Edge of the City


SKU Paperback Category

175 in stock


By Fiona Firth

ISBN: 978-1-84991-737-7
Published: 2012
Pages: 166
Key Themes: Mental Health, Learning Disability, Fiction


Not so many years ago thousands of British children were taken away from their families to live in institutions. Children, sometimes only a few weeks old were separated from devastated mothers in a dark, shameful manoeuvre so as not to offend the civilisation of normality.

For many, being born with a learning disability was a crime, or at least punishable as one. Their parents were not callous, uncaring people but were swayed by the popular and professional opinion that life in an institution was in their best interests, leaving them with a guilt that can only be understood by another parent. The bond was unaltered by disability and diagnosis and many were stuck, unable to grieve, unable to confide in others, unable to move on or pull their lives back to some sort of order and happiness.

In a world where intelligence brings freedom, Jess life is a continuous battle to prove her worth and capability. At 17 years of age, she is left at a long stay hospital when her mother dies in 1955. This book describes her development from naive, innocent, immature and in many ways pampered child to an articulate, capable woman, whose strength and determination far outweigh the intelligent people around her. Just as the hospital becomes home her life is uprooted again by another well meaning individual who believes she knows what is in Jess best interests.

About the Author

Fiona Firth was born in Newcastle in 1973. She qualified as a Learning Disability Nurse in 2001 and feels passionately about the rights of disabled individuals, particularly their right to make choices about their own lives. She has experience of learning disability hospitals, resettlement homes, day services and community teams.

She has an additional interest in mental health and recently studied psychological wellbeing at Newcastle University.

Fiona lives in Northumberland with her husband, David and two daughters, Charlotte and Anna. She runs an inclusive childminding service and plays horn in a local band.


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