When 15 year old Skye's mother finally does something so shocking that it can't be hushed up, the police turn her over to the social workers - and that's when the nightmare begins.
No one will let her talk to her father; the woman who is supposed to be helping her dumps her in a terrifying 'home' that's more like a jail. But she still has one friend to turn to: the sympathetic girl she's met in an Internet chat room, the one who seems to have a home life as unhappy as Skye's. And Jade offers her a safe place to stay....
Alone in Manchester, nearly penniless, Skye is willing to trust Jade. Even when it isn't Jade who turns up at the rendezvous but a grown-up man who says he's Jade's brother....
Mandasue Heller was born in Cheshire and moved to Manchester in 1982. She spent ten years living in the notorious Hulme Crescents, which have since become the background to her novels. Not only is she a talented writer, but she has also sung in cabaret and rock groups, '70s soul cover bands and blues jam bands.
©2015 Mandasue Heller (P)2015 Audible, Ltd
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By Andy Russell on 04-12-15

Disturbing but worth it

What did you like most about Afraid?

It would be difficult to say I 'liked' anything about the book as I found listening to it a very very unsettling and at times upsetting. I knew what the book was going to be about so this is no complaint but normally I can listen to any genre without feeling upset. It's a great book but the subject is very harrowing and I hadn't been prepared for how much so.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Afraid?

I quite liked the epilogue so you weren't left wondering about loose ends.

What about Colleen Prendergast’s performance did you like?

Great voice performance, several characters to do and she gave them all a great recognizable personality.

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Very upsetting book. Apart from the obvious , that is the plot described in the blurb, there are brief descriptions of rape and animal cruelty which I found hard going.

Any additional comments?

I am glad I listened to this book and I feel it's probably quite realistic. The one very strange this is that the language and descriptions used are almost like those used in teen / young adult novels. Over use of 'hooded look' and 'crooning' which was a little annoying. I would recommend the book but I feel this will stay with me for some time. I had to listen to the last 5 hours in one go just to get it out of the way as I was unable to look forward to the next listen as I was anxious about what the next horrible thing would be.

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4 of 4 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By just for charity on 04-12-15


Gripping page turner couldn't put it down but a painful storyline and subject matter, especially for parents

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Mallory on 14-02-17

Riveting, Dark Suspense

What did you love best about Afraid?

This book is an addictive page-turner that I could not put down, compelled to see what happened minute by minute to Skye Benson and her dad, Jeff Benson, the two main narrators of this great story. The suspense built like crazy until the final, shocking conclusion, and it thrilled at every turn.

Who was your favorite character and why?

The story is told in the points of view of Skye, just turned fifteen and on the run following events at home beyond her control, and she realizes she has only herself to rely on if she is to escape her certain fate in a violent children's home. Jeff Benson is her father, a victim of his wife's mental illness and a system seemingly designed to keep him down, while the police haunt his every movement as he tries to survive both physically and mentally following his daughters disappearance. I found both characters to be sympathetic and both held my interest intensely.

What about Colleen Prendergast’s performance did you like?

The performance was pitch-perfect for each character and her narration really brought the plights of the characters to life. Bravo!

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

I was not only on the edge of my seat but found myself having real feelings for these characters. They inspired sympathy, hope, and resilience in the face of extreme hardships that most people will never have to endure. The end was especially touching.

Any additional comments?

I was surprised how much I loved "Afraid" and immediately am seeking out other audiobooks by Mandasue Heller. This is a great story that is carried by great writing and awesome character development along with a suspenseful and thought-provoking plot. I highly recommend readers to pick up this audiobook and experience it for themselves!

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7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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