The Invisible Girl
In foster care after having experienced violence, neglect and sexual abuse as a young child, Eloise, age 14, has created a fantasy companion for herself, leading to confusion for the social workers trying to help her, because they do not know what is fact and what is fiction.
Then Eloise develops a troubling obsession with another teen. In a mistaken belief Torey Hayden can help reunite her with this girl, she agrees to work with Torey, who is challenged to meet Eloise’s complex behavioural needs.
MURPHY’S BOY (SILENT BOY) remained Torey’s favorite book for many years.
“I felt I had found my writing voice with MURPHY’S BOY, “ she says.
“My youth showed a little too much for comfort in ONE CHILD and I would completely re-write SOMEBODY ELSE’S KIDS, if I had my choice.”
Torey didn’t set out to write about Ladbrooke in JUST ANOTHER KID. She only intended to write about the children and include Ladbrooke only in her capacity as aide in the classroom. But as the book progressed, Torey was surprised to find it had become Ladbrooke’s story.
Alarmed that her publishers might not like this deviation from the synopsis they’d purchased, she mailed the 250-page uncompleted manuscript in a panic to her editor over Christmas that year to find out if she should proceed. Fortunately, everyone liked the “story that wrote itself”.
This is the one book Torey finds impossible to go back and read. It was written very quickly, about 20 pages a day, and being very busy with a real-life class at the time, Torey did not take much time to go back over it. She says she now can’t read it because “the writing’s really rather bad” and ruins the story for her.
Torey confesses another reason for not being able to go back and read it is that SOMEBODY ELSE’S KIDS “is a bit of a revenge book”, expressing her frustrations with the teacher portrayed as Edna in the book and with the mainstreaming law.
“It probably would have been a better book if I had been just a little less angry when I wrote it,” she says.
In a forgotten corner of Wales, a young girl languishes in a home for troubled children. Abandoned by her parents, Jessie, aged nine, is at risk of becoming just another lost soul in the foster system. Precocious and bold and convinced she is possessed by the Devil, Jessie is utterly unprepared for the arrival of Torey Hayden. Armed with patience and compassion, Hayden begins working with Jessie, and then Jessie makes a stunning accusation against one of Hayden’s colleagues. Hayden’s work doubles. Now she must not only help Jessie with her troubles but also find out if what the girl alleges is true.
ONE CHILD did not start out as a book. Torey wrote it as a personal story to record for herself her extraordinary time with Sheila. It was only after the story was completed that she considered publishing it.
ONE CHILD is Torey’s first book and it was the first thing she ever submitted for publication. The story itself was written very quickly – only eight days from start to finish.
It took only 42 days from the time she started writing ONE CHILD until she signed a contract with G.P. Putnam’s Sons to publish it.
ONE CHILD is currently in 28 languages and has been adapted in several diverse forms, including a one-act opera, a Japanese puppet play and a TV movie.