Author(s): Chris Cleave


You aren't stupid. You know there's no such thing as a perfect mother. Plenty of other books will tell you there is, but this one won't lie to you. I was weak and I cheated and I was punished, but my god I loved my child through all of it. Love means you never break, and it means you're stronger than the things they do to you. I know this is true because I have been through fire, and I am the proof that love survives. I am not a perfect mother but I will tell you the perfect truth, because this is you and me talking. This is my story.


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Winner of Somerset Maugham Award 2006. Shortlisted for Commonwealth Writers' Prize 2006.

'Stunning... a haunting work of art.' -- Newsweek 20051101 'Chris Cleave has the ability to create moving and beautiful scenes within a terrifying backdrop. I couldn't put it down; it's subversive, thought-provoking and well-written.' -- Observer, Books of the Year 20051101 'Richly sardonic and often disarmingly poignant... How can one fail to be impressed and moved?' -- Guardian 20050720 'Cleave's heroine is by turns funny, sad, flawed, sympathetic, both damaged and indomitable, and triumphantly convincing.' -- Sunday Telegraph 20050901 'Stunning' -- New York Times AND International Herald Tribune AND Bookmarks Magazine 20050801 'This is a compulsive read, sure to stir the dust' -- CITY AM 20050801 'Searing. poignant and compelling. Utterly believable and mesmerizing' -- Newsday 20050801 'Dark, tense and undeniably provocative' -- Metro 20050801 'Hilariously sympathetic and convincing' -- San Francisco Chronicle 20050801 'Mesmerizing' -- Washington Post 20050801

Chris Cleave is married with three children, and lives in Kingston-upon-Thames. He keeps a website at and can be found on

General Fields

  • : 9780340998489
  • : Hachette Australia
  • : Hachette Australia
  • : April 2009
  • : 198mm X 129mm X 21mm
  • : United Kingdom
  • : March 2013
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : Modern fiction
  • : 352
  • : 823.92
  • : en
  • : 1
  • : Paperback
  • : Chris Cleave