Foster carer Maggie Hartley faces one of the toughest challenges of her career when she is forced to choose between two children in her care.
THE SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER
At just ten years old, Kirsty has already suffered a lifetime of heartache and suffering. Neglected by her teenage mother and taken into care, Kirsty thought she had found her forever family when she is fostered by Pat and Mike, who she comes to see as her real mum and dad.
But when Pat has a heart attack and collapses in front of her, Kirsty's foster family say it's all her fault. They blame her temper tantrums for putting Pat under stress and they don't want Kirsty in their lives anymore.
Kirsty is still reeling from this rejection when she comes to live with foster carer Maggie Hartley. She acts out, smashing up Maggie's home and even threatens to hurt the baby boy Maggie has fostered since birth. Social Services must take Kirsty's threat seriously and Maggie is forced to choose between eight-month-old Ryan, who she's grown to love, or angry Kirsty, who will most likely end up in a children's home if Maggie can no longer care for her.
Maggie is in an impossible position, one that calls in to question her decision to become a foster carer in the first place...
Maggie Hartley has fostered more than 300 children while being a foster carer for over twenty years. Taking on the children other carers often can't cope with, Maggie helps children that are deemed 'unadoptable' because of their behaviour or the extreme trauma that they've been through. She's looked after refugees, supported children through sexual abuse and violence court cases, cared for teenagers on remand and taught young mums how to parent their newborn babies.