Book Jacket


rank 5919
word count 10854
date submitted 23.08.2010
date updated 30.07.2012
genres: Non-fiction, Biography, Harper True...
classification: universal


Ellen Bothwick

A true story of sibling reconciliation through Facebook 15years after being ostracised by her family for speaking out to protect her nephew from being abused.


Ellen only read her first book when she was 36 years old! The book was ‘Toxic Parents’ by Susan Forward. To enable her to deal with the events of this story and write this book, she needed to face up to her previously concealed semi literacy.

Whilst this ultimately is a positive and inspiring story, it covering a fifteen year period of an innocent woman being thrown out of her family for making hugely difficult decisions, involving both Police and Social Services, to protect her infant nephew from being subjected to the same horrors that she faced as a child.

Ellen delivers a powerful account of what her life was like including letters, emails and diary extracts, detailing this traumatic period where she was totally ostracised by her entire family, the people you would expect to ‘have been there for her’. She strongly and sensitively tells of the consequences for herself and those around her, arising from speaking out.

The story starts with Ellen, astonishingly, finding a picture of herself on her estranged brother’s Facebook page and her subsequent journey to initial reconciliation with him.

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abuse, cruelty, dyslexia, facebook, family, father, illiteracy, incest, memoire, mother, neglect, new book, new writer, ostracisation, ostracised, ost...

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Telegraph wrote 1270 days ago

Thia is a powerful read. Charcters and and dolouge seem to explode of the pages as we read and this only engages. Tarrant

Cheryl_Shepherd wrote 633 days ago

A wonderful read, well written and with so much emotion. I really enjoyed reading this. Books like this are so worth the time to read to have a taste of someone else's experiences in life.

Do drop by my page and have a look at my book, Our love was not enough. It is my memoirs of raising a mentally damaged adopted child with little to no help from professionals and the devastating outcome.

I wish you all the best with your book I know it will do well.


strachan gordon wrote 978 days ago

Initially an amazing account of the problems of experiencing dyslexia , this is clearly going to branch out into something much darker. I think you write extremely well and bring out the inherent drama of the situation , as if you were a spy in German-Occupied France . I really enjoyed it and was fascinated by your ingenuity . Would you have the time to look at my novel 'A Buccaneer' , which is set amongst Pirates in the 17th century , with best wishes , Strachan Gordon

Kim W. wrote 1055 days ago

I really liked this and I just put you on my shelf to back you:) You drew me in right away and made me want to know more about you. It could use editing, as someone else mentioned, but it's WORTH editing. Nicely done.


(I'd love to get your opinion on my own memoir when you get a chance)

lj reads wrote 1127 days ago

It's been awhile since I've been on here. I've decided to back your book again. I'm hoping to start reading it again within the next few days.

Cristy DeLange wrote 1147 days ago

OOoh, that picture. You are one of so many people who are not believed. I know from experience that the words you've put down on paper didn't came out as easily as it seems here and that the process of writing have assisted you to become who you are now.

Nigel Fields wrote 1183 days ago

Though this story is unique to you, I believe it will strike a chord in many. Elegantly written (though needing some editing--But I understand the concern over uploading edits for early chapters), it is a compelling read. Others have said it, but I will repeat: powerful. Starred well. Best wishes.
John Campbell (Walk to Paradise Garden)

Lenore wrote 1200 days ago

The author has created a compelling personal drama as she rediscovers family and her own place in a family. Heart-wrenching and heart-warming at the same time, this first-person story of possibillity. I was anxious to read this because of my own story of surviving not incest, but family sexual abuse. The difference is my sublimation of not only the abuse but dealing with it psychologically, so this story speaks to me in terms of being ostracized in so many ways and having the confidence and discipline to face the demons and move forward. This is a very moving drama. I was especially moved by the relationship with parents, as I maintained, despite the history. For me, therefore, this is very real. My compliments. Stared and placed as soon as possible.
Surviving the Seaweed

Jedda wrote 1221 days ago

A catharsis for you to write this book no doubt. However the weeks of waiting for police to contact you must have been hard to bear. This is a book for those who too have suffered and for those working with children. I wish you well Regards, Anne

Linda Lou wrote 1259 days ago

OSTRACIZED-Ellen Bothwick
hullo Ellen. Welcome to my shelf and countdown and my read!
Already shelved and backed and starred.
Please take a look at my book and thanks for that if you have.
Linda Lou Long
Southern dis-Comfort

Telegraph wrote 1270 days ago

Thia is a powerful read. Charcters and and dolouge seem to explode of the pages as we read and this only engages. Tarrant

John Warren-Anderson wrote 1276 days ago

The simplicity of your style emphasises the power of this story.

Lockjaw Lipssealed wrote 1289 days ago


This is simply a well written piece. You tell your story well and with a kind of draws the reader into the story from the start.

Well done.


klouholmes wrote 1291 days ago

Hi Ellen, I started reading again at Chapter 5 and found the narration kept tugging back to the concern while it dealt with the other characters in an immediate way. The quandary and how the narrator has to sacrifice these relationships for the warning she feels she should give is aptly told. And the scenes such as that about the Pill.
The only crit would be a little more telling detail about the brother and sister-in-law when the grandfather is taking care of the baby. The kind that might add to the narrator's fear.
Nicely crafted memoir that keeps pace with the issue of separation. Shelved again - Katherine (The Swan Bonnet)

Sly80 wrote 1291 days ago

I admire how you bring dyslexia into focus for the rest of us: Grasshopper instead of Christopher, and Panic Area. I sympathise with the Draco Malfoy problem, though not dyslexic myself, I felt as if I was when I first started studying Sociology, with dictionary to hand for every other word, and I too have found Google a spelling god-send.

Less easy to find parallels with is the awful family life you experienced. What a moment on Facebook, 'I'll understand if you don't want to'. Then back to the nightmare of a mother, and the see-sawing from the ghastly past to the hopeful future with the years in between of a successful career and of learning to write, of balancing marriage and memories, of risking yourself for the sake of others.

Honest, disturbing, sometimes amusing, and beautifully written in clear, vivid language: 'the feeling that my heart had become larger than my body', this is an almost magnetic account of a dysfunctional family. We read and learn, and most of us thank heaven it didn't happen to us. To some readers, it will have happened, and here they find a place of shared understanding ... backed.

Eunice Attwood wrote 1295 days ago

FIrst of all I want to give you a big cuddle - I should think you need one after such trying experiences. Well done you, for overcoming such adversity, and continuing to shine as the beautiful woman that you are. A powerful book indeed, one that deserves to be on everyon'e shelf. Backed Eunice - The Temple Dancer.

yasmin esack wrote 1295 days ago

This is a powerful book. I thoroughly enjoyed your first chapter and leant a hell of a lot about Dyslexia that I didn't know before. Hats off to you for sharing this incredible story. Your writing is superb as you bring us into your world.

I applaud you and this fine work.


Backed with uttmost love

The Mind Setter

Lenore wrote 1296 days ago

This has such potential and the story is heart-poundingly, if there is such a word, poignant. I found a sister after 30 years and can relate only in the alienation of blood relatives and the anxiety of re-acquaintance. Your struggle for literacy and connection is a beautiful journey. I will put this on my watch list and back when I have space on my shelf.

LonnieNonnie wrote 1303 days ago

Whew, it so hard to comprehend this. Seems quite fluid though, so you play catch-up fast and certainly can hold its own on this site. best of luck The Tails of Willie Gusty

helmi wrote 1317 days ago

I really really want to read the rest of your story. It rings many bells with me. Abuse needn't have a sexual element in it - as illustrated by your mother's form of abuse against you - for it to be devastating .I relive my mother through your mother. Emotion by emotion I can identify with you. People like that are beyond change. I know. My mother is 90 and is still creating uproar and division.
Helmi Silverstone
Maya's miracles
Where are you now, God?

lj reads wrote 1326 days ago

Everyone needs to hear stories such as this. Great job Ellen!!

Elizabeth Wolfe wrote 1327 days ago

Dear Ellen,
Your opening chapter is a testament to your honesty and integrity. What a story! I think your writing is excellent.

Elizabeth Wolfe (MEMORIES OF GLORY)

DP Walker wrote 1332 days ago

Hi Ellen
Some really powerful and emotional writing make this hard to put down. It's really brave to put pen to paper on these issues. I like the combination of the difficulties with the use of digital media which make it more curent and credible to today's world. Truly compelling.
DP Walker
Five Dares

Jedda wrote 1334 days ago

Wow, How did you survive? This is a poignant story. You should be proud of overcoming your difficulties to write such such a compelling account of your life. Shelved, Regards, Anne

Andrew Burans wrote 1337 days ago

You have written well a powerful, gripping, gritty and sometimes humourous account of your life. Your first person narrative voice brings out your full range of emmotions and thoughts. Your easy-to-read writing style is perfect for this genre of book. Backed with pleasure.

Andrew Burans
The Reluctant Warrior: The Beginning

missyfleming_22 wrote 1337 days ago

A touching and courageous tale. I can't imagine what it was like. You've won a fan! I think you're writing is perfect for this kind of work, it's full of compassion and easy to read. You talk to us like we're your friends, it made this feel more intimate. You've done a wonderful job with this and I think a lot of people will find it inspirational. Best of luck to you and to your book. You both deserve success.


klouholmes wrote 1337 days ago

Hi Ellen, This is poignant and it’s interesting how these emotional moments happen in our digital age. The ability to peek on people and the new system of contact, actually advertised as bringing about reunions, probably has many stories and yet this is the first I’ve come across. The family separation and the reason is well-delivered while telling about the present. I assumed Russ is the husband of the narrator? Maybe more introduction there. This is compelling and I wish I could read on today. Shelved – Katherine (The Swan Bonnet)

SusieGulick wrote 1337 days ago

You are totally fantastic, Ellen! :) How can I ever thank you enough for backing my 2 memoir books? :)
God bless you. :) Love, Susie :)

SusieGulick wrote 1338 days ago

Dear Ellen, I got so excited when I saw that you had backed my memoir book, "Tell Me True Love Stories." :) I really appreciate it. :) Could you please take a moment to back my other memoir book, "He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not?" Thank you so very much. :) Love, Susie :) p.s. I'll be #12 to put your book on my watchlist. :)

Barry Wenlock wrote 1338 days ago

Hi Ellen, You write very well and I read three chapters.
Hearing about how you disguised your dyslexia was very interesting. Grasshopper Robins was so sad, yet funny too. Great writing. Then 25 years till you read aloud again. Then you show your lovely sense of humour again and we see how it gets you out of fixes. Love the AA Milne quote at the end of the intro. In Mad or bad we hear about Dan, his son John and Dan's reaction to you. So difficult. You are brave.
Reading on...
backed with pleasure,

Eunice Attwood wrote 1338 days ago

Dear Ellen,
As I read your book I had a feeling I have looked at it before. I may have even backed it, but I am reading so many books it is overwhelming and I may double up occasionally. I consider your book is very worthy of backing if that is the case. I can see your courage shining through, and you have overcome a great deal. I can relate to much of your story. Backed with pleasure.
Eunice. Thanks for backing mine again.

beegirl wrote 1339 days ago

A very difficult story told with clarity and bravery. I have seen comments and worries about editing--that would be easily taken care of my a good professional editior--usually available at some cost--but no one else can tell the story like you do!

Walden Carrington wrote 1339 days ago

Ostracized is an emotionally compelling true story. I applaud the bravery of the author in sharing it. Backed.

andrew skaife wrote 1339 days ago

Hi. You are obviously brave, determined and have every right to be bitter (but you don't seem to exhibit too much of that). I have taught English for a long time and for you to have produced this with your circumstances is a powerful marker of the strength you have gained within. The best of luck to you in getting into print.

BACKED with pride to do so.


hikey wrote 1339 days ago

Hi Ellen,
I have noticed that people are starting to pick up on grammar errors etc,. When children are lost to the ethos of education by the age of 11 a lot of nueral network processing has been lost and never regained, so it's a constant uphill struggle. However, this doesn't indicate a lack of intelligence, quite the opposite. I think it is incomprehensible to many people how difficult it is to convey experiences which have been extremely traumatic and life changing. Especially where education has suffered considerably as i know from experience. Some stories need to be told and it is the telling that is important not the so called 'polish'. Publishers look for the potential in a story, not for word perfect manuscripts.

Your story is powerful and easily understood.

Mr. Nom de Plume wrote 1339 days ago


soutexmex wrote 1339 days ago

Ellen: do apologize for this spam comment but I did BACK your book. Though my book is currently on the Ed's Desk, I can still use your comments on my book before the end of this month. Thanks - cheers!

The Obergemau Key

Burgio wrote 1340 days ago

This is a powerful book: so powerful it’s difficult to read. Not because it’s not written but because it is so sad a child could be treated this way. The book is confirmation we need better mental health services so, hopefully, this never happens to another child. Discovering the Facebook connection is a good twist. I’m happy to add this to my shelf. If you have a moment, would you look at mine (Grain of Salt)? I’m in 3rd place but only holding on by my teeth. Burgio

name falied moderation wrote 1340 days ago

Dear Ellen
what a courageous book, and writer. i congratulate you on the courage of this read. very well crafted. what can one say about the contents that are not obvious, however the skill with which you have portrayed it all, the talent you have is a calling. CONGRATS on this book
I feel sure you
feel like me that it is your baby and you so want to see it succeed. I do wish you all the best in rising and also
getting this book of your published. ( I wish I had half the talent some of you have on this site)

Please take a moment to look, COMMENT which is important to me, and BACK my book. if not that is OK

The VERY best of luck to you

The Letter

Ellen Bothwick wrote 1340 days ago

Wow things happen quickly here! Thank you for backing me I will take a look at you book now. Regards Ellen

Ellen. I only just started it, but looks promising, and I will get back to you with comments. In the mean time I will back it, as your first backer purhaps! Best of luck.
Of course I would appreciate it if you could return the favour to me with my childrens' book ; Paperbats.
Thanks. Jerry [paperbat]

paperbat wrote 1340 days ago

Ellen. I only just started it, but looks promising, and I will get back to you with comments. In the mean time I will back it, as your first backer purhaps! Best of luck.
Of course I would appreciate it if you could return the favour to me with my childrens' book ; Paperbats.
Thanks. Jerry [paperbat]

paperbat wrote 1340 days ago

I only just started it, but looks promising, and I will get back to you with comments. In the mean time I will back it, as your first backer purhaps! Best og luck.
Of course

SusieGulick wrote 1340 days ago

Dear Ellen, I love that you dared to share your story with the world :) - I did, too, in my memoirs. :) Thank you for stepping up & lettting the world know that it's not okay for abuse to be in the family, exposing it & making it known. :) God bless you. :) Your pitch drew me in to read your book because I had like circumstances in my family. I have backed your book :) - hope you'll take a moment to back my 2 memoir books. :) Thanks. :) Love, Susie :)

This is information from authonomy (so beware of any other untrue information you may receive that is spam & not quotes of authonomy):
"When you back a book, it only improves the ranking of that book, not yours. However, the author whose book you are backing may decide to back your book also, in which case yes, your ranking would be improved"
"Every time you place a book on your bookshelf, your recommendation pushes the book up the rankings. And while that book sits on your bookshelf, your reputation as a talent spotter increases depending on how well that book performs."