The Woman Before Me by Ruth Dugdall

The Woman Before Me

Ruth Dugdall

Is Rose really guilty of the crime that led to the death of a child? Her probation officer, a mother herself, must decide if she is to be released from prison, but Rose shows no remorse. I don't know if she is guilty, nor did I anticipate the twist at the end of this book, a revelation more unsettling than anything that had gone before. A disturbing story of psychological manipulation, violation and motherhood that is still haunting me.


In my cell I have my memories. I have my nest, so small and perfect, which I hold in my hands, thinking of my mother. At night, lying on the three-quarter bed, army issue, I sift through what I remember like treasure and find the pearl. My boy. At night, in the dark, he's mine again. I can hear him breathing next to me. I can feel him suckling milk from my breast. I nuture him, keep him alive, until daylight breaks through the bars. No-one grieves more than me.

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