Overcoming the odds

Sussex Life|June 2020

Overcoming the odds
With Unwanted Etchingham writer Suz Evasdaughter explores her traumatic childhood in Yorkshire, while offering up a story of hope and overcoming the odds
Simone Hellyer

The tale of the cruel stepmother is one that we have all grown up knowing. In most cases this is an unfair and outdated cliché, but for Suz Evasdaughter it was all too true.

Now happily living in a woodland haven in Etchingham, East Sussex, Suz’s start in life couldn’t have been more different. Suz grew up in Yorkshire in the late 1950s and 60s, but her happy start in life was cut short at five years old when her mother died from breast cancer. Unable to cope, Suz’s father placed her and her two brothers into a children’s home. Eventually, Suz’s father reclaimed the children and they lived a relatively happy life with their extended family. Everything came crashing down, however, when her father remarried a woman called Muriel and the couple had a child of their own.

In her autobiographical book Unwanted, published this April, Suz details how her new stepmother made her life a misery. Suz was singled out for humiliation and degradation and could not speak to her brothers or father. Padlocks appeared on the food cupboards and the stepchildren were fed scraps, while the new family tucked into hearty dinners.


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June 2020