Best Book Publishers UK | Austin Macauley Publishers

By: Mike Delaney

Mabel Murphy

Pages: 210 Ratings: 5.0
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It’s 1920s London and the world is in a deep economic depression. Times are very hard and the city is rife with unemployment, poverty and disease. One family in East London
have managed to keep themselves afloat, housed and fed, despite having one parent with a long-term mental health condition, but that is all about to change as their teenage daughter is catapulted into a series of life events which are traumatic, heartbreaking and shocking but which make her become a much stronger and more resilient human being than she ever dreamed possible.
This is a harrowing story of innocence, shame, hostility and vicious cruelty from the very people who should be caring for those in need, but it is tempered with love, hope and the potential to change one’s situation given the right opportunities.
Although fictional, this was a true story for many women of that time and is based on several older women whom the author met and supported whilst an NHS nurse in the large hospital system.

Mike Delaney had a successful career as a nurse before reaching out and going into residential treatment for his addictions in 1996. He has since become a renowned mental health/addictions therapist, having developed and been CEO and the Clinical Director of several new treatment facilities as well as having a successful private practice in Harley Street, London. He is currently the Clinical Director of Delamere Health, the UK’s first, purpose built, Addiction and Behavioural Health Clinic in Cheshire and is regularly asked for his expertise in newspapers, magazines and on television.

Customer Reviews
5 reviews
5 reviews
  • Eileen Long

    Capturing perfectly the injustice and harrowing consequences of this period in history, Mabel Murphy represents the women of her generation. Downtrodden, unheard, and rejected. Her story is one of heartbreak and eventual reawakening.
    Mike Delaney delivers a unique insight into one woman’s life as it is torn apart.
    A powerful first novel.

  • Alison Ashurst USA

    Mabel is a familiar teenage character in a loving community, all on the breadline trying to make ends meet. Enjoying the simplicity of life. Full of giggles with her friends and a budding infatuation for a local lad beginning to surface. Her innocence is abruptly stolen in a painful unraveling of events that carve a new path for her life. She must dig deep to discover grit & spirit to see her through a fast-moving few weeks that turn into months of despair. As Mabel turns to those charged with her care, for answers & solace – she is met with heart-wrenching disillusionment and systematic failure. As the years become decades, Mabel clings to her own sense of right and wrong. She rebuilds her vitality and doesn’t allow anyone to break her spirit. Fighting for her existence and against establishment catastrophes, her emergency forces repent from some and retreat from others. Her impact, felt by everyone she encounters, eventually leads to the scenario she dares not allow herself to imagine. A situation she dreamt of her whole life. One she kept locked away so deep, it seemed untouchable.
    This credible account of Mabel’s life remains convincing with the humor Mike injects. The same humor that sees ordinary folks through most crises. In the painful moments, I was taken by surprise by the laughter that would erupt during the telling of Mabel’s outbursts. Her story is told beautifully and thoughtfully. I was totally invested in Mabel and how she confronted the wrongdoing of those in power. I was wrung-out reading the book. The unconscious comedy in the vocabulary. The unexpected laughter through tears. The hints of Scottishness in the staff and the rawness of London’s east end give gravity to each character. And the ending almost comes too quickly – I didn’t want it to be over.
    Mabel Murphy spikes our own adrenaline & discomfort, in the knowledge that children have been preyed upon by certain institutions. We’re compelled to root her on as she literally punches and kicks her way to a life of some substance. Love finds her, reluctantly, in those, she builds a life. Staff become friends and bring a new sense of family. They forge a way for her to find the only love she ever needed.

  • Lisa Ryan

    Mabel Murphy is a marvelous book. What a journey from start to finish. It is a gripping story from page one. From the start, I was totally invested in the character Mabel. A journey of tragedy and triumph that pulled on my heartstrings. All interspersed with a social history of the asylum system.

    It was so engaging I read it all in one sitting. You can't help but smile at Mabel's defiance and her ability to stand up for others from a young age. It is all sadder because it is a story that happened to many young women. Mabel builds a new family for herself after the system let her down and although it is a terribly sad story, the humanity of Mabel and those around her brings it to a heart-wrenching climax. A truly wonderful read.

  • valerie beattie

    Absolutely loved it. I laughed & cried, raged & "aww'd" while reading, sometimes at the same time.
    Having worked with many women who found themselves in similar circumstances, Mabel's story rang so true.
    Very sensitively written without leaving out much of the harshness of truth.

  • Liz McLeod

    I really enjoyed this book the story was engaging taking you on Mabel’s journey, her stolen life, and the impact that she has on others. It is a harrowing story showing the strength of the human spirit and human kindness. The report illustrates the institutionalization of people deemed unworthy of living in society. A captivity so strong that freedom becomes undesirable once it is within reach. I couldn’t put the book down.

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