Until February 2001, the author though she was happily married. She had a good job, a nice home and three children, the eldest of whom, a daughter, 28, was married and had a baby daughter of her own. Two sons lived at home – the elder aged 24 and working, the younger 16 and just starting GCSE examinations. She and her second husband had just celebrated their 20th wedding anniversary. She thought he was the perfect husband, step-father, and father.
Her daughter had kept a secret for nearly 20 years and disclosed to her mother only because she found it impossible to let her own daughter anywhere near her step-father. Finding out that her husband had sexually abused her daughter all those years ago, (starting very soon after the wedding when her daughter was 8 years old) was a total and devastating shock. The repercussions for the author, all her children and extended family and friends were traumatic, long lasting and wide ranging.