Newest Review: ... and is still a foster carer. She has been a foster carer for around 28 years and has fostered around 100 children. This book is base... more
An amazing woman's account of a family's suffering, hope and love.
The Night the Angels Came - Cathy Glass
Member Name: gemmamets
The Night the Angels Came - Cathy Glass
Advantages: Easy to read and a heartwarming story that will melt the hardest of hearts.
Disadvantages: Not a 'coffee break read.' This move will upset you
For those of you who are not familiar with Cathy Glass' books I shall provide you firstly with a brief background history to the author and the content of her books.
Firstly the name Cathy Glass is a pseudonym; due to the nature of her books and the people which she writes about this is necessary to protect their identities and the confidentiality of child protection cases. Glass is an experienced foster carer who first started fostering with her husband Mike some twenty years ago when she seen an ad in the paper (It was not as widely known about and available as it is today.)
Over the years Cathy has fostered many children, from babies to teenagers and has witnessed some pretty disturbing and horrific cases of neglect and child abuse. For the last fifteen or so years Glass has been divorced from her husband but has continued to foster as a single parent. She also has two children of her own from her marriage, a boy called Adrian and a daughter called Paula. She also adopts a teenager called Lucy who features in her recent books.
This particular account differs considerably from her other books; in the way that in this circumstance the child in question is not the victim to abuse of neglect, but needs foster care as his Father (and only family member) has been diagnosed with terminal cancer and is not expected to live for very long.
When Cathy first hears of this story from her link worker she is cautious as she doesn't know how this sad little boy's situation will impact on her two young children. Coping with the idea of death and especially the death of a parent is hard and wanting to protect her innocent children she initially has her reservations. It is however her own children who persuade Cathy to take on this case.
The boy in question is seven year old Michael, and the story is based around him and his father Patrick and how Cathy and her family help Michael through what must be an incredibly sad and anxious time in any child's life. Patrick also features heavily in the book and it is nice to see the beautiful friendship and mutual love and respect which develops between the two families.
The book is written honestly and without pretence. Cathy Glass is excellent in painting the picture and speaking thoughtfully and empathetically about the people who she works with. It is also an interesting insight to learn about her children and how they deal and cope with having to share their home with strangers.
As well as being heart-warming and at times incredibly upsetting, it also offers the reader an insight into the world of Social Services and foster carers and shows just how much work does go in to placing a child and who are involved; from the Social workers, to school, parents, foster carers and often judges, guardians and family members.
As with any non-fiction book the author cannot just make a happy ending; yet Glass really does take you on a journey and helps you as the reader to feel closure and acceptance just as the people in the story do. Her accounts are detailed and full of reflective thought. She really is a remarkable woman and it humbles you to read her day to day life in caring for others.
Whether you are a foster carer, interested in the care system or just interested in the lives of others this book is for you. It brings to the forefront terminal illness and the affect this has on children, but shows that there really are people out there who care and are willing to go the extra mile.
Summary: An excellent account of the life and trials of a foster carer