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Book Giveaway: Nowhere to Go by Casey Watson

(24 Posts)
TinaMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 17-Nov-14 16:21:05

Our second giveaway this week is the shocking true story of Tyler, an abused eleven-year-old who, after stabbing his step-mother, had nowhere else to go.

Expertly told by bestselling author and foster carer Casey Watson Nowhere to Go tells the story of a child forsaken by his family but fought for by his foster carers.

Click here to find out more and apply for a free copy.

Don't forget that if you're lucky enough to receive a free copy of Nowhere to Go we do ask that you tell us what you thought about the book, or write a review here

superbagpuss Mon 17-Nov-14 16:23:20

This is an amazing author - check out her other books - really good reading

ButchCassidy Sun 21-Dec-14 19:11:40

I have received my copy.
I have started reading smile
I'm finding it hard going. It's not my normal kind of book and I'm finding it a bit hard to read.
Almost like this should be private not out there for everyone to read

VIPmarya212 Mon 22-Dec-14 10:48:32

Received my copy. Will start reading it soon

SE13Mummy Mon 22-Dec-14 17:41:21

Received my copy on Friday, read it in a single sitting on Saturday.

It's not an easy-going read, that's for sure, and definitely falls into the 'misery' genre which is no real surprise given the subject matter. It was an interesting read rather than an enjoyable one and, to me, there wasn't enough depth to any of the characters...I realise that if it truly is based upon one of Casey's actual foster children then a) it's not really her story alone to tell and b) the importance of the anonymity of the child absolutely overrides the importance of an in-depth character portrayal.

Although I'm glad I read the story, it just didn't feel wholly true; loose ends were tied up neatly, school was straightforward, everyone lived happily ever after etc. etc. Knowing a bit about the care system and a bit about schools, it seems improbable that this story is true. It's this that bothers me; if it's true, then it isn't Casey Watson's tale to tell, if it isn't true then why bother pretending?

All in all, an unsettling read but not necessarily because of the storyline! It's not a book/author I'll be rushing out to buy (or recommending to my social worker mother).

ButchCassidy Mon 22-Dec-14 20:03:24

I totally agree. Subject matter was tough. But it was a bit blah
Won't be reading anymore of her books.

superbagpuss Wed 24-Dec-14 19:06:36

I read this book in a couple of hours

I think Casey is different from others in the misery genre because her stories ring true and are not purely about feeding on others misery

I found it interesting to read

philipa1000 Thu 25-Dec-14 10:26:08


You are quite right in your assertion that this is not Casey Watson's story to tell and that is why it does not ring true. in fact I read the real account of this story on the HarperCollins website in 2010. The arrogance and abuse of Casey Watson in using the abuse of others for monetary gain is spectacular. HarperCollins is aware of this and is complicit.

rachnicuk Sun 28-Dec-14 18:46:27

As a Foster Carer myself I found this a good read and was able to relate to certain aspects of the story. I found it hard to put down and shed a tear at the end. I think this is Caseys best so far smile

Reebs123 Sun 28-Dec-14 19:05:35

I've read one of these books before and so was bracing myself for the cruelness inflicted on Tyler, the eleven year old. The neglect, physical and mental cruelty he was put through was upsetting to read about. I found this book heart-breaking to read and did shed tears here and there. I found Casey Watson's writing pleasant to read.

daughterandmother Sun 28-Dec-14 19:43:07

I was not happy when my social worker daughter entered this book giveaway (she was curious about the true life! aspect) and having read the dedication I could not go any further. How can any person dedicate a book to survivors of child abuse while abusing them for 'monetary gain.' as mentioned in the post above.

'Casey's best so far.' sums up the pornographic nature of this book. It is sensationalist, voyeuristic and if true highly unethical. This is HarperCollins scraping the bottom of the barrel.

According to my daughter there is enough clear detail in this book for the child and any professional involved in this story to recognise themselves. So I have to concur with those who take the view that this true story is stolen from a survivor of child abuse.

BlackSusie2004 Mon 12-Jan-15 13:44:46

I've read quite a few Casey Watson books, but have always preferred Cathy Glass's books on this subject.
The books are always harrowing and are an eye-opener on how different life can be. This book is no different.
In a way as well, this book is heart warming that she was there to care for Tyler, but the horrific story of his life in his first 11 years was cruel beyond belief.
I take on board what other reviewers have written regarding the monetary gain from abuse, and while I don't believe anyone should get rich from this, I do think it's good to get the message out to the general public about just how bad abuse can be.

Sarahball999 Tue 13-Jan-15 21:50:41


Are you seriously suggesting that these pulp books are 'harrowing and an eye-opener on how different life can be.' To be honest I think SE13Mummy has hit the proverbial nail on the head. The characters in these books are shallow. unconvincing and the day-to-day dealing with schools and other authorities do not reflect the reality of life. Neither Casey Watson, Cathy Glass or any other alleged foster carer can possibly know how a child is feeling and convey that in a book. Yet they attempt to use the 'misery' of children as a major selling point.

The endings are the same in these books so how can they be an eye opener into anyone's world except the world of avaricious publishers, editors and so-called authors. The only way emotion can be conveyed is via first hand accounts. Also the public get to understand child abuse when such cases are reported on in the media and are investigated, this story would definitely have been reported on in the media. It is an insult to even imply that such stories only happen in the tawdry world of these misery writers. What I find eye opening are many of the comments on these threads with possible explanations at to where these true stories come from.

The lesson publishers should learn from the feedback on this forum is that you cannot take another persons story especially a child's and make it your own, it does not work. Sorry Susie but this type of publishing is all about boosting the bank balances and egos of people who are out to make a quick buck at the expense of others.

paigeworcester Fri 23-Jan-15 10:04:55

Hear, Hear, Hear, Sarahball999 SE13Mummy and others on these threads for speaking their minds.

The endless stream of this misery porn/porn for paedophiles from Cathy Glass, Casey Watson, Rosie Lewis, and others isn't publishing it's the demonization of children. These people have no interest in children apart from making money from them, that is why they remain anonymous under the protection of Harper Collins. No reputable author would associate themselves with this misery porn.

Sarahball999 Wed 28-Jan-15 09:03:33

Thank you kindly paigeworcester for your response.

When I first read the posts on this thread I thought some of the language was a bit strong, eg, daughterandmother's use of the word stolen and philipa1000's use of the words arrogant and abuse. Then I asked myself what is the difference between stealing a purse from someone's bag, burgling a house or deciding to steal another person's deeply personal and traumatic experiences? The answer has to be none. They are all thieves, and are well aware of the consequences of their actions.

Of course, in the world of publishing it is acceptable to research stories, make them your own and submit them to publishers even though you have had no personal involvement in those stories whatsoever. Is there a market for this porn? Obviously. What sort of people read them? I think you have answered that question eloquently.

clarejenks Mon 02-Feb-15 10:51:33


Having read both these threads with great interest I hope you will find this little snippit eye opening. I noticed in the HarperCollins review for the original book the reviewer mentioned the Harper True Team, obviously because the original story is true. However, Casey Watson is published under Harper Elements, clearly, because she takes elements of truth from what other authors have experienced.

To summarise, HarperCollins set up an online writing community, invite authors to upload their memoirs under the Harper True genre (imprint), select the ones on interest and publish them under their Harper Elements imprint, penned by their anonymous authors. Wow, Cathy Glass, Casey Watson, Rosie Lewis and others don't have to do much for their money do they.

Sarahball999 Tue 03-Feb-15 13:14:26

Clare Yes, I take your point. On a positive note forums such as this allow for these rather unsavoury practices to be exposed.

What I find particularly nauseating is how Watson and HarperCollins attempt to get credit for these stories, as you pointed out previously. Having read an Amazon review for one of Watson's books she claims that children who have been abused DO go onto abuse others. That's nonsense the majority of people who suffered as children want nothing more than to protect their own children from abuse and make others aware. How contemptuous of Watson to make these claims and suggests she only deals with the most 'damaged' children. So many survivors of child abuse go on to make a success of their life not just by writing about their experiences but in many other ways too. All Watson can do is use their stories to try to get personal attention. Now that is what I call 'damaged.'

Pigeonpea Sat 21-Feb-15 12:05:46

An all too familiar sad tale.
It was a quick read for me, as there is limited depth.
It's was heartening to read how well the social services worked within this case and how linked up they were.

solitudehappiness Mon 09-Mar-15 16:28:14

I loved this book. It was quite hard to read, hearing about how his own family had treated him, and your heart goes out to him. Its quite simplistic, and very easy to read, and you feel that the whole story isn't being told. Did shed a tear or two at times, as it pulls at your heart strings.
Don't think I'd buy any of her books though. I like to read something a bit more meaty, and with more depth.

cathisherwood Tue 10-Mar-15 08:15:23

Perhaps it is unethical to write someone elses story without their permission but it was also Caseys story and I think it amazing that there are people out there who can cope with such damaged children and are willing to try and turn their lives around. A heart rending tale.

ktt5378 Tue 10-Mar-15 09:31:49

This is not an easy read to start with as you feel so sorry for Tyler and the way his 'family' have let him down, however, reading how Casey and her family deal with him and the progress they make made me want to read her other books. Not my normal sort of book but I would definitely recommend it and thank you for sending it to me.

katiewalters Tue 10-Mar-15 16:29:54

I found this book ok.mIt wasn't the easiest read, as you had to read about how his family had treated him, which wasn't nice. Not my usual read, but it was interesting, but not much depth to it

Valski Mon 30-Mar-15 17:37:04

Whilst I have read several of these harrowing reality stories over this years, this is a genre that I typically veer away from. This was ultimately an inspiring read, consuming me completely. It was a compulsive read in two sittings and I couldn't stop before I got to the end - I wanted to know the resolution of this situation. It was an uncomfortable but gripping read.

You always learn something from real life stories of trauma, but I wouldn't want to read too many books I the genre or revisit this world again.

audreyjones Wed 15-Jun-16 07:04:19

Come on Harper Collins, be honest about these pulp fiction books. In this day and age many of us are aware of how publishing houses 'oil their cogs' for profit and how these so-called factual books are researched on the internet indeed many of the glowing reviews for these pulp fiction books are actually written by Harper Collins staff from all departments.

As a social worker I am aware that in real life children who survive such ordeals are not damaged, it is the system that is damaged.

So what are you waiting for Harper Collins, change your culture, instead of relentlessly using these children for profit put their names forward for special awards in recognition of the ordeals they have survived. Anonymity is not a problem and perhaps it's time to bring these 'expert foster carers' out of the woodwork and into the daylight for scrutiny.

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