Ashley is a young single mum raising her daughter, Eden, and working hard to do the very best job she can - until one night she can't find a babysitter and makes the decision to leave Eden home alone for a couple of hours, asleep inside a wardrobe. It is an action that begins a terrible downward spiral for both of them.
When Eden arrives at experienced foster carer Louise Allen's home, she has entered the care system because her mother is in prison. Eden is five years old and will not speak to any human. She begins exhibiting some other disturbing behaviours alongside the mutism, too, including torturing the family pets she loves. This eventually leads Louise to discover the pain and tragic reality behind Eden's Story.
This series follows a format. Part one tells a fictionalised telling of what might have befallen the child - based, we assume on Louise Allen's gleaning of information and ideas from her direct experience and other sources. The second part is a memoir of Louise's direct experience while the child is in her care. All of the stories are harrowing and sometimes very difficult to read but what makes these books have weight is the considered view of our social care system and society's attitude towards 'looked-after' children in general. Louise is an intelligent and creative person and gives fascinating yet not melodramatic insight into this world. This approach provides the balance needed to save the stories from becoming mawkish. They are vividly real, no-nonsense and very human. Louise is also someone who has a sense of humour and this comes across and that's important too because in my opinion nothing shows humanity like the use of humour especially when dealing with consequences the dark side of human nature.
Eden's story is the third in the series.
Recorded for W F Howes at my studio in Sheffield.