Somehow, amazingly, despite terrible abuse in his own home, against all odds, a little child manages to grow up. And we get to read his or her story, because of an incredible survival.
Somehow, amazingly, when that person was still a little, defenseless child, a school teacher or someone belonging to institutions aimed to protect the weak, turned a blind eye (to say the least).
Somehow, amazingly, the particular child in this autobiography was even part of a "study" about the poor in London at the time (1960s). The NSPCC got involved. Pictures were taken by one of the most famous photographers in the world and his entourage for fund-raising purposes. A noble and respectable intent, aimed to help other children like him.
But. Somehow, amazingly, nothing changed for this particular baby, Peter Roche, nor for his siblings. Nothing. Granted that his image was utilized to help others, how could he himself (or his siblings) be forgotten?
This book will make you swallow twice and stare into space reading the atrocities Peter had to go through, along with his numerous siblings, at the hands of their parents. And not only.
The photograph on the book cover speaks for itself. The book begins and ends with it. As hard as I try to take into consideration certain aspects of this story, which could "explain", marginally, the lack of action by the authorities or institutions aware of the Roche family (such as the historic frame at the time -1960s- things have certainly changed for the better these days), I still think there are no valid excuses. It is incredible that not even an attempt was made to help out. The "explanations" Peter was given as he discovered this picture of himself decades later sound lame to say the least.
Still. Peter was able to tell his side of the story and to come to terms with his past. I truly hope that the photograph of himself, which has helped many others in the past and moved the public, is now deservingly serving its purpose to Peter himself and hopefully to other neglected, abused children.