… “Up you get, Angie, it’s time for your smiling song.” Angie remembered the four chocolate hearts wrapped in gold paper. One for each line. Her patent leather shoes squeaked as she stood to her feet.

       Hands clasped behind her and tugging on her sash, Angie swallowed hard and took a big breath. The pianist smiled in her direction and nodded his head. She started to sing at the practised note.

… Tender years spun into oblivion, trapped, voiceless. Fear wiped its seal on the lid. Apart from a few cheerful times, Angie’s childhood memories between three and eight years blurred into a patchwork of photographs and hand-me-down stories, nightmares and wet beds.

       Remnant cheerful memories rise to redeem the sanity of a small girl lost in the vacuum of sexual abuse. These memories, precious beyond measure, she numbers, dwells upon, treasures like a tattered rag doll, the teddy of infancy, the peculiar security of a once-chewed sheet.

Someone’s child is crying now
Hot tears trapped in a secret well
Where fears and shadows mute the tongue
No voice to speak, no words to yell

Someone’s child is hurting now
Sweet innocence pushed in a heap
And lust and greed will have their way
While evil plays, wrapped in a treat

Someone’s child is trembling now
Sad tears pushed back from smarting cheeks
Brave eyelids pull the blind on hurt
The snare is set, and silence speaks

… It was a day like no other; a defining day. Time slowed as the toxic mix of traumas twirled before strangers – an ugly, too-bright thing. Then they’d had enough. The judge looked up and made his final speech. And it was over.

What People are saying about Flower Girl:

I’ve just finished your wonderful book. Your story, thoughts, experiences and encouragement will resonate with very many, I am sure. I think Flower Girl would make a very worthwhile movie.


I have just finished reading Flower Girl. I cried with and for you throughout those pages. What courage to express all that you recall of those times. I know it will help many people to read your story. Thank you for sharing it with the world...


I have read your book Flower Girl  - it’s wonderful...


I am currently reading Flower Girl and find your openness and honesty captivating. I really admire the attitude your parents and grandparents displayed.  Even though they struggled with self blame, they continued to put your needs and recovery first…


Beautifully written...


Congratulations on your masterful novel Flower Girl ...


Knowing what a gifted writer Maureen is, it was with great expectation that I began reading. What I hadn’t thought about was my own emotional journey while reading Flower Girl. This is indeed a story of survival of the human spirit through determination, love and faith. Watch your children because others are also watching them!!!! Thank you Maureen for your courage in sharing your story...


I wish I could tear Chapter 10 from your book. Seriously, I sat reading the last pages of Flower Girl with a restless little daughter sitting on my lap, tissues nearby. How could I but hug her close...




Flower Girl is based on a true story and has a three-fold purpose:
to release abuse victims, enlighten parents and shout to the world the ugly messages pushed into secret places – messages which choke the soul and silence truth. Flower Girl, sub-titled Who’s watching our children? is suitable for teenagers and adults.

Flower Girl tells the story of Angela Kathleen Monaldi, a young girl who was sexually abused over six years by a trusted family friend whilst in the ‘safety’ of her grandparents’ home and in near vicinity to her unsuspecting parents. This was an era of hushing-up such violations in order to protect the family, but suppressed childhood trauma has a way of revisiting. Within these pages you are invited to look into the dark void that innocent children face alone – where fears and shadows mute the tongue. Flower Girl speaks for the legion of victims unable to voice their secret tragedy. It shines a candle of hope in great darkness. Follow Angela’s journey of release from the past which leads to a clear pathway for her future. With the rising incidence of reported child sexual abuse, the question must be asked - Who’s watching our children?

Why did I write Flower Girl? My prime purpose in writing Flower Girl was to attempt to make a positive difference in the understanding of child sexual abuse. I don’t claim to be a psychologist but having experienced such abuse and having received professional help, particularly in the very early days, I wanted to share my journey and the survival skills that helped me (professional, parental and faith). Flower Girl removes the mask, so the reader can view close-up the trauma which lingers and revisits at pivotal milestones in life. How to cope with the manifestation of such trauma becomes paramount to survival.

Over recent years I have experienced a constant gnawing to share my story; to trace life’s journey from deep childhood trauma, surviving periodic dark episodes and remnant issues through to a sense of liberation and peace. Flower Girl has been written with great passion yoked with a sensitivity born of travelling one of life’s ugly pathways. A tough subject – brought into the light with the hope that some might find balm for their soul-wounds and parents/carers might sharpen their powers of observation, but more importantly, that hurting children caught in the web of their oppressors’ deceit will find their voice.

As an aid to readers requiring assistance, I include the following counselling contact:
Exceptional Counselling and Psychology Services can be contacted by selecting the link to MERRYLANDS COUNSELLING, Colleen  Hirst & Associates here or on the Contact Links Page of this website. Colleen Hirst is known to me personally and I can highly recommend her to anyone seeking professional help.

Click on the logo above to listen to the
Flower Girl radio interview
on Hope 103.2 with Aaron Wright



Flower Girl is available from selected Angus and Robertson bookstores and Koorong Books. The ISBN is 978-0-9751281-1-4. If you have trouble sourcing the book, please email me and I will post you a copy at AU$18.95 plus postage. (Price for multiple copies by negotiation.) Multiple copies may be purchased at a cheaper rate by contacting the author. Flower Girl will also be available at clubs such as Probus, Lions, Rotary and Women’s Groups when I visit as guest speaker.



A voice for children Truth gets an airing

Bookmarks for the occasion … like flowers that grow in fairyland

The prominent yellow pansies

Getting ready for book signing

Winston (94) gives a father’s perspective Chocolate hearts and jelly beans – Elise and Abbey








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