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By: Helena Kelleher Kahn

The Silvercage

Pages: 244 Ratings:
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Any worker attempting to help an abused and neglected child must gain the victim’s trust – much easier said than done!

The drawing took shape, the thin almost angular face with its little nose, sad mouth, and alert eyes. As I worked on the hair, I could sense Stella’s footsteps, quiet though she tried to make them. A moment later, I was just quick enough to prevent her from snatching the book away from me and only just observant enough to catch the amazement on her face when she saw what I had made of her. I held my work out of her reach and was rewarded by the cry: “Let me see it! Ah, let me have it!”

I gave her the drawing. “I don’t want it torn up, Stella.” She carried it away with her into the bedroom and closed the door.

Helena Kelleher Kahn comes from a middle class Irish background. She trained as a nurse at Charing Cross Hospital in London. Helena married Jacob Kahn, a biologist. When their three sons were old enough to make it possible, Helena trained at the London School of Economics as a social worker specialising in work with disabled children. Helena and Jacob retired to Ireland in 1994. Helena joined local writer’s groups. Her work has appeared in the magazines History Ireland and The Holly Bough of Cork, a celebrated Christmas annual.

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