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  • 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 (197 ratings)

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A Family Secret cover art

A Family Secret

By: Maureen Wood
Narrated by: Rachel Atkins
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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

What listeners say about A Family Secret

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

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.

2 people found this helpful

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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

2 people found this helpful

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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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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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Sad story

Loved it so sad .mother who did my care wonder if she was an abuse victim also as had no empathy for her daughter .I'm glad she had happiness in the end with her own kids and her brother and stepdad were brought to justice.

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Tough listen but well written and read.

Admiration for the author for telling her story,
How she got through it I’ll never know.

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Wow!

This was a very hard listen but well worth it.
We sadly know too many stories of child abuse, especially at the hands of men, but to hear of abuse from a woman - a mother abusing her own daughter - makes it even worse somehow.
What a brave lady Maureen is, to not only get it all to court, but to write it all down in book form.

I wish her & her fmaily all the very best & hope they contunune to heal from their abuse.

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Good read

lovely book very sad in places and had to put it down and come back to it. just goes to show you that every family is different and it can happen to any child. just glad that this lady has now got the life she deserves and wish her all the best for the future

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Hard to stomach - written by a hero!

Everyone has a story, but few people are able to relate one as traumatic and containing such tragedies as this without self-pity and with the candour this author does. It raises questions and is shocking to read, but the author’s bravery and determination shines through. The narrator is very expressive and empathic and though this is one of the most chilling stories’ve ever read it has those moments that bring a smile from out of nowhere too.

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must read

loved it, thank god she got justice
Christopher her angel 😇 family secret
lovely

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  • Mama of Roses
  • 22-03-21

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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  • Jessica
  • 26-12-21

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.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Shenelle
  • 12-11-21

Eh, it was so-so

The performance would be really loud, then so quiet I couldn't hear it. Annoying.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Nicole K Wright
  • 30-07-21

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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  • Amy DeHaan
  • 12-04-22

Just not for me- TW child abuse

I didnt make it too far into this one, just too much child abuse. I understand it’s apart of her story and it’s flat out what happened, I just couldnt listen any longer. Sorry. So so sad those terrible things happened to that poor child.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Betty on Whidbey Island
  • 03-02-22

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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  • Tae
  • 19-11-22

Heart Wrenching, Emotional, Traumatic… Relief

TW: This book contains incestual CSA directly involving Mother

Wow just wow. This book. I have Mother included CSA myself and have found peace in listening to Childhood Abuse Memoirs. When I started this book, I didn’t know what to expect, but it wasn’t quite this. I won’t give anymore spoilers besides of the Mother being directly involved in the actions, but I found this book very therapeutic. It helped me feel.. not so alone or hopeless.

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  • Kimberly
  • 17-11-22

My heart breaks for Maureen

but, she prevailed thru the most harmful years by the ones who were supposed to protect her the most.

worth the credit

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  • Carole
  • 08-10-22

inspiring

similar to my childhood, very healing and inspiring. always love a happy ending after such horror.

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  • Tanis Marlin
  • 06-10-22

Not what I expected

Me coming from an abusive childhood just wanted to listen to another survivors story. However her abuse made mine feel like nothing. What a captivating story. I listened to this all in one night as I sewed a quilt. Very very good