News & Reviews

Every word is important
Every word is importantOctober 3, 2023News & ReviewsI’m so encouraged to know that my memoir is still touching readers. This Facebook message is from someone in Alberta. Thank you, Ms. Cherry!   Cynthia Cherry, Calgary, AB Hello, Sheila. I am a friend of Scott Alderson and he loaned me your book to read. I want you to know it is one of the saddest, most enlightening books I have ever read. Every word is important. I am terribly sorry you had to go through what you did, but look what that pain produced! I want to thank you for having the courage to put this into the world. I pray that you are able to continue in your peace. You are an amazing human being.     [...]
What a great read and cheers to you for being so brave
What a great read and cheers to you for being so braveSeptember 1, 2023News & ReviewsErin Zinck, Oakville, ON Sheila, the harrowing account of your childhood is incredibly well written and detailed.  The candid nature in which you describe your formative years and into adulthood is deeply moving and takes you through a variety of emotions.  My heart ached during various times throughout reading the book and I had to read it in stages because of the powerful emotions it invoked in me.  Sheila—your courage, resiliency, and grit are a true testament to the person you are.  What a great read and cheers to you for being so brave for choosing to share your story.                                         *   *   *   *   * A local retailer had read Rag Dolls and Rage and found my story gripping. She wrote this note to me, above. My story, often recounted through conversations with my (excellent) therapist, as well as via flashbacks to scenes and situations during my childhood and teen years, portrays a vivid life journey toward acceptance and letting go. Many readers have told me my story helped them address their own issues from the past. [...]
“I think it will become a classic … It is good literature”
“I think it will become a classic … It is good literature”June 8, 2023News & ReviewsI’m grateful that the award-winning playwright, Donna Langevin, took the time to write to me after reading my memoir. She has given me permission to post her emailed note below. Donna Langevin, poet and playwright, Toronto, ON Hi Sheila, I just finished reading Rag Dolls and Rage which our mutual friend Linda Cassidy lent me. I was tremendously moved by your painful yet ultimately positive narrative. It is gripping, beautifully written, and the characters are all so memorable and well-drawn. I think it will become a classic, not only because of its heartbreaking story, your impressive intelligence and unflinching courage as you journey towards understanding and compassion, but because it is good literature. BRAVO SHEILA! Warm regards, Donna Langevin [...]
Another reader comment: nice to know my book is passed around
Another reader comment: nice to know my book is passed aroundMarch 1, 2023News & ReviewsI’m always glad to hear from readers. Many take away something from Rag Dolls and Rage. I believe it is because there are various angles and social issues detailed throughout my story. This is the reason folks relate to at least one aspect: in this case, a person who was bullied at school and sees himself in my shoes, reacting like I did. And surviving, like I did. S. F. B.: Brisbane, AU My sister read Rag Dolls and Rage, then lent me it. Now I see why. She got it and got that I’d know about your school chapters. I read it in 4 days and I don’t usually read much. It’s like it was me and it took me back. Like you, I got hurt but grew up and got tough. You and me, we have an inner strength. Good that you have a better time of it now. I do as well, but I watch my son for any sign of getting picked on at school. I will protect him as I know how it messes the mind for a long time. Good on you.   [...]
There’s an entire universe on the inside of people that influences their behaviour
There’s an entire universe on the inside of people that influences their behaviourNovember 20, 2022News & ReviewsA big thank you to Alex Senson for his insightful comments re my memoir. He posted the comments on Goodreads too. Alex is astute; he really understand the many issues and learning experiences gained through reading Rag Dolls and Rage.   Alex Senson, Coach, Toronto, ON   This is an important read for anyone with children in their lives, or those who may be struggling emotionally / with past trauma. It’s striking, educational and even uncomfortable to learn and understand how early childhood trauma can so severely impact the rest of a person’s life. It highlights the importance of mental health supports for families. It’s also inspiring and hopeful to know that as bad as things may be, there are ways to get through and heal. Getting professional help or pursuing self-help can be painful, but it can work very well. It can be life saving too – in the case of those who turn to suicide as their only perceived way to escape the pain. The author’s experience with therapy demonstrates clearly what kinds of breakthroughs and insights are possible and how positive those can be. It’s so important to understand how the actions of adults, parents, family, peers and community shapes the mind of a child. When we see a person – we see them from the outside. We tend to judge prematurely and this can lead to further unintended cruelty and emotional pain (even by those we love and who love us). There’s an entire universe on the inside of people that influences their behaviour. The author’s story really highlights how this can happen, and why it happens. When adults are not consciously aware of their role in shaping this internal universe in young people, kids can grow up experiencing significant trauma and pain which negatively affects their behaviour as well. It doesn’t take horrible abuse (as was the case in this book) for this to happen necessarily either. Something as simple as a shift in attention from an older child to a new sibling can feel like an existential threat to that child – they need the empathy of adults to understand this perspective in order to reassure them of their continued safety and security as they grow up. This is a basic human need and expecting a child to simply “grow up” or “get over it” demonstrates ignorance. What adults should strive to work through are the (sometimes dysfunctional) ways they were treated as children themselves so they can “reset” and employ true empathy and compassion to others without their own emotional and behavioural survival mechanisms influencing their actions. So read this book and see how many lessons within apply to your life – I almost guarantee some of the insights will resonate with you.     [...]
Much understanding from this reader of Rag Dolls and Rage
Much understanding from this reader of Rag Dolls and RageJune 5, 2022News & ReviewsEmpathy and understanding from a reader who began my book one morning, and was already halfway through it by mid-afternoon. Wow. Thank you for your comments, Judy.   Judy L., Grandmother. Wiarton, ON Sheila … my dear lady…I am halfway through reading your book You are an excellent writer and I find it hard to put the book down…I thought Kathy and I went through a wretched childhood and teen years but what you went through !!! Omg !! I send you huge, huge hugs and a bucket of love and understanding !! We are survivors, and we will get through anything that is put towards us !! Good thing tomorrow is garbage day to get rid of this pile of wet tissues !! Oh how I cried !! [...]
She leads the way in this page-turner
She leads the way in this page-turnerMarch 14, 2022News & ReviewsA huge thank you to Deb Hill for this wonderful and insightful review of my memoir, Rag Dolls and Rage. She posted it on Goodreads and allowed me to copy it here.   Deb Hill, Poet. Windsor, ON A powerful and courageous story based on true events! British-born and Canadian author Sheila E. Tucker opens the door to her childhood past, releasing dark secrets and horrors of abuse that have haunted her for years. Not always an easy read due to the mature and disturbing subject matter, her 234-page memoir “Rag Dolls and Rage” shocked and angered me as I walked in her shoes through the stress and complexities associated with her blended and at times dysfunctional families. Yet there are chapters of respite. What begins with an initial session with her doctor (and her admission of lost innocence and recurring anguish) turns into a therapeutic and cathartic experience. The book reveals, heals, educates, and provokes further thought/discussion about childhood trauma and dealing with bullies in all situations, including those outside her home. “It was very tempting. Just sneak away from this door. Forget the whole thing,” writes the author on her first page. Gripping the reader with her words and her storytelling abilities, Tucker not only opens a frank conversation for herself but for her audience as well. As a survivor, she leads the way in this page-turner. Building resilience and strength, she becomes the torch in a darkened room, offering hope and inspiration to others who may be too afraid to speak or act for themselves. I look forward to reading more of her work. [...]
I am glad that you are in a happy place now: excerpt of a reader review
I am glad that you are in a happy place now: excerpt of a reader reviewJanuary 20, 2022News & ReviewsI received a note from a cousin I have not seen for around three decades. She is way younger than me, and has now read my memoir.  She wrote me a note, below. (I changed her initials, because my book disguises family names – not that she was in it.)   C.V.P., Midlands, UK I have just finished reading your book. I have smiled, cried and laughed… About Nana. Always told she was an amazing lady. Your book paints her so vividly that I wish I could have met her. I am immensely proud of you for telling your story. So strong in spite of difficult times. That has made you into the amazing you that you are today. I am glad that you are in a happy place now. I’m going through a bad time at the moment. Your book has given me inspiration that better times are ahead.     [...]