(updated May 7th, 2023)

One Small Word - Surviving childhood abuse is the first novel I ever wrote.  It is an autobiographical novel based on my own life up to the age of fifty. Published in December 2018, it begins with the 50 year old protagonist,  Frankie, a mature social work student, on placement in a local authority learning disabilities team. One day, the grown up daughters of one of Frankie's clients discloses that they had been sexually abused by their father when they were children. The next time Frankie visits her client's home, the husband was there alone, and seeing him triggered Frankie to want to strangle him to death. Realising that she'd never dealt with her childhood of sexual abuse by her own father, Frankie seeks counselling and sets out on her journey towards recovery. The story takes the reader with Frankie on that journey with all its emotions. It's an ideal book for people who are still on that road to recovery, who will find encouragement and hope that they will reach the light at the end of the tunnel. It is also a book that families of victims, and professionals working with victims will find illuminating and educational, as it will increase their understanding of the emotions experienced by victims.

No - Sequel to One Small Word walks with Frankie along life's pathway as she becomes the safeguarding lead for the local authority for which she has worked for many years. She finds herself in a team, five members of which experience bullying by the manager. The reader experiences with her the traumas and heartbreaks as she seeks justice and healing, using the skills she learned to recover from and manage the behaviour that resulted from her childhood abuse. Bullying is still rife, especially in local authorities, even twenty years later, and this book will help victims to gain knowledge of the power of the word 'no' in dealing with these narcissists.












By Geri Burnikell, Coordinator of the Charity, Support Line

As Co-ordinator of a charity, which has supported survivors of child abuse for many years, I was delighted to review this book, which takes us on a journey with Frankie, a mature social work student, who was abused both physically and sexually at home for many years in her childhood. 


As with many survivors Frankie had underestimated the massive impact that her abuse would have in later life and it was as a mature social work student that she was triggered when working with a family in which abuse was disclosed. Being in the presence of the perpetrator brought back to Frankie memories of her father abusing her and all the feelings of anger and hate towards him and the shame and guilt she felt as a child.


The reader is given a very vivid understanding of the very sad childhood, which Frankie led, although with some glimpses of normality and happiness such as family Christmases and enjoyable times spent with grandparents. Much of Frankie's childhood was based on fear, desperately trying, along with her siblings, to escape the clutches of her volatile and violent father while for many years enduring the most horrific sexual abuse.


We hear of the desperate loneliness Frankie felt as a child, her feelings of despair and the lack of love she was shown by her parents. We are given an insight into Frankie's life as an adult, the marriage she felt pressured into, the affairs she had, the births of her children, family life and all her soul searching and heartache along the way, which were interspersed with happier times.


We see how through the counselling process Frankie came to have a deeper understanding of how the abuse had affected her life and behaviour as an adult. She saw how not having the respect of her father as a child or the respect of her mother who colluded with the abuse, had led to her having no respect for herself. Having very much been at the control of others in her childhood she understood how as an adult she had succumbed to the control of others.  Frankie had very low self esteem, and did not believe she was worthy of being liked or loved, had difficulty in expressing love and how to respond to men appropriately. Frankie shares with us her tremendous guilt and shame over what happened and how the abuse had robbed her of her childhood and innocence.


Counselling helped Frankie to see the feelings she had were perfectly normal, that the abuse was not her fault, it was ok to like herself, she was worthy of love, and that the responsibility for the abuse belonged to the perpetrator, and not on her shoulders.


Through our work with survivors we know that many suffer in silence, some for many years, often the shame and guilt preventing them from seeking help. The counselling showed what a difference reaching out to others can make and led to Frankie being free of her thoughts, which had haunted her for over forty years. Frankie's counsellor had said to her that what you learn as a child is really hard to unlearn in adulthood and that is so very true. This is often why survivors have so many difficulties and struggles in adult years where they often carry around the burden of the feelings and thoughts they were made to feel as a child.


I feel that when survivors speak out about their own abuse it is a great help to others struggling to make some kind of sense of the way they feel. This book very much shows how, with support and a greater understanding and awareness, that it is possible to make changes to one's beliefs which have been held for many years. It is an inspiration to those with their own struggles as Frankie showed through her determination, her strength, her courage, and her resilience, how to turn negative experiences into positive ones. To gain some semblance of healing from the trauma of abuse is often a long and painful journey but Frankie shows us that much can be attained and achieved and how her own experiences enabled her to empathise with and help others in the career that she had chosen. The book inspires the reader never to give up hope as it is possible to reach a stage in life where the past does not adversely affect one's daily life and one can attain a sense of normality, peace and happiness. I would thoroughly recommend this book to all those who have been affected by the impact of child abuse on their lives and to those who work with survivors as a source of hope and inspiration and the importance of seeking help and support from others and breaking the silence which surrounds abuse.

One Small Word


“I gave it to my 87 year old mother to read because she also had suffered sexual abuse at the hands of her father.  She has only shared that with me, one of eight children.  At first I wasn't sure if she would want to read it.  I guess I was trying to protect her from reliving what happened to her.  She assured me that she wanted to read it.


Here are her thoughts:

She completely related to your feeling as a child.  She said it sounded the same except for the fact that her father never penetrated her.

When she read the part about your parents leaving you at the hospital to get your tonsils out, she recalled the exact same thing happening to her.  They never told her where or why she was going.  She didn't know it was a hospital.  They left her and she remembers being told she could have ice cream.  I find that to be fascinating because you live in another country.  The tonsil thing was her first vivid memory from the age of 5.


She recalls the sexual abuse from the time she was about 7.  At one point, she told her mother that she thought her brother was bothering her in the night and her mother told her that it was just a dream.  I believe that her mother knew what was going on.  She treated my mother differently then her siblings for her entire life.


I just want you to know that your book had an impact on my mother, a child abuse survivor.  I want to validate for you that your book is a voice for all the unspoken victims out there that will never speak of the horrendous things that happened to them.  


My mother didn't tell me about her experience until about 3 years ago.  My heart was broken that she lived all her life with that secret.  But, now, she is able to openly speak of it to me.  This gives me peace because I wouldn't want her to go to her grave with such a secret.


Here's another really big thing.  The cover of your book hit her somewhere inside like a ton of bricks.  I felt it too when I first saw it.  There is such power in that little girl on the front cover.  Both my mother and I had the same reaction when we saw it.  It's haunting.  


Your book is a great one.  There are so many things in there including the cover that are able to uncover hidden secrets for your readers.


I just want to thank you so much for writing One Small Word.  



(Author of ‘My Story – Transforming the Wounds of Childhood Abuse')

Gloria’s message is “There is hope after abuse.” Reading about her horrific experiences of child abuse and how they’ve affected her life decisions helped me to write my own story. Gloria takes you to the healing place where you can learn to love yourself and move on to live a beautiful and productive life. Also reading about how she transformed her pain to purpose has inspired me and motivated me to continue to push to use my experiences to help others.

Reader Review on Amazon

Mary M. - 5 out of 5 stars

Gloria Eveleigh shares her story of horrific child abuse and how it effects her life's decisions. As you walk with her through her journey, she takes you to the healing place where a person can learn to love themselves and move on to live a beautiful and productive life. I highly recommend this book for those seeking a light at the end of the tunnel of abuse

Reader Review on Barnes and Noble

Anonymous - 5 out of 5 stars

An excellent autobiographical work. It's possible to heal from past trauma and this author shares her journey into adulthood after surviving horrendous child abuse. Walk with her on her journey to the healing place and find that it is possible to grow into a person, full ofself-love and light. Gloria Eveleigh shows us that life is to be lived and enjoyed and that it's possible to have that even after experiencing child abuse. I highly recommend this book for those struggling to see the light of day after living through hell of abuse.

REVIEWS OF 'ONE - Sequal to One Small Word'