• A Family Secret

  • My Shocking True Story of Surviving a Childhood in Hell
  • By: Maureen Wood
  • Narrated by: Rachel Atkins
  • Length: 7 hrs and 30 mins
  • 4.9 out of 5 stars (486 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Each time my mother laid a finger on me...it was another step into the jaws of hell. Her abuse, more so than any other, destroyed me. It was the ultimate betrayal.

Abused from the age of eight by her older brother and then her step-father, Maureen Wood quickly became numb to the constant suffering. But Maureen’s world crumbled when her own mother started to abuse her too....

A Family Secret is the harrowing true story of how one little girl survived sickening abuse by the people who should have loved her most and how an innocent baby finally saved her.

©2021 Maureen Wood (P)2021 HarperCollins Publishers Limited

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What listeners say about A Family Secret

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Bravery in Spades

The author shares her life with brutal honesty and reveals the darkest of taboos. As someone who has suffered similarly, her story of justice provides hope. Please be aware that this book is filled with triggers and survivors should proceed with caution.

5 people found this helpful

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Amazingly written

It’s difficult to say I enjoyed this book. The trauma inflicted on the author for so many years was horrifying and sad. It was well written, but hard to read. There are some really graphic descriptions of the abuse that I had to take a break from time to time so I didn’t cry. However I am glad that Maureen and people like her speak out and bring abuse like this to light. I only hope that we could help all children who are in such dire situations.

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Excellent

It was an AWESOME Read and I’m so glad you saw it through and your parents and brother got what they DESERVED!!!!

The social services was a DISGRACE!!!!!

2 people found this helpful

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Just not for me- TW child abuse

I didnt make it too far into this one, just too much child abuse. I understand it’s apart of her story and it’s flat out what happened, I just couldnt listen any longer. Sorry. So so sad those terrible things happened to that poor child.

1 person found this helpful

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The triumph of the human spirit. Women are amazing.

Women face so many challenges just from being women in a male-dominated culture that can threaten, undermine, hurt, dismiss, even destroy them. But women like Maureen Wood find their way through and inspire all other women. And hopefully teach men how it can be to be a woman in a violence-prone male world. Excellent memoir. Well-written. Such a brave woman.

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Eh, it was so-so

The performance would be really loud, then so quiet I couldn't hear it. Annoying.

1 person found this helpful

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Absolutely wonderul story of courage

so I don't normally read books and I just started audible a month ago and I've listened to probably five books in a month and this was absolutely the best book I have listened to to date. the courage of this woman this little girl I can't even imagine. my thoughts and my heart is with this woman today. thank you for sharing your story of such courage of all the terrible things that happened to you that should have never happened to you as a baby girl , as a child, and as an adult woman. may God bless you always. and again thank you for sharing....

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Amazing

I’m not going to lie, I was hooked from the moment I started. The amount of times I cried is exhausting. I’m so so proud of the author for all her accomplishments.

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Wonderful book

This book is very well written and wonderfully narrated—wanted to keep listening. The first book I have listened to of this type, and initially was not sure that I would respond well to this subject. However, I am so glad Maureen told her story and that I listened. It is hard for many of us, with blessed childhoods, to begin to understand what many children have had to endure. This book taught me that these traumatic experiences can be buried for years, before surfacing once again. I so, embrace the woman and her family—felt such love for them all. Thank you Maureen for sharing your story—you are loved.

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I felt as though I lived her life

As a little girl she didn’t get help and suffered for it. Why didn’t she tell the Doctors.

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  • Ajay
  • 06-15-21

justice

A courageous lady to bring her abusers to justice. Giving hope to many victims suffering in silence.
The guiltier person in my mind was the Mother in which I use the term loosely.
Her stepdad was a predator making Maureen an easy target.
What confused with the brother they were once so close protecting her yet changed so dramatically I think encouraged largely by the mother I think once he had committed the awful act he too become the monster.

2 people found this helpful

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  • lou
  • 04-17-22

Good but sad

Very good account of her real life abuse, I kept thinking just tell someone but when I thought back to my own childhood abuse (nowhere near as bad as this) I remembered that I didn't tell anybody for years either! Very sad in parts but very honest, well worth a listen if you can cope with the reality.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 01-20-22

so shocking and very sad

a well read but horrifying story, the ultimate courage of the writer is amazing to be able to first tell and then act on such a frank but terrible story with bravery to move forward with her family.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Ross cooper
  • 12-19-21

Captivating and devastating

Maureen’s story shouldn’t exist. It’s hard to listen to at times a tale told with such honesty and raw emotion. The strength held within is the most amazing takeaway from this book

1 person found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 08-29-22

I couldn't stop listening. what a brave lady

it was compelling and disturbing at the same time. brave lady to survive this

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  • Stephen Kemp
  • 08-09-22

A truly courageous author

A truly horrific story, courageously written by a lady whose only mistake was to be born to a sadistic, heartless mother.

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  • Hannah
  • 06-23-22

A family secret ~ my own review

It’s a very honest and heart felt book Maureen worked so hard to get the justice that she completely deserved and she truly is a warrior!
This book is highly recommended!
Completely deserves 5 stars and more!!

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  • Sam
  • 04-22-22

One of the most heart wrenching abuse stories I’ve read.

The author and victim has suffered the most horrific abuse but holds seems to have held herself so well throughout her life. I could not stop listening, the audio was easy to listen to. I had to know she had justice and the end seems to ease all the pain from a readers point of view.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • joseywailer
  • 11-24-21

Amazing

I have no words to describe this book it was extremely graphic My heart went out to Maureen I thank God with the support of her 1st child Christopher that she was able to hold the evils accountable for what they had done to her. the family that you should trust to protect you done the evils. In the end Justice was served I wish Maureen all the best in her life nothing but happiness with her children. Moral to the story: what evil you do in the dark will always come out in the light in the end

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  • Jen
  • 10-25-21

Remarkable story!!

The narrator is fabulous and the writer very skilled. This is a harrowing account of the entire life story of an absolute survivor of sexual abuse and tornent at the hands of not one but three family members including her mother and a system that failed her from the start .... an incredible insightful and inspirational read - highly recommend!

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  • Jo
  • 05-20-21

heartbreaking

Was a very sad story but had a good ending. She was very strong. xox

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 09-14-22

Amazing!!

Could not put this book down
What Maureen went through as a child is unbelievable

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  • Liz Pralica
  • 05-14-22

Wow, what the human body and mind can do!

Hell on earth and she flourished. A very poignant look at abuse of the very worst kind, and the survival of same. You are a wonderful human Tori 💚

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Dale
  • 02-19-22

Horrific child abusr

The story was true. Therefore I read it with interest. The narrator was excellent and very clear. The only fault was that the story went on and on often repeating what was already known. Could have finished a lot sooner.

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  • Jenna Medlen
  • 10-24-21

Heartbreaking

Unbelievable story well narrated, left me feeling like I was hearing Maureen tell the story herself.

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  • karly d.
  • 09-05-21

I wish this book was never written, a devastating story of broken trust and heartache.

I so sorry there was ever a reason to put pen to paper.
Devastating story of trust broken, relationships and future bound by secrets.
Bless little Christopher for the gifts of freedom!
While the story is heartbreaking it’s one of truth and substance, I feel like I could feel what she went through. Well performed and written.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 08-05-21

Shocking

Very sad true story of beautiful young girl being abused by her own family, including her own mother! Evil, evil people. I’m so glad you survived and finally brought these monsters to justice! Well written and narrated.

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