My Life from the Beginning by Violet Prater

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My Life from the Beginning by Violet Prater

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Category: Autobiography
Rating: 2.5/5
Reviewer: Sue Magee
Reviewed by Sue Magee
Summary: An inspiring story of how a woman rose above the constraints of a loveless childhood.
Buy? Maybe Borrow? Yes
Pages: 126 Date: June 2016
Publisher: AuthorHouse
ISBN: 978-1524636739

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Violet Prater is 83 and she's decided to tell us her story. She knows that there are grammar and spelling errors, but she wants to tell the story her way without any interference from an editor. I can understand that and I recognise the honesty behind her words. Her story's important because it illustrates that child abuse can extend beyond beatings and sexual abuse.

When Violet and her twin sister Rose were born, Dorothy was left for dead and when their father came in from doing the milking he told the doctor to ignore the babies which could be replaced and concentrate on his wife, who could not. But the two babies survived and along with their elder brother moved into a council house in Esher. Violet captures her mother perfectly, with the kitchen she called a scullery and the living room she referred to as the kitchen. She has an eye for how it really was in the period between the wars - a time often looked back on with nostalgia, unless you were there at the time. But there was something a little different about this family: Violet's mother never realised that getting married meant having children - and she never wanted children anyway.

It was a childhood devoid of parental love with no help given in the way of education, but the human spirit is resilient and Violet was determined to make her own way in life despite interference from her parents who were very much of the opinion that Violet owed them more than they owed her. It's very much to Violet's credit that she looked after her parents when - with all the history between them - it would have been easy to walk away. Professionally, Violet made her way in the retail industry, beginning with front of shop and moving into management. On the way she gained considerable expertise in payroll management and was at the forefront of the introduction of scanning. I'll confess that I hadn't realised how complex the introduction of the technology was.

Childhood leaves scars on us all and despite Violet's many successes I was struck by the fact that she seems never to have seriously considered marriage or motherhood herself. She and her twin, Dot, still live together and she obviously has a wide circle of friends and full life. I enjoyed reading her story, particularly when I saw how she rose above the constraints of her childhood and I was constantly impressed by her memory for detail. It's an inspiring read.

I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to the Bookbag.

If this book appeals then we think that you might also enjoy Before and After: Reminiscences of a Working Life by Edith Morley.

You can read more about Violet Prater here.

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Buy My Life from the Beginning by Violet Prater at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy My Life from the Beginning by Violet Prater at


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