Nasty Little Girl by B C Monahan is a novella with great insights into the psychological effects on abused children and the lies they get fed to prevent them from telling.
Well written story, from the perspective of seven year old Bethany. Forced to live with her Father and his new wife Linda, Bethany is stripped of her clothes, food and made to believe that she is worthless.
Sent to school with an empty lunch box and dirty clothing, she is an easy target for bullies. She dares not to speak out about the treatment at home as she believes the authorities are looking to punish her for being bad.
The scenes created are very vivid as Bethany explains to the reader, the reason her lunch box is empty is she has allergies and can’t eat very much. Water is expensive and if she wasn’t so bad and greedy, she would be treated differently.
Bethany learns to believe that she doesn’t deserve clean clothing and nice things.
The feeling of being undeserving was a key theme through out the book and I could really relate to it. So many victims of abuse deny themselves small luxuries and find it hard to take care of their bodies. Long after the abuser has left, that impact of being ‘bad’ can stay.