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Will You Love Me by Cathy Glass Q&A - ANSWERS BACK

(48 Posts)
RachelMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 26-Sep-13 12:43:44

This week's book giveaway is the latest instalment of bestselling author and foster carer Cathy Glass' memoir. Will You Love me tells the story of Cathy's adopted daughter Lucy.

Lucy was eleven years old when she moved to live with Cathy and was severely distressed after being moved from one foster home to another. Withdrawn, refusing to eat and three years behind in her schooling, it was thought that the damage Lucy has suffered would be irreversible. But Cathy was able to break through to Lucy and she was able to provide her with the loving home she never believed existed. Cathy and Lucy believe they were always destined to be mother and daughter it just took them a little while to find each other.

Cathy has been a foster carer for over 25 years, during which time she has looked after more than 100 children, of all ages and backgrounds. The name Cathy Glass is a pseudonym.

Apply for a free copy of Will you love me and come back to this thread to discuss the book and post a question to Cathy about the book or her experiences as a foster carer. Closing date for posting questions is Sunday 27 October and we'll post up her answers on 4 November.

Madlizzy Fri 27-Sep-13 10:28:30

Me please! I love Cathy Glass.

Pandorassox Fri 27-Sep-13 13:12:55

Hoping you pick me to receive one of the copies, I'm a huge fan of Cathy Glass books! smile

Mitopher Fri 27-Sep-13 14:39:48

Cathy glass is a fabulous author , I have several of her books. After going through the care system myself then working with social services. I love reading her material, fantastic .

RebeccaSMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 03-Oct-13 10:59:04

The book giveaway is now closed. We'll email the 50 people who have been selected to receive books as soon as we hear from the publishers that they have been sent out.

givemeaboost Thu 10-Oct-13 23:30:44

Read the book yesterday, very well written, very similar to my experience of being repeatedly being let down by the system.
However, I am puzzled by one aspect- after bonnie flees the launderette, you say she receives a text from lucys father saying his flights leaving - I was under the impression lucy is now a women in her mid twenties and therefor it would've been about 1986 at the time she was born? - but text messages were not invented till 1992....confused

aristocat Mon 14-Oct-13 11:36:59

Also had this book, just started to read it so will report back soon smile

shrinkingnora Tue 15-Oct-13 00:51:38

I really enjoyed this book. I found the language a little dry to start with but ended up really liking the technical jargon used. I thought that the author did very well to state facts in a (mostly) non judgmental way. It didn't feel at all sensationalist, rather a calm retelling of a sad story.

I ended up reading the book in one sitting as I really needed to know what happened next. I thought that Cathy's love for Lucy really shone through in the writing, such a nice change fom the media painting all troubled children as evil.

moldingsunbeams Tue 15-Oct-13 01:04:30

I picked up on that givemeaboost, were pagers around maybe confused

Elainey1609 Tue 15-Oct-13 20:35:03

Have just started to read the book this evening and can't seem to put it down
I'm really hooked. Will probably finish it tomorrow .
Like the character of lucy enjoy her development
Thank you for the book
Will report back again when I finish it

Picturesinthefirelight Tue 15-Oct-13 21:59:32

Despite the subject matter I found this book very easy to read.

It would have been so easy to sensationalise the subject or be very judgmental but it was written in such a non judgmental way yet you were still able to picture the events and feel for the people involved.

The tone was just right and you saw the good & bad sides if everyone. I felt explanati of the care system

Picturesinthefirelight Tue 15-Oct-13 22:00:59

I felt the explanation of the care system was thorogh& interesting without becoming lists of procedures that you often find in books based in true stories.

It held my interest throughout.

BlackSusie2004 Wed 16-Oct-13 01:37:39

So pleased to win this book in your giveaway. I've been a fan of Cathy Glass for many years and had already eyed up Will You Love Me? when I was in the supermarket. Lucy has been a feature of all Cathy's books, as her adopted daughter, and it was great to find out her back story. As always the book was very readable and Cathy, as a foster carer, writes the book from a neutral perspective, just using the facts, it's all too easy to leave the inevitable emotions to the reader.

mummyofmany8 Wed 16-Oct-13 10:07:21

thank you for the book ,i have started to read it,i have read a couple of books by Cathy Glass and it is nice to hear more about Lucy.I am a foster carer also and an adoptive mum and to have so much detail on Lucys early days is fantastic as a lot of children dont have this .cant wait to read the rest

Helbel78 Wed 16-Oct-13 10:55:11

Found this book a little hard to get into, but once I got going I quite enjoyed it

givemeaboost Wed 16-Oct-13 11:49:14

would love to hear the response to my question- when something within in book is incorrect, it makes you wonder if the rest of the book is credible iyswim and that matters in a book like this one.

fuddle Thu 17-Oct-13 19:09:16

I read this book very quickly. and enjoyed it. I liked the way it was written in a matter of fact way which was very effective. It demonstrates how it really takes a very special person to foster. I too have been through the care system but after reading this book consider my self to be very very lucky.

mum2jakie Thu 17-Oct-13 21:23:32

Thanks for my copy Mumsnet.

I have never read any of Cathy Glass books before. To be honest, I expected them to be quite bleak and harrowing so they were something that I avoided.

Lucy's story, simply retold by Cathy, is anything but bleak. It is certainly sad and it is clear, with the benefit of hindsight, where opportunities to intervene were missed by individuals and professionals but the book didn't come across as an attack on the services involved (even when it is abundantly clear what Cathy's feelings were about one of the key social workers involved in the case.)

I felt that the processes and legal issues involved were explained clearly without overwhelming a layperson or distracting from the personal story. I also liked the way in which Lucy's history was retold in a chronological method and that Lucy's mother wasn't either demonised or victimised. The circumstances and Bonnie's issues were acknowledged but there was also the recognition that Bonnie just couldn't give Lucy an appropriate level of care due to her own poor upbringing and lack of consistent support.

The only element that I found a little disappointing was that the actual adoption process was barely covered and really seemed to be a last minute brief mention. I think the positive adoption element, particularly for an older child, is what makes Lucy's experience such a positive and inspiring account and would like to have read a little more about those final assessments and panels etc and Lucy's feelings about it all as the adoption finally became a reality.

I would also like to hear a little more of Lucy's voice as a young adult and would be interested to hear how much of an input Lucy had into how her story was portrayed. Cathy, I would love to hear your answer to that. Thanks.

Tonkatol Sat 19-Oct-13 12:45:35

Have received this book and will be starting it later. I am intrigued to read both how Lucy and "Cathy" found one another but also gain an understanding into how the fostering and adoption system works, as to me it seems to regularly let children down.

AugustRose Sat 19-Oct-13 22:04:17

My views on this book are mixed. I found Lucy’s story desperately sad and imagining what happened to her during the long periods when social services had no contact was upsetting. It was a relief to reach the section where she arrives at Cathy’s house, as at least I knew there was a happy ending. Cathy’s description of the workings of the care system was very informative and I think it was important to show that things don’t always work as they should, especially in Lucy’s case.

However I am not keen on the way the story and Cathy’s portrayal of events is written. I found the domestic setting too perfect, even with children being used to having foster children in the house regularly there will always be jealousy and resentment on occasion. Having not read any of her other books I don’t know if this they way she always writes or whether it’s because it’s the story of the child she adopted. She paints a blissful household where she is doing everything right when others have not lived up to their jobs, and she is congratulated on numerous occasions. I do not doubt her caring nature and capacity as a foster carer but found her words distracting at times and had to stop reading to think about what she had said.

The thing that really stopped my enjoyment of the happy ending, and this is not to say that Lucy deserves anything but a happy ending, is that towards the end of the book Cathy makes reference to starting to foster again. She mentions a little girl called Alice who comes to stay but won’t say anymore because “I tell Alice’s story in my book I Miss Mummy“ – I found that quite distasteful. To write a book about a girl you love so much that you adopt her and interrupt her happy ending to promote another book you have written.

AugustRose Sat 19-Oct-13 22:15:15

givemeaboost I was confused by the text thing too. Also she says that Lucy came to live with them in February and was 11 and in secondary school. She later mentions her birthday in September – if she was 11 the previous September then she couldn’t have been in secondary school, she would still be in primary. It is a little inaccuracy but seemed to stand out.

verap Mon 21-Oct-13 16:43:43

I am reading at the moment and really like it so far.....

PatriciaPT Mon 21-Oct-13 17:00:59

My first taste of Cathy Glass - may well not be my last. A fascinating, disturbing, moving story well and clearly written. None of the horrors of Lucy's earlier life came as any surprise - as a follower of Kids' Company and a reasonably observant human being, I was already well aware of the almost insurmountable awfulness of life for some children (and adults). But I found myself just as moved by Cathy and Lucy's story as if I had read the book from an uninformed perspective - sorrow, anger, indignation, laughter, incredulity - all were stirred up repeatedly. A good and informative read, leaving me wanting to see so much change in society and wondering what I could do to help.

scarlet5tyger Mon 21-Oct-13 20:34:48

Thank you MN for posting this in the foster carers section - we've discussed Cathy Glass and her authenticity several times and its interesting to be able to post questions. I hope NanaNina comes along with some of her insight too!

These are the questions I personally would like "Cathy" to answer:

1. How does changing a child's name adhere to the (very) strict confidentiality clauses that foster carers have to sign up to? Surely the child and their families at the very least will be able to recognise themselves, not to mention teachers, link workers, support staff, health professionals, social workers...

2. How do the children feel about their stories being sold? Was their permission sought?

3. Is any of the (presumably huge) amount of money made from the book given back to the children whose stories have been sold?

4. How does a foster carer find time to write so many books, at such an incredible pace? Even with my "easiest" placements I barely had time to write a few comments on Mumsnet at the end of a day, never mind write a novel!

5. How are dates and times from events spanning 25 years presented so accurately 25 years later? Any diaries/log books kept are supposed to be handed over at the end of a placement, and a personal diary shouldn't be full of dates and statements about a foster child.

Hopefully other carers will be along with more questions too.

aristocat Mon 21-Oct-13 20:54:21

I had never read any Cathy Glass books before.

This book was fantastic!
You are an inspiration to us all smile and it is brilliant to be able to see that children with such a bad start (like Lucy who have been let down by the care system) can have a happy-ever-after. It is a heartbreaking, sensitive book and you truly are an amazing lady.

I shall be reading your books again, thank you. Can I ask if you will be writing any that do not involve fostering?

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