The Refuge

By Jenny Smith,

Book cover of The Refuge: My Journey to the Safe House for Battered Women

Book description

Until 1971, female victims of domestic violence were expected to 'kiss and make up' with their husbands, hide their black eyes and bruises, and bear the shame that somehow their partners' brutality was their fault. Chiswick Women's Aid was Europe's first ever refuge for what were then called 'battered women',…

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Why read it?

1 author picked The Refuge as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

The story is told as a memoir in first person. What I like about this is that it tells of a period in a Derbyshire working class home in the 1940s and 1950s.

The description of the family environment is very realistic and one is drawn in immediately and carried along by the love in the home is and the playful the antics of the children. However, it soon develops into a novel of a young girl who runs away from that home because her mother becomes mentally ill and her father doesn’t know how to help his wife and…

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