Absolutely fantastic book explaining and describing the implications and effects of physical, emotional and sexual abuse that can continue on from relationships, even after leaving through professionals and courts. How people (not just mums but dads also) can be controlled by using their children as pawns to exert more pain and suffering. The book describes how Iris and her daughter manage to get away from the ex partner/father abuse but actually 5 years later they are still under control by professionals and courts he has tried to command. He then applies to court to try and take away the daughter, get direct contact and completely pull apart the mother through telling lies to everyone - saying she is an alcoholic, druggie, irresponsible, making up about her daughters illnesses. The heartbreak, the worry, the long term effects for both mother and child unfolds. The story details the process of separated parent course, whereby parents are told bed wetting and distress is normal when contact occurs and they have to force their children into contact whether they want to or not. It explains what CAFCASS does, through a good worker and a bad worker, where they try and take over everything and always side with one parent. It explains the financial burden of fighting court with solicitors, barristers. Overall it shows the upset at every letter, email and even knock at the door. It really took over their whole lives and when the professionals say don't let it... how can it not?! I really hope this is not a true story for the author but sadly know many that have gone through the same thing. A change is needed to put children first, not the abuser or the court judges or cafcass but to really listen to the children. Great book. Look forward to reading more. Will definitely recommend. Thank you Lily for writing this book.
by Amy Claire
First, I want to thank Lily Llewellyn, Madador, and NetGalley for providing me with this book so I may bring you this review.
In the Best Interest of the Child by Lilly Llewllyn is a book that will make you rethink about jumping into any serious relationship without getting to know your partner first. Your heart will be pulled into so many different directions for a few different characters and I guarantee you will loathe one too.
Warning this book contains the following topics that may trigger some readers: domestic abuse, mentions of self-harm, substance abuse, panic attacks, manipulation, emotionally abusive, psychologically abusive, controlling spouse, and nasty custody battle for an innocent little girl.
This book interested me right from the prologue however I was hooked by the first chapter!! Lilly really jumps into the story and brings you into it! She obviously was very passionate about the characters and the storyline as it came out in each character. However, I saw it more in Rosie and Ilsa. It was these two characters that pulled on my heart strings for so many reasons. I wanted to leap into the book and give them each a hug!
One part of the book I could relate to was when she kept having GI issues due to stress. With the amount of stress she was under I can see why she would have a flair up. I get massive migraines and stress can be a trigger. In the book there are letters back and forth from her doctors and other authority figures about this. Sadly, even little Rosie inherited her GI disease.
This book is dedicated to Lilly’s daughter who has been a light in her dark. She also wants to thank her friends and family who have helped her remain sane.
by HeidiLynn's BookReviews
Those of us who lived to tell know this story -sadly- all too well.
The courts are broken and attempting to be free and keep your children free from harm results in many cases women losing their children. Why?
Because those they are fleeing are determined to make their lives a living hell if they leave them and certainly with child(ren).
I know I too ran for my life and I too faced the same hysterics, false accusations, smear campaigns to ruin my name by the very person I was thought I loved and my husband (at that time) 0f ll yrs with three kids.
In the end it's about the kids as primary caregivers (mostly women) are often left to pick up the broken pieces from these types of toxic relationships.
Where do they go from here? How can they survive? How will they thrive?
This is a must read. It shows in remarkable fashion just how broken our courts are and believe me it's not just in the UK or abroad it's here in the good ol USA!
We need to listen to women and children and help them fleeing abuse not hamper their efforts and make it worse.
by Donna Hines
Isla could have made it easy for her and Rosie and taken a way out by ending their lives, but as a mother, she stayed strong for her daughter and chose to fight. Isla was in an abusive and manipulative relationship when she fell pregnant with Rosie. For Rosie and her safety, she decided to leave him and went to stay in a shelter and try and build a new life for her. That was until Richard found them and decided to take her to court citing that she was a bad influence on their daughter. This led to a long lengthy process of court visits, social workers, health professionals as during this we see that Isla is not only fighting a dangerous disease herself but that her daughter Rosie at only 2 has a truckload of health problems and at one point it was touch and go for Rosie. Reading this my heart yearned for Isla as she was trying to do everything for her daughter's safety and because her husband was a manipulative male, he is seen as the victim, not her. This was a hard book at times, and I just wanted to scream at the lawyers and social workers and the judges as Isla and Rosie could not get a fricking break. I did love that after all their journey, they did prevail and all I can say is that if Isla were a "real person" she would be my ideal mother figure as she fought with tooth and nail to save the only person she knew was important - her daughter despite her medical issues. In the best interests of the child is a compelling story that shows indeed what a mother's love is and the lengths they will go for their children. I now have the author's book Kind on my kindle, but not sure if it will measure up to In the Best Interests of the Child as this will be a hard book to beat.
Hi, my name is Lily Llewellyn. I live in the wilds of the English countryside with my beautiful, talented, autistic daughter, who has been a light in the darkest of places and who continues to amaze me every single day!
My writing has been inspired by real life events and personal experiences. I hope to raise awareness, understanding and bring about positive change through the issues and themes dealt with in my books: Domestic Violence, Coercive Control, Autism, Disability and The Family Court System.