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Felicity Davis was a finallist in the 2009 Barbara Taylor Bradford Woman of Substance Awards, recognising women who've become high achievers against the odds. She is the deputy head of George Pindar Community Sports College in Scarborough.
For Felicity, growing up with her unmarried mother and grandparents in a tiny bungalow in Scarborough, life could be frightening and confusing. Why did her beloved granddad just make excuses when her gran subjected her to physical and psychological abuse? Why did her dad, who lived alone nearby, call her by a different name and hide her from his family? What was wrong with her? Sick of it all, Felicity ran away from home aged fifteen and for years she struggled to find her way until she qualified as a teacher and found a career she loved. But at the age of fifty, a successful woman, she still felt hollow inside. Needing to understand why her gran had abused her, she started to research her family's history and uncovered their secrets one by one, including a shocking truth kept buried out of shame. Her great-grandmother Emily Swann, a brutalised wife, had been hanged for the murder of her violent husband... Powerful and moving, Sins of the Family shows how tragedies can impact generations to come but understanding and forgiveness can heal the past. PREVIOUSLY PUBLISHED AS GUARD A SILVER SIXPENCE
Felicity's earliest memories are of pain and confusion, of being beaten daily by her nan and watching her mum being beaten too. She ran away from home at fifteen. At thirty-six she was a single mother of three sons who was broke and lost. Remarkably she turned her life around, becoming a teacher. But it wasn't quite enough . . . Felicity needed to understand why her nan abused her - and in researching her family history uncovered a corrosive secret that had scarred succeeding generations. In 1903 her great-grandmother Emily Swann was hung for the murder of her violent husband. The Wombwell Murder was a notorious case, and it brought shame on Emily's orphaned children. Discovering the povery and hardships of Emily's life in Barnsley, and the traumas her nan suffered as a girl, Felicity came to see the destructive patterns that had been repeated in her family for nearly 100 years, and was finally free to walk away into her own future.