This powerful memoir by South African Hackney reached our shelves in April this year and continues to sell well. Hackney was adopted as a newborn and was brought up in Pietermaritzburg by her adoptive parents. Tragically, she was never able to bond with her mother, and they had a cold, completely loveless relationship. The emotional neglect she suffered as a young child is difficult to digest. She first started rebelling at age 7 when she set fire to the neighbour’s house out of jealousy, and things basically went downhill from there. At age 13, after being expelled from numerous schools and an ultimatum issued by her mother that she ignored, she was made a ward of the state and spent the rest of her childhood in an industrial school in Paarl for children removed from their families. Hackney was a strong-willed, intelligent child; somehow she emerged intact and went on to create a healthy and successful life for herself. A gripping and well-written account of an extremely difficult start to life, made all the more moving by her candid and objective approach to its telling.