Good Me, Bad Me by Ali Land (first published in 2017 by Penguin Random House)

Milly used to be Annie. But can a new identity erase her past? Or eliminate the abuse she suffered for so many years? The invisible chains still cling to her like cellophane does to the skin.

All Milly wants is not be like her mother.

Her mother is a killer.

Milly gave up her mother to the police after years of witnessing her coerce toddlers into their home – to be murdered.

After handing her mother over to the police she was hoping for a release, that her mum would own less of her. That she would be free to be whoever she wanted to be. An artist, maybe? She’s already been told she has the talent.

The guilt consumes her. Her foster parents and a few select members in her “new world” know her real story, but revealing herself completely to new friends like Morgan, is difficult. It is truly gut-wrenching to read.

Will they think she is like her mum? Creep. Weirdo. Psycho. They look exactly alike. Everyone’s going to find out. Will they all reject her?

Author Ali Land, who has worked for over a decade as a Child and Adolescent Mental Health Nurse, delves into the dark and grey matter that defines the psyche of an abused child. Plagued by ambivalence, the child is torn between the guilt of somehow abandoning the abusive parent and at the same time wanting to have nothing to do with them ever again.

Should she have spoken up earlier? She could have prevented so many deaths. And, blood is thicker than water – should she have spoken up at all?

Her mother even taught her tricks of the trade, like eye drops turn poisonous when put into tea. Did she want Milly to one day carry on her work perhaps - for the family?

Yet now, before going to trial where she will face her mother in court, she finds her mum owns even more of her now than ever before. It consumes her thoughts and even induces her to have bone-chilling anxiety attacks.

A fantastic psychological thriller for those seeking a glimpse into how abuse entraps, fractures and continues to haunt the victims even well after the actual abuse has ended.

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