I just finished this amazing short read by Mia Marconi. This was Mia Marconi’s second book, her first book is called a child called hope and I reviewed that recently on this blog. The book starts out with Mia and her family moving house, because of what happened to hope she felt that their last house wasnt like a home any longer. So they moved, and started decorating their new house which needed lots of work. Mia had neighbours who she grew very friendly with. Her neighbour Lizzie had two kids just like she did, one of Lizzie’s kids Janet had downes syndrome. Mia really connected with Janet. She accepted her and did not judge her due to her disability as so many others did. Janet helped her through her grief after Hope’s death. One morning Mia found out she was pregnant. 9 months later she had a little girl. Just after Isabella was born, Mia became friendly with another foster carer. This woman wasnt able to have kids and had turned to fostering. She was looking after a 3 year old named India. However India and her foster carer werent bonding. Her foster carer also found Indias mother Amy very difficult to deal with. After 5 months Martine, who was the foster carer, decided fostering just wasnt for her. She had gone into it to fulfil an emotional need and it hadnt worked out. So she decided that she was going to go to romania and adopt a child from there, as it was 1990 and the height of the romanian orphanage fiasco. It was decided that as Mia had been Martine’s confident and support worker, and knew India that India would go live with her and Mia would become her full time foster parent. Mia noticed that India wasnt able to interact like a normal child. But when she came to live with her she copied Mias kids and eventually was able to play and do normal things that kids do. Amy Indias mom was an alcoholic. When India had lived with her she’d spent all day every day drinking, the flat they lived in was filthy, India was neglected. At first Amy was allowed to see India every three weeks. Over time Mia built up a bond with Amy and Amy began to tell her about her past. She had had a very unhappy childhood. her stepdad Mike had sexually abused her. He was found out and recieved a prison sentence of 18 months but when he got out he moved back in with amys mom and started abusing her all over again. Her mother knew and did nothing to stop it. Eventually social services found out and removed amy and her siblings and sent them all to childrens homes. When amy was 12 and on her way home from school one day her stepdad Mike bundled her into a car and took her to a wooded area and raped her as an act of revenge for his prison sentence. After that Amy began drinking to numb the pain and forget what had happened. Thats where her alcoholism started and things spiraled from there. At 18 she aged out and began to live independently but not knowing how to care for herself and what to do she just continued drinking and spiraling out of control. Mia tried desperately to help her but to no avail. One night she got a call that Amy was on her fourth floor windowledge saying she was going to kill herself and she didnt want to talk to anyone except Mia. Mia went to her flat and calmed her down so that she didnt do it. After that night she stepped back a lot and put some distance between her and Amy. Then a couple weeks later the police came knocking on her door. They searched her whole house. Mia had no clue why and so she rang Luke Amys brother. Luke said Mike had been murdered and Amy was suspected of killing him. Her and her two brothers were arrested. Before they were arrested though Amy came to Mias house and told her what happened. She hadnt killed her stepdad. Neither had her brothers. But someone had and she was relieved. But since he was on the sex offenders register and lots of families had it in for him it could have been anyone. No one was ever charged for his murder. Not long after that Amy tried to commit suicide again and was sectioned. It was while she was in hospital that she met max, her new social worker. He was really good to her and got her on the road to recovery. After coming out of hospital she attended AA meetings, she took parenting classes, she went to therapy. She started to get her life back on track. Her access to India started up again and Mia showed her as best as she could how to be a mother, and what to do. Amy had a long time boyfriend Archie who had always stuck by her and loved India as if she was his own daughter. Eventually a decision was made that India should be sent back to live with Amy and Archie. She was 10 by now and had been in care with Mia for 7 years. The move went smoothly and India was happy to go live with her mom finally. Despite everything she loved her mom and that showed all throughout the book. The book ends when the move is complete so we dont find out the outcome whether it was a success or not. As I said its a short story so you could probably read it in about an hour if you sat down and continuously read it. I loved it and would recommend it to any foster parent, social worker, or anyone who likes this type of book.