This Child of Ours: 'Broke my heart and gently pieced it back together' CATHY BRAMLEY

This Child of Ours: 'Broke my heart and gently pieced it back together' CATHY BRAMLEY by Sadie Pearse

By Sadie Pearse

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9 reviews

The astonishingly insightful and touching debut novel from Sadie Pearse tells the story of a marriage at breaking point and a child caught in the middle.


14 Mar 2019


Sadie Pearce did a masterful job of writing a book that is a good read and educational. Gender dysphoria has never been a topic of discussion in my life experience so has never been a subject I've thought much about. This book was a sensitively written story of the stresses faced by a "normal" extremely happy family that has their world turned upside down when their seven year old daughter announces that she is a boy. There have been subtle clues along the way but the pronouncement rattles each and every person in this world, not only the child and parents but the extended family, acquaintances, community, school and teachers as well. I believe that this book is more than a tale well told but also a study of what major changes with accompanying stress can do to relationships. People think and react differently and can have diametrically opposed opinions as to how to handle situations. Neither opinion is the only correct truth and yet the inability to react or say the right words or listen can tear the world apart for everyone. Wanting to do what's right when there is no right is a struggle that can easily turn into a battle. This is a book about that issue as another layer to this story. I highly recommend this book to awaken the reader to a modern world issue and perhaps give the reader some tools in how to approach dealing with issues in his/her relationships.

13 Mar 2019

Ciarán K

Having read a feel good book just previously, I knew this would not be in the same category.

The book is emotionally absorbing. Not only did I find the responses plausible, I found myself involved and hoping the parents, Theo and Sally, would just say what they really think. It captured well I thought the angst and struggles and communication issues of a relationship faced with something totally unexpected when each side thinks differently and is set in their ways. The focus of the book is not Riley but the parents and others that are impacted but such a life shattering announcement.

From a literary point of view, the writing was serviceable but not sparkling. Some parts of the novel weren't necessary, including the "Matt" sub plot.

Personally, it made me think how hard it would be to deal with this if I was a parent. The desire to not see your child suffer is overwhelming, and the book did this well. I thought the engagement with the issue was ultimately shallow though.

12 Mar 2019


My readers group reviewed this book last month. We all thoroughly enjoyed it and it certainly gave us plenty to discuss. I can honestly say it is one of the best books I have read on this subject and I flew through it.
It gave everyone`s point of view, including that of the child, Riley. A very thought provoking, moving story which I can highly recommend.

11 Mar 2019


This was an informative book about the challenges, doubts and turmoil of having a young child who wants/needs to be recognised as being a boy instead of being a girl. The story charts the impact on Riley (she/he has their own 7 year old voice throughout) but also on all surrounding relationships. The book is written in an easy to read style.

I didn't love this book despite expecting to - i felt key characters were too good or too bad to be credible and that more grey would have created more edge. It was sadly too predictable for me to really hold my attention.

07 Mar 2019

I found this book not only emotional but very thought provoking. The different reactions of the family, the school and other parents were completely varied. This is a subject that I did not really have any knowledge of and I would absolutely recommend it to any reader. One of the other reviewers said that when they weren't reading the book, they were thinking about it and I can completely agree. Thoroughly enjoyable, thank you Sadie Pearse.

07 Mar 2019


The issues faced by the central characters had me thinking pretty deeply about how you would personally cope in their situation. They strived to do what they each thought was for the best but this inevitably caused conflict, turmoil and strains on relationships. I thought the author brought the story to a meaningful conclusion, not necessarily a happy ever after one but one where you could see them all moving forward together in a positive way.

19 Feb 2019

St Regulus AJ

This book was very interesting and informative. It opens up the whole subject of dealing with the problems and heartache of a young child (aged seven in this case) who believes that they are the wrong sex. The stresses upon the child, the parents, other relatives, school... the ramifications are endless.

This did not happen with any child I knew, but the book has enlightened me and, if I do come across this I feel I would have a much better understanding of gender identity problems in young children.

The only reason I did not give the book five stars is that I felt it to be just to long.

15 Feb 2019


A moving and thought provoking story, challenging in its topical subject. I found it very easy to read, and could sympathise with both parents at various points. The characters were so well drawn that they became real people in my mind, and I finished the book in only a few sittings - when I wasn't reading the book I was thinking about the story.
I would wholeheartedly recommend this book.

10 Feb 2019


Sally and Theo are a happily married couple who have one daughter, Riley, a delightful seven-year old. When Riley announces to her parents that she is actually a boy there are clearly some issues that need to be addressed.

This is an amazing book on all sorts of levels. It is easy to read, has very likeable characters and tackles a really big issue head-on. Gender Dysphoria is something that I know very little about. In fact, I wouldn’t even have known what the term meant until now. Whilst I have no direct experience of it, this book has clearly been very well researched so I have no doubt that the way Riley behaved is typical of children struggling to come to terms with their gender. What is however very obvious to me is that the reactions of Riley’s “nearest and dearest” as well as those in less intimate supporting roles (school friends, teachers etc.) are probably very typical. I could potentially be one of those people and many, if not all of the responses rang true to me. A whole spectrum of potential emotions and reactions are presented and I thought they were portrayed in an extremely plausible and convincing way. What I do not know is how I would behave if I encountered a child with Gender Dysphoria, but I hope I would now have more compassion, understanding and knowledge as a result of having read this very thought-provoking book. Thank you Sadie for that.

I cannot really think of a bad word to say about this book. It made me feel uncomfortable at times but that isn’t a bad thing, it just challenged me to think things through in a way which I hadn’t done before.

This book would undoubtedly be a useful educational tool for everyone. It is accessible, non-judgemental and very enlightening and I would thoroughly recommend it to all readers, not just those directly involved with Gender Dysphoria.

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