Tell Me Why, Mummy : A Little Boy's Struggle to Survive. A Mother's Shameful Secret. The Power to Forgive., Paperback

Tell Me Why, Mummy : A Little Boy's Struggle to Survive. A Mother's Shameful Secret. The Power to Forgive. Paperback

3 out of 5 (1 rating)


The inspirational true story of one man overcoming enormous odds - including sexual abuse from his alcoholic mother - to choose his own path in life and become a truly exceptional human being.

From the age of four David Thomas was sexually abused by his alcoholic mother and subsequently physically abused by his aged stepfather.

By the age of 16 he had committed multiple burglaries, assaulted a police officer with an iron bar, attempted suicide, received a criminal conviction from a juvenile court, and been expelled from school.

He left home as soon as he could and joined the fire service at 20.

At the age of 27 he bought a book on memory. Within 8 months he had come fourth in the World Memory Championships and went on to develop one of the most powerful memories in history, even breaking an 18-year-old Guinness Book of Records memory record by reciting the mathematical formula Pi (3.1459) to 22,500 digits from memory.

In 1999 he was reunited with his mother after 4 years apart but tragically, a year later he found her dead at home after she had died of an alcohol induced heart attack. David's shocking and moving story is one of abuse, alcoholism, courage, determination, forgiveness, love and how everyone can choose their own path through life irrespective of their upbringing, background or perceptions about what they think is possible.

David is an incredible example of how this can happen.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 336 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Autobiography: general
  • ISBN: 9780007256372



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As a story, this book is not much different from any other childhood abuse story. Although clearly, this was not the case for the author, David, who suffered years of sexual abuse from his mother and physical abuse from his step-father. His life was traumatic and I think the worst part was that he had no one to turn to. He was alone and helpless. After a rocky adolescence he managed to succeed as an adult and I commend him for the courage it must have taken to write his story and share it with the world after carrying around such a weighty secret for about thirty years. I wish him continued healing and success.The writing itself didn’t grip me and it is very repetitive. Each section ends with a similar phrase, something like, “But I had no idea just how bad things were about to become.” The author writes from the perspective of the age he was as he describes the incidents and perhaps because of this, dates, ages, and some facts are confusing. I was surprised when, towards the middle of the book, he mentions that his mother never gets drunk during the week, only on weekends. From previous descriptions, it sounded like she was drunk most nights. Small parts of the content may be offensive to sensitive readers as the author describes the abuse, but it’s easy to skim over these as they are written in italics.

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