with no explanation, which made her vulnerable to the advances of someone who took advantage of her need to be loved. When she became pregnant by this cad of a boyfriend, he did a runner when she told him of her condition. In those days it was seen as a sin to have a child outside of wedlock and she became a 'fallen woman'. A place was found for her to go away and have the baby, and return as if nothing had happened. Her mother told her she would have to have it adopted, but on baby Pat's arrival, Sheila vowed to keep her no matter how impossible that might be.

The book is an interesting insight into how attitudes have changed throughout the past decades, though there is little difference between family dynamics of then and now, it's just they didn't have Jeremy Kyle then. Disputes were pushed under the carpet rather than being aired in public. I had a pregnancy scare when I was 19, the first time I had a proper boyfriend. Thankfully it was a false alarm and I never took that chance again. S'funny how things turn out, how one error of judgement can have such far reaching repercussions. Throughout my life I have listened to my head rather than my heart, ah yes, I have fallen hook line and sinker at times, there's been more than one instance when my heart was broken, but in the end my head has taken over when common sense kicked in.

I digress, no two lives should ever be compared, the book is a good read. The story drew me in, wanting to know what happened next. Here is a short synopsis, courtesy of the Daily Express.

Must go, things to do. Have a nice weekend
Toodle pip

10 comments:

  1. that sounds like an interesting book. I agree times have changed and attitudes have done a complete turn around.

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    1. Hi Gill. I find it shocking that a woman who has carried a child for 9 months was forced to give it up for adoption. Thank goodness that there is more choice and help out there now. But on the other hand, from what I see about me, some children would be better off with adoptive parents.

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    2. I've often thought people should be licensed to have kids! I was out having coffee on Friday when a little boy probably about 3 wandered past my table then got into a bit of a panic and started crying. His mum and her friend just watched him for ages, he was getting more and more distressed. Eventually his mum came and got him. I heard her tell him later to 'man up'! FFS he's only 3 (approx)! I felt so sorry for the poor little thing.

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  2. Many of the true stories really hit home with folks, and can definitely make a difference in a person's life. You are right about those decisions (or mistakes) that can change the whole course of one's life.

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  3. I have known a couple of women born about 1940 who had babies young and had them adopted out.

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  4. Hi.I read the synopsis,thanks for sharing.She has a very poignant and interesting life story.I admire her decision in keeping her child because back then that in itself took a great deal of strength.She made some choices( of the heart) along the way and had very hard knocks in life but is a survivor.These days social mores and attitudes are so radically different and tolerant.Bye for now,D.

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  5. Hey Ilona, just catching up after lots of days lost to real life. Ooh a trip away-good fun. We will miss you blogging but have a fab holiday! I'm away myself, I've repaired your bag and am planning to take it away- will let you know how it gets on. Hugs to Rocky,xxxx

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    1. Hi SS, good to hear from you. Have a nice time, catch up later. xxxx

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  6. Good read. I wonder about her last line when she says " I hope Peter knows I love him too." Strong woman for those days. X

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  7. Hi Ilona - hope your current absence is not because of ill health or some other disaster. MISSING YOU.

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