Review: Child C by Christopher Spry

posted in: Book Reviews | 14

You can check British Google News for more background information but some of the better articles and ones where comments are referred to in the book, are listed at the Daily Mail website below.

Daily Mail UK Online

Essentially, those will tell you the story in a nutshell and at least one of the photos described in the book is on one of the reports. Child C expands upon the male victim’s story, which is a companion volume following the same history told from one of Christopher Spry’s foster sister’s perspectives.

Essentially this private fostering arrangement was made permanent by the foster mother’s manipulation of both parents and social services and Christopher Spry and his real sister were renamed and fostered alongside her existing children, one naturally hers and another of whom was facilitator/cheerleader for the abuse. Spry makes top 5 lists which pop up throughout the book between chapters, and these are at times banal, at other times as horrifying as the abuse suffered. Whilst there is the high point of a holiday in Florida, it is only a brief break in the abuse which continues into Spry’s mid-teens.

Whilst the abuse is horrific, in some places it simply defies belief in its scope, forcing children under ten into various house construction projects is something completely alien to most normal people, but Spry did it, including nearly 20 attempts to install a shower when renovating properties.

It’s quite realistic that once Spry stood up to his abuser, just the once, there was no celebration and his problems weren’t over – just like Charlie Mitchell in The Nipper – and nor was it the last time he would see her before court, but the sentence and writing of the book marks a new start for him.

For all of the foster mother’s incessant chanting about God and punishments, there was no such observation or connection made with her systematic abuse with the aid of one daughter, and the massive tragedy which strikes the family on their second holiday within the UK, where her abusive behaviour also comes under scrutiny. You wouldn’t have to be an expert on religious matters to see what went around for Eunice Spry, coming round. In fact that major tragedy starts to create the beginning of the end for the abusive regime.

Usefully there is description of the step-by-step police investigation and therapeutic steps taken to reconstruct Mr Spry’s life, are of benefit to other British survivors. The sentence is also certainly one of the longest handed down for child abuse in recent English history and especially for a female abuser, so this was a book worth reading, despite occasional repetition in some places. I suspect that Mr Spry’s wish to take on a child protection role won’t be available to him until he discloses and processes his CSA, which he alludes to several times and doesn’t elaborate on, but given the crimes that his foster mother was convicted for, it’s certainly easy to believe him.

Again, the American publishing schedule for this book is unknown, but definitely get this from the library if you want the background behind the linked headlines.


14 Responses

  1. KeriMurray

    i just finished “Child C” by Christopher Spry and i was deeply tounched.
    Im only 15 but reading his book has made me realise how much people like us how have a roof over our head, a warm meal waiting for us everyday and have the love of both our parents or guardians take it all for granted thinking nothing of it, moaning if we dont get what we want.Well its clear my mind of always wanting the new high tech things the sames as my friends and the money i do get i give to a small private charity called “child abuse stop!”
    Thank you Christopher for your amazing but truely sad book and rely sorry that Eunice couldn’t be a proper mohter to you, Lulu and Karen the way she did to Charlotte and Bradley bu dont worry cause she is locked away now and wont be able to hurt anyone else
    Im Truly sorry.My heart breaks for you.

  2. zoe jayne dunne

    i am 18 , i havent autually finished the book yet and i cant put it down though. i think this book is good because it was written from personal experience which you dont get alot of i am reading book and i get upset and sometimes cry but i think you are so brave and you got through it so that something to be proud off and thanks for sharing your xperience might not be a good one but it still good to share thanks alot and take care xx

  3. margie

    I am reading your book for the second time around. There is so much in the book that it will take a long time to comprehend the fact that one human being would want to do these horrible things to another. I truly wish that you had never had to go through this, and I am sure that for as long as you live, you will continue to have so many questions. Some things we never find answers for. Keep strong and one more thing, not all Christian beliefs are as warped as the one you had to endure. God is a God of love and anything other is not from Him ever…………. May you continue to heal and be set free………………………………….

  4. Sarah

    I have just finished Child C by Christopher Spry and I cant believe the torture those poor kids had to deal with every single day. A mother is meant to love all her children, not put them through hell and leave them damaged for the rest of their lives. Eunice Spry should have been given a longer jail sentence. The 14 years that she was given is nothing compared to what those kids have to deal with. Plus she will most likely only serve about 7 years of her sentence. My heart goes out to those kids and I just hope that they can all move on with thier lives and learn to build trust with people. God Bless xx

  5. cara smith

    hello chris i have only just finished your book 10mins ago and just had to write to you i think people like you are the prime example of how well children turn out when thay have,nt had a good life thay say you learn the hard way babes well iam truely moved and touched by how well you have told your heartbraking story it must have been a long and hard time going over the appalling way you was treated i could not evan come close to saying how sorry i feel for you but iam happy for you now because you are such a inspriing man to all young children out there and hope if thay are going though the same as you did thay turn for help and dont feel asamded cuz its nothink they have done (or you darling) i have 4 children iam 24yrs old and will tell my kidz how inportant it is to talk whatever the problem is i,ll always be here and now have your real loving mum and dad you too can find confidens to confied in them . all my best wishies 4eva cara xx

  6. claire sproston

    i have read child c and was sickened by it how any human being can subject someone to that cruelty let alone a child is beyond all the same the book has helped me
    in a way becuase i was abused sexually physically and mentally from the age of seven by my stepmum and step brother so it has helpexc me a lot

  7. Dania Prince

    All I can say is that your are an inspiration! and whilst reading the book I thought why dont u run away and why didnt you tell the police?.. but at the same time i can see and understand why especially when she plays mind games with you… that is CRUEL!!! HOW CAN SOMEONE DO THAT?
    Ive cried aand cringed reading this book, even turned away sometimes, but i cant begin to imagine what it must have been like for you!…
    but anyway thank you for writing this book, its been an inspiration and i hope that now the government will think twice about where they place innocent defenseless children.
    She shouldnt have gotten 14 years she should have gotten life!!


  8. Rachael

    We all have hard things to deal with. I admire you for coming out of all that with a sense of triumph.

    I am a mother of four small children whom I love with all my heart. I came from parents who were short-tempered and could get out of control at times, but they were always doing the best they could. They came from pretty abusive backgrounds and are so much better than their parents. Each generation, no matter what type of influence you had, has the choice and ability to improve.

    One suggestion I have to make to you is simply this:

    Forgiveness is not for the person who gave the offense. But for the person who was offended. Anger and bitterness can become poison and fester until you begin seeing bits of monster inside yourself. Believe me, marriage and parenting brings out the worst and best in us and beyond.

    In order for you to heal fully, and to really live up to your potential, you must eventually forgive her. You may not be ready, but it’s something to hope for and to work toward.

    I wish you the best of luck in life! Don’t let her take another year or month away from your happiness. Forgive and let go, and continue to triumph and rise above your circumstances. You are my baby brother’s age…and although he’s never had it easy, I tell him all the time that he has the greatest potential and not to give up!

    You will succeed 🙂 Thanks for your inspirational story!

  9. Anonymous

    how brave are you a mother of 3 gorgeous children myself i cannot even begin to understand what possessed this evil wicked woman to do the things she did .driven by greed ? power ? or just to rein terror on you all is the cruelest thing she could ever have mother was a cruel ,quick tempered woman who lashed out at any opertunity she could and my father was never aware.but not to the extent that you .karen and lulu were subjected to.all i can say is…… she took away your childhood so dont allow her to destroy your adulthood,your dreams ,your hopes your life. feel safe in the knowledge that you are a survivor ,ahve the courage of no one else i know and you deserve future happiness.speaking out gives others the courage to do the same then start the prossess of healing.i wish you all the luck and happiness you deserve.a little saying i learnt years ago ………… tomorrow is a better day. next month will be better than this. has a year gone already ? i must be living my life now then xx

  10. cindy

    Chris…..I have just finished reading this book! I am actually crying!! I want to hug u I want to tell u u are a terrific person NOT scum of the earth but one amazing fella you found strength to let people like us know the torture you ALL suffered at the hands of eunice! I say eunice because she is not your mother a mother in any meaning of the word I am glad Karen called the police on her as when u left being old enough she may have ‘fostered’ again!! I truly can not imagine your pain and karen and lulu you all are amazing I want to wish you the very best and I hope you find peace and move on I hope you get a super duper car and out do Bradley to hehe I wish u , Bradley, Karen, lulu (and baby) well and u keep marching on showing eunice she may have taken your childhood in a horrific way but she aint taking your future to … to you all x x x

  11. Rose McBride

    I am busy reading your book Christopher. There were pages that I had to skip over as it was quite frankly extremely hard to stomach. This is the first book that I have cried while reading it. People will always question why abused children and wives do not leave. It’s not as simple as that. The abusers are extremely manipulative and adept at hiding their crimes. And the people who suspected that things were amiss, shame on them for not doing something about it. Eunice has gotten what she deserved and you have your life ahead of you. I personally, don’t even think that forgiveness comes into this scenario. Whether you forgive her or not, its is most certainly not going to define you as a person. You survived through this and applaud you.

  12. AnitaSuzie

    I’ve seen two photo’s of Eunice Spry now, there’s something skewiff about her eyes. One looks up higher than the other. “The Other” eye looks all black. Yes, there is something missing in those eyes. Why not just live on that farm on her own, hoarding and dining with her friend and leave having children to people who love and want children. It’s unbelievable to keep up that sort of torture. But she did it, on a conscious level day in day out, for years. Or maybe not conscious, because a person with eyes like that doesn’t really live amongst us as a human being.

  13. Frances Deed

    I am currently reading christoper,s book and i am close to tears with each page.i can,t believe the cruelty this thing put you all through.I hope she has been bashed every day in prison so she knows how these poor children felt.what an evil, wicked,so called christian,i hope she faces her god one day and is then sent straight to hell to burn for eternity.

  14. Lori

    I just finished reading the book and I’m shocked that this monster got away with this for so long. Childhoods were taken away and to read about the horrific physical and emotional abuse is gut wrenching. It took a lot of courage, for all 3, to come forward and put a stop to it all. This horrific person instilled so much fear into them, no wonder they were afraid to do anything against her. Especially, with her getting away with it for so long and always convincing people she was something she was not. I’m sure they were afraid that somehow, she would convince the police and judge that it was all a lie and have to go back to the abuse. Christopher, I’m so proud of you for having the courage and desire, to move forward in your life and to find the strength to move on. I hope only the best for you and your sisters.

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