The Girl in the Wicker Basket by Ann Kenny
When Ann Kenny was four years old her foster mother hit her across the face with a fireplace shovel. She was left lying unconscious on the cold hard floor while the family went to mass. She almost lost an eye.
This is just one of the childhood incidents Ann recalls in her vivid, shocking memoir of growing up in rural Ireland, in a house where she wasn't wanted. Her early story is Cinderella-like, but without the happy ending: she had two older sisters who were loved, but Ann was put to work on household chores and received constant neglect and physical abuse, and sexual abuse from her grandfather. On growing up Ann found it hard to escape the shadows of her past, marrying an alcoholic and effectively raised her children herself.
Ann eventually found the road to recovery and her book is a testament to the strength of a survivor. She began writing the book as she set to find out who was the tiny child she remembered left in a wicker basket - that child turned out to be herself.