by Rosie Childs - £8.99 Virgin Books (2007)
paperback ISBN 13: 9780753512203 | ISBN 10: 0753512203
When Rosie Childs was born, as Clare Malone, her life was immediately different to those around her - she was a black child in an all-white family and on an all-white Liverpool council, estate in the 1950s, and therefore living proof of her mother's infidelity. Ignored and beaten by her mother's husband, neglected and left to steal bread and milk to feed the younger children, Clare struggled to live a normal childhood. Even when she and her brothers and sisters were taken into care and eventually fostered, she was treated like a troublemaker and shunned for the colour of her skin.
As Clare grew up, she tried to forget her past and flourished as a nanny, but she continued to be unsettled, which led to a breakdown, and spells in a series of dehumanising psychiatric institutions. Through anorexia, physical abuse, alcoholism and homelessness in London, where she discovered the charity Crisis, Clare plumbed the depths of despair before eventually, with support, unlocking deeply buried and shocking secrets and feelings from her childhood, allowing her to begin to live again.
Over the course of her life, Clare often tried to reinvent herself, each time changing her name for a new beginning. Now, as Rosie Childs, she is a confident and positive survivor who has defied the odds to create her own destiny. Her tale of abuse, racism and of being a true outsider is also one of redemption, as Rosie at last finds peace with herself and the colour of her skin.
(Price & availability last checked: June 2018)
In booklists: Black, Asian and Middle Eastern Biography and Autobiography, Bi-Racial / Mixed Race Lives, Local Lives: Liverpool, Childhood Memoirs, Black & Asian Liverpool, Women in Liverpool, Merseyside and the North West, In categories: History & Biography, World - Asia, Black, Asian & Other Diasporas, Anti-Racism, Local Interest, Children & Young People, Feminism & Women,