On this page you will find all the information related to Christine Clayfield and her novel No Fourth River.
This page is divided into 5 sections: Contact Info, Book Info, Photos, Book Trailer & Possible Interview Questions and Book Themes
Christine Clayfield is a mother, wife, author and entrepreneur.
She likes to look at the glass as half full and she thinks like there is no box.
When she is not working, she will probably be travelling, reading, watching a good movie or dining.
Christine has achieved recognition as a Bestselling Author for one of her Internet marketing books. She has written 6 books: 1 novel (her own life story) and 5 Internet marketing related books.
Christine’s past holds much pain and abuse, but it did not stop her from being the woman she is today by transforming her life and building the future she wanted.
With several successful businesses under her belt, Christine decided to become an author. She wants to empower and inspire the world with the release of “No Fourth River”, a novel, based on a true story: her own life.
Life was certainly no easy ride for her. To say she had a hard life as a child and a young adult, is an understatement. ‘No Fourth River’, is her way to let the world know that despite the pain of your past, YOU have the ability to change your future. YOU can make it happen if you just believe. It all starts with YOU.
Christine loves writing books and helping others to achieve business success! She has helped countless people to get to grips with making money online.
Christine Clayfield is an Author, Internet marketer, Entrepreneur, Infopreneur and Public Speaker. She is the author of:
- From Newbie To Millionaire
- Drop Shipping and eCommerce. What You Need And Where To Get it
- Finding Niches Made Easy
- Design Free Websites
- Work From Home Ideas
- No Fourth River
You can find her author page on Amazon.
She donates monthly to the NSPCC “National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children” because she has experienced how hard it is to grow up as a child without love or affection and how tough it is to continually and consistently being abused and bullied.
Christine explains why she wrote her novel, No Fourth River:
I don’t usually share my story with others. However, sometimes when I unintentionally mention things from my past, people are intrigued. They want to know more about my life. I’ve often been told that I should write a book because my struggles would resonate with others and my life story could be an inspiration. I’ve listened; I’ve written my book. I hope you enjoy it!
I truly believe that despite the pain of your past, you have the ability to change your future. You can make it happen if you just believe. It all starts with you.
Sometimes the people that we love can become cages, trapping us in a life that we don’t recognize or accept. Throughout my life, I have developed strength of character—a real determination that has seen me through some dark and abysmal times. This is the purpose of telling my story—I want to help you to discover your strength. I lived on the other side for a very long time. The other side of happiness.
They say that your youngest years are also your longest; you are too new to realize the relentless pace of the world. I was trapped there in my childhood and my youth, absorbing the pain of my circumstances in slow motion.
For too many years, I lived in utter misery because of my cruel dad, that evil boarding school and my slavemaster husband.
It was as if I had my face pressed against the window of a bakery but I was never allowed inside. Sure, I knew what the delights inside looked like but the taste, the smell, and the rapture of them were lost on me. Happiness was something that belonged to other people. They wore it so lightly, so naturally, that it became a source of confusion for me growing up.
I learned the wrong kinds of lessons. You know, the ones that keep you trapped inside misery forever. I just didn’t know any better. My normal was on the other side of living—it was coping. It took faith beyond reason to jar me out of that life but I found a way to cross over to the other side.
After endless torment, I made a promise to myself: No more. It was time to build the life I desired. I made a plan to change my world.
To say that writing this book has been an emotional experience would be an understatement. I had deliberately buried any memory of my youth because it became too painful to recollect. To write this book, I had to uncover my pain and dig up those memories that were long since put to rest.
In fact, I grew so disconnected from my feelings about my past, it was as if every bad memory I had was automatically locked away in order to protect myself from random recollections. Despite my efforts over the years to keep things buried, writing this book has uncovered these recollections and raw emotions, which now feel like fresh memories burnt into place.
Painful experiences can completely disconnect you from your feelings and the person you truly are, and worst of all, neglect your most crucial needs. I was there. I was at rock bottom and deeply ashamed of the choices I had made. I had to try to find a way to reconnect with myself.
I want to share my story to help others who feel as I did—ashamed, alone, sad and hopeless. Join me on this journey through my life’s struggles. As you join me in this personal memoir, a retelling of my crossing, I want you to hold a thought in mind. If life has kept you shut out of its joys and pleasures, I want to charge you with a single idea: if I could find my way through the bakery door, then you most certainly can too.
As you read my story, I hope you find your own inner strength to escape the prisons erected around you in your life.
I hope you will enjoy reading it.
All the best,
The blurb on the back of the book:
Electroshock therapy, child abuse and modern-day slavery… just another day in Christine’s life.
Take a heart-wrenching yet inspiring ride through one woman’s incredible journey that is so compelling that you are simultaneously trying to look away and unable to stop yourself from reading on.
Christine’s father is a wealthy, tyrannical man renowned in the diamond business. At the age of just five, little Christine is cast aside into a boarding school where she is ridiculed for two embarrassing problems. She grows up in a never-ending circle of traumatic experiences both in her boarding school and at home. It culminates into a falling out between father and child that was never fully mended, leading her into a world of promiscuity and alcohol, eventually landing her in a violent marriage.
Driven to the limits of despair and heartache, she creates a plan to escape her world of misery. Will her plan work?
A story that asks: How do you find the strength, when you suffer almost unbearable abuse and are broken beyond repair, to pick up the pieces of a shattered life?
You can find most of these reviews on Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com
I was impressed
Honestly….I was really quite impressed. You have a from-the-heart tale that resonates. This novel is very well written, a real page turner. It’s inspirational and it keeps you on the edge of your seat. Amanda Rogers, Proofreader
This is powerful stuff. I like your frank, no excuses yet no shame writing style. It's rare to find a script that actually has me thinking about it later. A story that strikes at a visceral level and latches onto the brain like a tick... now that's good writing. Richard Peters, Editor
Thoroughly enjoyed this book.
I have thoroughly enjoyed this book. Gosh what a life! I am never saying again that I am struggling after reading this book! I love Christine’s writing style. Tina Cowley, Beta reader
Written from the heart
Most of the novels I read are fancy-pancy-style-writing. Not this one. It is clearly written from the heart and that shines through the book. Emily Verdeen, Beta reader
A great story, very inspirational! I found it hard to put down this book. Absolutely loved it. Incredibly well written. Great book by a great author. Linzy Apppledore, Beta reader
From hell to heaven
I’ve read many personal histories in my life. Mostly about valiant women who have survived horrors that you only see in Hollywood movies. But, this is not horror, this is real. An unloved young girl loses everything and has to overcome the worst that life can throw to have the very best in life in the end. From Hell to Heaven, No Fourth River offers you the keys to Christine’s success. HINT: No luck involved. I could taste the blood .... it was that real.. Jay C. Polmal, Cover designer
I loved this book
I loved this book. A real page turner and so much life in 300 pages! The novel is fast paced and the author caries you with her as she takes you on her life’s journey and events unfold. A gripping, yet inspirational story of love and conquering adversity and one woman’s struggle through childhood, adolescence and womanhood.
Her courage, bravery, sheer determination and self-belief leads her out of a harmful, reckless and destructive world (which nearly cost her life) into an auspicious, happy and fulfilled world where Christine becomes a successful business woman and much loved wife and mother.
A profound read, disturbing at times (it kept me awake at night) but thoroughly immerseable with a strong focus on the power of love and self-belief.
A “must” read for anyone whose lost direction or having difficulty in life and needs a positive influence and some encouraging words. Sheena Newton
Gripping, inspiring, harrowing and uplifting.
A real page-turner of a book. A true story of survival and triumph. Intensely honest, powerful and well written. Physical and sexual abuse, deceit, family betrayal, promiscuity, fear and loathing. Under the glittering surface of the diamond trade darkness and despair lies. An inspiring journey from shame and brutality to triumph and success. I highly recommend reading this book. 29.11.2017 David on Amazon.com
Inspiring book! Well written. Couldn't stop reading. Recommended. 3.12.2017 Anna Roberts Amazon.co. uk and Amazon.com Kindle
You won’t want to put this down!
From the very moment I began reading No Fourth River, I was hooked. The fact that this is a true story makes it that much better. The hardships that Christine faced in her lifetime are almost impossible to imagine, but being a part of her journey in this compelling life story really makes you feel like you are there in the moment with her. Christine has a unique way of telling her story that captivates the reader to the very last word. I look forward to reading it again! 4.12.2017 Amanda on Amazon.com
No Fourth River
I enjoyed this book No Forth River very much. Full of emotion, struggle, fight & strength.
A true story of one woman's struggle. The harsh realities of how we as human being can be so distructive, not only to ourselves but each other. How we as human beings have the ability to survive and how sheer willpower, self belief, hard work and love can give us strength.
I felt I was on the journey with the main character, I shared her pain and enjoyed her triumphs.
This book has made me think about my own life journey, so far, "my story".
It has, I believe inspired me to continue to achieve my own goals in life. Specially in those moments of doubt. I will remind myself of this story and what can be achieved, if you really put the effort in. 6.12.2017 – Andy McNab on Amazon.co.uk
Couldn’t put it down!
Amazing book! Really teaches you to rethink your life and your worries... shows you that everything works out in the end and to keep fighting!! Highly recommend to anyone who is looking to turn their life around... or just someone looking for a good read 🙂 7.12.20107 Sarah on Amazon.co.uk
Riveting Read! Eye-opening and inspiring.
The harrowing tale of a woman’s journey surviving shocking abuse. On my bookshelf to read again.
I finished this book within 2 days, simply because I needed to know how it all ends for Christine!
It is one of those books that sucks you in and you live through Christine’s story along with her. The writing is immaculate.
I will not include any spoilers, but let me tell you that although what happens in the beginning riles up negative emotions, like anger and shock, it gives the 2nd half of the book even more impact.
You do want to finish this book, because the author does not just share her story, she shares the reasons and lessons from her story. 11.12.2017 Zee Sharp on Amazon.co.uk
A True Life, Riveting Story
For the record: I do not know Christine personally, we just recently became acquainted via our respective businesses and I was interested in her story and book. This is an unbiased review.
I was asked to produce a video trailer for this book and during the process, came across headlining terms such as "abused, disfigured little girl", "brutal marriage", "promiscuity", etc. It sounded quite intense, like it almost had to be a fictional drama. Instead, it is indeed a true story, one that leaves you a bit stunned at the happenings in Christine's early life. Her father is, quite simply, a monster, and the abuse she endures is vicious. She describes very specific incidents not in a "woe is me" way, but more analytically, and that's a great approach. The facts are the facts, and it's up to us, the reader, to respond in our own way.
I was most taken by the way Christine somehow found she had enough ambition and determination to push herself into a successful career and several businesses.
This really struck me because through her mid-twenties, she'd experienced nothing but grief and torment. Her rise to prominence truly is inspiring. 12.12.2017 Barr 26 Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com Kindle
A thought-provoking, honest, inspirational book which teaches many lessons to all who want to learn
What a revelation of a book! The first thing I noticed was Christine's focus on sharing her life's lessons. So the focus is on the reader straight away. And for sure - there are so many lessons to learn... It is a very honest account of a woman's will to not only survive but thrive - despite the deeply unfortunate and often distressing circumstances she was born into and had been through in her life.
No child should experience lack of love, isolation and outright abuse. And no adult either. It requires a lot of willpower and a simple will to live in order to get out of this horrific cycle even once. Christine has been through three of them (hence the title of the book I believe). Not only has she survived, but has become a very successful self-made entrepreneur and a recognised author.
I have learned so much for myself from "No Fourth River"! It makes me ask myself - if Christine has overcome so much adversity and has made her life a success in every sense, whatever on Earth can stop me? I cannot recommend this book highly enough to anyone who feels they are a victim of circumstances, since victimood keeps us stuck in life. The goal of this book is to inspire and show that you too can break the cycle of misfortune and rise above anything that holds you back. 12.12.2017 – Pure Nature Cures on Amazon.co.uk
I loved this book
I loved this book. A real page turner. Well written and immensely powerful. A harrowing read of a girl's struggle through life who, with grit and determination, becomes a successful business woman and much loved wife and mother. An uplifting read who has incredible dark times but overcomes her life to live a fruitful and happy life! 14.12.2017 Amazon Customer on Amazon.co.uk
Courageous and inspiring
Here is a superbly inspiring work of courage and honesty. This book contains the deeply moving account of one person's journey in life through profound difficulties in order to find, to unlock and to set free their true self and potential. In a searingly personal description the author does not spare herself as she paints the clearest of pictures of what happened, and of those who played their parts, for better or for worse - herself included.
This is a book that you won't forget when you've read it, and, in my own case, is a book that I shall read again and reference as I do so, such is Christine's power of mapping out what can ultimately be achieved in life, no matter what adversity you face. I really cannot recommend highly enough this account of triumph in the face of immense obstacles that really would have stopped most people, and for anyone who wishes to shine a light on their own path and be guided towards a better tomorrow, Christine can become their guiding light. It takes a very brave and special person to step out into the open and declare before all their deepest secrets and weaknesses, but at the same time, to offer a helping hand to all who would wish to walk along the same path towards the kind of successes in life that Christine has achieved. Do not let this book pass you by - I am hugely pleased and grateful that I have found and read it. I thank you Christine. I salute you. 16.12.2017 – jonmichael on Amazon.co.uk
An entertaining and educational read you will not be able to put down
I was sent this book as a gift and it arrived at a very busy point in my life. For a week or so, I could not even open the envelope. Then something very unusual happened. Despite my hectic schedule, once I started to read, I could not put down this incredible story, however hectic was my life Christine engages the reader's attention from the very first page, with the mysterious title. I do not wish to give away too much of the twists and turns of this incredibly undulating tale but let me say that it's one heck of a great read. It is well written, gripping, sad, harrowing and triumphantly victorious all in one.
The description on each page is piercingly graphic, so as you witness some scenes, you feel as though you wish you could leap inside the pages to defend its innocent victims - but you can't and so you watch from the sidelines as your admiration for the heroine author grows. As the book progresses, the brave character of the writer starts to touch your heart and by the time the book comes to an end, you feel as if you are saying goodbye to a wonderful, courageous friend whom you wish to hug with great warmth.
This is a fantastic book to read while travelling, which would make any journey fly by and you may miss your stop! However, it is also an educational tome in that there are lessons along the way which would be of benefit to anyone who has to face major challenges and needs encouragement and inspiration. I am giving it five stars because this book is a first-class document which is not only entertaining but also dynamically tutorial. It should be prescribed reading for everyone over the age of fifteen. There is wisdom at the end of each tale like a light at the end of every tunnel. Highly recommended - buy it for anyone you know who feels isolated and unloved to show how the biggest heartbreaks can be the foundations to making a fantastic heroine or hero. 16.12.2017 UK M. Motivates on Amazon.co.uk
Moving and inspiring
The emotional and physical abuse endured by the writer is truly harrowing and I found reading some sections hard. However, this book very quickly draws you in and keeps you at Christine’s side. I needed to know not only what happened but how she survived the massive damage done by those who should have loved and nurtured her. This is a truly inspiring survivor's tale and the book is remarkable in terms of its honesty and its total lack of self-pity or sentimentality. An absorbing and worth-while read that vividly illustrates the deep and astonishing healing qualities of real, true love! 16.12.2017 Selwyn Adelson on Amazon.co.uk
Who learns to love and trust again
This a page turner of a book. So well written and gripping it was so difficult to put down. The book takes you on a journey of heart break and sorrow of a frightened, bullied little girl who finds the strength from within and grows into a strong indepedent woman, who learns to love and trust again. Brilliant book, highly recommended. 17.12.2017 Name Not Returned on Amazon.co.uk
A truly inspiring and authentically written book
What a truly inspiring and empowering read! I read this book in two days I couldn't put it down. Christine's story resonated with me on many levels, especially in the way she was able to move beyond her past and become a successful woman despite everything.
Christine shows you that with faith and belief the the impossible is possible and that we can move forward despite the happenings of life. She truly is an inspiration and her story not only reads as a novel, but also is intertwined with solid advice and suggestions on how to get from where you are to where you want to be. She is a pillar of hope, of true determination and persistence and imparts the same on her readers. A fantastic book, which I can highly recommend to anyone who is tied in their past or current situation - you can make that decision. You can move beyond your fears and perceived limitations. Christine Clayfield shows you that yes, you can! 19.12.2017 Diana Blanco on Amazon.co.uk
A fascinating book which plumbs the depths of despair
A fascinating book which plumbs the depths of despair for young woman, brought up in a family with the tyrannical father. I found the first part book quite depressing, and I have no idea how she put up with the torments heaped upon, by her father. However, gradually get to understand the father and the family and its success she makes out of her life, against all the odds. 19.12.2017 Mr. A Youens on Amazon.co.uk
Fantastic and Compelling Read
I’m only about two-thirds of the way through this book, but I just had to go ahead and review it.
I’ve loved it so far. It’s rather heart-breaking, but I have a feeling that the resolution will be quite cathartic. The story chronicles the struggles of a young girl who is faced with unthinkable challenges and trials, yet somehow manages to keep putting one foot in front of the other in particularly admirable fashion.
But, unlike many other, similar stories, which often feel trite, this book takes a fresh approach to the "Overcoming the Monster" story archetype, and it has completely sucked me in. I find myself thinking about her experiences when driving or just daydreaming – it’s pretty infectious. You’ll feel a sense of dread every time one of the antagonists appears (I don’t want to spoil anything and tell you which one), and you’ll silently cheer for every victory Christine enjoys. And though the book is largely serious and somber, there are a few small moments of levity to help prevent reader fatigue.
The writing is crisp and clear, and, if you’ll forgive the cliché, it is quite a page-turner. I highly recommend it. 29.12.2017 Amazon Customer on Amazon.com
Just have to share this book with you all as I know you'll love it!
No Fourth River by Christine Clayfield. What a truly inspiring and empowering read! I read this book in two days I couldn't put it down. Christine's story resonated with me on many levels, especially in the way she was able to move beyond her past and become a successful woman despite everything.
Christine shows you that with faith and belief the impossible is possible and that we can move forward despite the happenings of life. She truly is an inspiration and her story not only reads as a novel, but also is intertwined with solid advice and suggestions on how to get from where you are to where you want to be.
She is a pillar of hope, of true determination and persistence and imparts the same on her readers. A fantastic book, which I can highly recommend to anyone who is tied in their past or current situation - you can make that decision. You can move beyond your fears and perceived limitations. Christine Clayfield shows you that yes, you can! 19.12.2017 Lessons-in Self on Facebook
Poignant, moving read.
No Fourth River is a poignant, moving read that made me feel a lot of host of different emotions. This moving piece of literature may be hard-hitting at times, but it is an essential read because it will make the reader aware, and shed light on a subject and happenings that not too many people think about. That is why already I have to implore you lovely readers to read this moving book; it is beautiful, heart-breaking and touching all at the same time, and you will not be disappointed if you read it.
No Fourth River chronicles the life and struggles of a young girl who faces unspeakable acts, crimes, tribulations and many more things. It is, however, a powerfully moving book that will be an inspiration to many people and so, I would already implore you wonderful readers to read this incredible book.
Christine Clayfield has written her story in a way which speaks to the reader. At the core of her story, told in a novelized way, is the tone of refusing to be a victim and that there is hope, even after a traumatic period. Her inspiring words and lessons laced throughout have made me want to be a better human being… I love when a book makes me feel this way. I love feeling inspired and wanting to be a better human, so again, I applaud Clayfield for her talent to reach me, and hopefully the rest of her readers to feel this way.
Clayfield is a fantastic writer, and I was impressed by the high quality of her words, she has poured her heart and soul into her book, and has been so open. I admire her for this and her message of hope which is prominent throughout her book. Clayfield is a good human being… the world may be full of terrible people but if there are more people like Clayfield then the world would be ok. Her words were eloquent as well as poignant; she knows how to evoke feelings/emotions in the reader as she took me on a roller coaster of emotions. She is a talented author and a well-accomplished woman, and so I can’t help but adore her!
To conclude my thoughts on this sensational book, I would say if you are looking to read a beautiful, moving, elegantly written memoir that will entertain you then this wonderful book is for you! This book gets Five Stars! 2.1.2018 Redheadedbooklove.com
If this book doesn't inspire the people who read it to try and aim for better things in life, then I don't know of one that will. From being at the her lowest ebb Christine has fought her way back to true acumen and beyond. 3.1.2018 Pete Richards on Amazon.co.uk
I was not disappointed
This book was recommended to me, I have to say when I read the synopsis I was quite intrigued, mostly by how does this story ends; does Christine (the protagonist) really escape this life? What happens to her?
I was not disappointed as the story certainly delivered, approximately half of the novel is about Christine's life as a young woman where she finds her courage, created financial stability and most importantly for soppy hearts like me- she found love. 3.1.2018 Sandra on Goodreads.com
An Amazing Testament of Accomplishment Despite Adversity
I read this book in two days. It was so compelling that despite how disturbing it was, I could not put it down. As shocking, frightening and sad as this author's accounting of her early years were, this book was both terrifying and inspirational and an impressive tribute to the strength and determination that she fought through to positively transform her life. Reading this book could greatly benefit and empower women (or anyone in an abusive situation) everywhere.
I was left with the message that despite how many of us have suffered untold atrocities that we'd rather not think about, we all have the power to choose to accomplish anything and truly create the life of our dreams. 3.1.2018 Boris on Amazon.ca (Australia)
A heartbreaking yet inspirational read
Whilst at times it was a harrowing read I also found myself not wanting to put it down. Christine describes a terrible childhood characterised by bullying and abuse from both her father at home and at the boarding school she was sent to at a young age followed by a life of promiscuity and alcohol. This is a story of moving away from your past and finding happiness and shows that you can turn your life around and find success no matter how hard your start in life is. It is a truly heartbreaking yet inspirational story. 8.1.2018 DramaQueen on Amazon.co.uk
This book certainly delivers!
I started reading this book and completed it within a week, I was gripped from the first chapter and could not put it down.
Christine tells the story of her childhood growing up with a very strict father and enduring a life of physical and mental abuse from early life through to adulthood. Although very hard to read at times due to the nature of the story unfolding it becomes a journey of one woman's fight for survival against the life she has endured, through to the turn around of love and passion and then pure determination to succeed.
This brilliantly written book leaves you feeling truly inspired and motivated that whatever walk of life you come from and however hard things are you can get through it and go on to a better life. I really enjoyed this book and will certainly be reading it again! 9.1.2018 Sheila on Amazon.co.uk
An amazing story of heart, courage and one woman’s determination to bettering herself. From the horrors of her youth with her father and boarding school to her quest to make something of her life. Very well written and before you know it you’ve finished the book wanting more. 11.1.2018 K Reid on Amazon.co.uk
A book to read again!
This novel took me on a roller-coaster of feelings. It lead me to reflect on my own life and realize how much I've taken for granted. Highly recommend. 10.1.2018 edwardb on Amazon.com
…Role model for a long time – as a brilliant businesswoman, as well as the human behind…
Christine has been my role model for a long time - as a brilliant businesswoman, as well as the human being behind that brilliant business head. For the longest time, I've been breaking my head over the question "How can I learn more about this women? How did she become who she is today?". I had no idea that my secret wish to know Christine more was about to be fulfilled fairly soon! This book has not disappointed me - from an artistic or human perspective. I had so much respect for Christine, to begin with, but after reading her story...I think I'm in love with this remarkable woman! 20.1.2018 Tati C. on Amazon.co.uk
I will be gifting this book to people in my life that I care about.
In the era of awakening to how the world has been treating women, in the times of the #metoo campaign that made us aware of things we didn't see thus far, Christine's No Forth River is completely aligned with this recent trend in our society. Although, in Christine's case the #metoo doesn't even begin to cover it. I will be gifting this book to people in my life that I care about because if someone like Christine is able to thrive, find happiness, peace of mind, not to mention palpable, undeniable success, then the rest of us have little excuses not to go after our dreams and the things we believe in.
From the artistic perspective, you won't be able to put this book down - cruel upbringing, nuns from hell, forbidden love - to name just a few. This book deserves 5 starts plain and simple! 20.1.2018 Tati C. on Amazon.co.uk
Quite a refreshing approach that is entirely selfless.
Heart wrenching at first but, you soon learn that little Christine grows into a woman with an iron will.
Quite effectively this book is divided into two, the first section follows Christine's childhood and early teens, while the second half focuses on the adult.
Some of the things she shares seem unreal and it brings out anger and a desire to protect an innocent child.
What is encouraging and unlike other books in the same genre is how the author, Christine herself uses this book and the story of her life to give hope. It is not enough that she shared her story; she endeavours to empower the reader. It is quite a refreshing approach that is entirely selfless. The end section is full of encouraging lessons and advice so for the reader, whether you are a victim of violence and abuse yourself or not.
This enticed my curiosity about Christine, the author and I find that she has spend a lot of years, teaching and empowering entrepreneurs to 'take control of their finances'. So it is obvious that this lady has dedicated a big part of her life to better the lives of others. 22.1.2018 CarolineS on Goodreads.com
I found the book captivating, even though the first 26 years of the author's life was tumultuous I was hooked wanting to see how it all ended. It's a harrowing and gripping tale of a young woman's battle for survival in an hostile environment.
First her father and then her husband would be her tormentor. How she managed to pick her self up despite all the horrendous happenings is a testimony to the author's courage and determination.
I would definitely recommend reading this, as in the end it gives the authors messages on how to lead a successful life which i found extremely useful. 22.1.2018 RS on Amazon.co.uk
Wow. From the moment I started reading this novel, I became engrossed in Christine Clayfield’s story. I found it hard to put this book down and finished it in three sittings. Although the content of the early years recounts a painful time, Christine is no victim of her past. Indeed, with fortitude and extreme courage she fights back to reclaim her life as an independent and strong woman. I couldn’t help but admire her inner-strength as she battled, sometimes against the odds, to survive and grow.
Her story is truly inspirational. A must read for anyone struggling to break free from a difficult past, or for anyone who just enjoys a great read. No Fourth River is one of those rare books that will stay with you long after you finish reading. 23.1.2018 S Houston on Amazon.co.uk and Sheena on www.goodreads.com
Onwards and upwards….
A holiday read I never put down, I was gripped from the start finding it hard to understand how life can treat you, good or bad. What a lady !!! 29.1.2018 Lester on Amazon.co.uk
A book that absorbs its reader
A truly shocking life story that captivates its reader from the very first moment you start reading it. Besides a powerful and emotional story it has an easily understandable and readable language style studded full with interesting expressions speaking from a not native English speaker's point of view. I highly recommend reading the book. 29.1.2018 Beata on Amazon.com
I WILL SURVIVE!!! I WILL SURVIVE!!!!
This is not the first time I’ve read a true story of a woman’s triumph over the baggage she’s been forced to endure, and it probably won’t be the last.
It took me longer for me to read this book than I’d anticipated. Why? Because with the strings of my heart being pulled because of this author’s writing, I could somehow sense she wants someone’s hand to hold as she endures the horrors of what has been her life. For some reason I wish I could turn off the picture running in my mind, but I kept on reading this book page after page after page.
One would think coming from a wealthy family she’d have a childhood any child only dreams of having; but the reality had been it wasn’t. Packed off to a boarding school is where her family had sent, only to find there a traumatic, hostile environment along with the one she suffered at home with; which caused her to become sort of a renegade against the life she so far had been forced to endure.
As a renegade her life now consisted of deviant sexual behavior and free flowing alcohol, a lifestyle we can easily expect would lead to her falling in love with the wrong kind of guy and marrying him; which is precisely what had happened to her. There’s no need for me to go into any details here, for you can just imagine what he did to her.
It was only when she found herself committed to ending the unbelievable despair that she’s been living in and to pull herself out of it by the bootstraps that I heard Gloria Gaynor’s song “I Will Survive” playing in my mind. [Listen to this song on YouTube is see what I mean]
“Oh no, not I, I will survive
Oh, as long as I know how to love, I know I'll stay alive
I've got all my life to live
And I've got all my love to give and I'll survive
I will survive.”
Apparently, her plan to survive has succeeded, just look at who she’s become. And this, her story, could serve as an example of what can happen when someone possesses a lot of willpower and perseverance to overcome the adversities in their lives. And for allowing her readers to share what she had to endure, I happy to give this book’s author, Christine Clayfield, 5 STARS. 2.2.2018 Robin Leigh Morgan on Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com
An Insightful look At Being Raised By A Narcissist
Written from the heart, “Fourth River” made me feel as though Christine was sitting beside me for several hours, telling me the most intimate details of her dramatic life story. What I appreciated most was that it was such an insightful look at being raised by a narcissist.
You might think coming from a wealthy family might help in such circumstances, but being raised by someone who no only lacks the ability to care for others but seeks to annihilate their worth at every turn is viscerally upsetting in any scenario. The memory of watching her mother walk home five kilometers beside a car driven by her drunk father, who throws her out for protesting his inability to drive the family home safely particular stands out as a poignant moment that encapsulates the fact that it was not only Christine, but her mother and brothers who suffered from being raised by a tyrant.
One of my favorite quotes from the book is this: “Shame is a funny thing. It stretches across your heart and keeps you from the experiences that might reignite the spark to make you happy again.” Another is, “One kind of abuse does not remove the pain of another, especially when you are plunged back into it like a seedling drowned in water.”
For anyone who has had a narcissist in their life (and hopefully disconnected with them to save their sanity), this is a deeply moving look at how those who suffer manage to survive and, in Christine’s case, ultimately thrive. 5.2.2018 Wyborn Senna on Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com
A chilling, inspirational, and enlightening reminder that we control our destiny
Like Christine, I have had a traumatic childhood. When one is so affected by his or her past and continues to deal with the consequences, it is hard to realize that there may be other people who have dealt with just as many obstacles. Heartache comes in many forms.
This book was enlightening and inspirational. There were moments where I found myself in complete desperation, wanting to remove Christine from her surroundings, wanting to shake her and tell her “enough is enough.” When that realization finally come to her, on her own, it immediately brought tears to my eyes. We are all the authors of our own book, and we all have those loved ones that sometimes want to shake us and make everything better for us, but we have to do that on our own.
On a flight I recently had, I was reading this book. I went through about 150 pages in an hour on the flight. When I finally closed the book as we prepared for landing, the girl next to me on the plane tapped me on the shoulder and told me she had been reading over my shoulder, and she was now invested in the future of Christine.
The good news for her is that the future turned out quite bright.
I feel a rush of endless motivation to achieve my own goals after finishing this book, and I know if you read it, you will too. Rosa Sifuentes, 11.2.2018 on amazon.com
I cannot find anything I dislike about this book
No Fourth River is a novel by Christine Clayfield. Told in the first-person perspective, this story incorporates many themes including abuse, survival, challenges and, ultimately, personal growth. The author, who today is a successful businesswoman, felt inspired to write this book in the hope that she could offer some guidance and inspiration to others by sharing her life story. Perfectly described as ‘creative non-fiction’, this book blends factual life events with the writing style of a fictional novel. This makes the story both easy to read and engaging while imparting some inspiring and motivational messages.
No Fourth River starts with Christine receiving a call from her brother. Upon hearing that her mother is gravely unwell and in an induced coma, Christine rushes to the hospital to be by her mother’s side. While keeping vigil, Christine finds herself having flashbacks to her youth. The ensuing recollections take the reader on a journey through Christine’s life, from the age of five to the present.
Growing up with a physically abusive father, and then sent to boarding school where she is the subject of further bullying and intimidation, Christine longs to escape her life. Happiness is a concept she wants to experience since she had no idea what that emotion feels like. The hostile environment Christine is raised in is all that she knows and, therefore, considers this ‘normal’. To make matters even more difficult, Christine’s internally harboured stress sees her develop an embarrassing psychosomatic condition. In an attempt to cure this affliction, Christine’s parents then subject her to some barbaric medical treatments. Over the years, Christine transforms from a timid child into a rebellious teenager. With no money to her name and low self-esteem, Christine sets out to start a new life. Unfortunately, she finds herself in another abusive relationship; this time the victim of her husband’s violent temper. At what point does a person say, ‘Enough is enough’ and take that first step towards freedom and control over their life?
Christine finally reaches that point. Determined not to be a victim of her past, and even more resolute on breaking the destructive cycle of revictimisation, Christine starts the slow journey to self-discovery. In doing this, she teaches the reader the power of goal-setting, seeking opportunities, identifying unmet needs and, most importantly, believing in yourself and your ability to achieve things. Christine demonstrates the value of these life lessons in both a personal and business sense, making this book a valuable tool for multiple users.
I can not find anything I dislike about this book, however, there are several aspects of this novel I really appreciate. The way the book is compiled is quite unique. Firstly, unlike many stories about surviving abuse, I feel this book covers the complete lifespan of the author. I have found many comparable stories tend to go into depth about the traumatic experience and the decision to take control of life, but then only dedicate one or two chapters to detailing how this was achieved. As a result, I often feel I have missed half the story. I am delighted that Christine dedicates as much of her book to her road to success as she does about her childhood. She shows the reader that things do not automatically fall into place the moment you decide to take that step towards freedom. Instead, she demonstrates that achieving your goals takes hard work and a lot of belief in yourself and your abilities. Christine openly shares the challenges she faces and how they are overcome.
The second aspect I truly enjoy is how Christine provides the reader with closure about many of the characters they meet throughout the story. This is achieved by writing a chapter summarising what her friends and family are currently doing. To me, this makes the book feel complete.
Finally, to conclude the book, Christine outlines twelve steps towards taking control of your destiny and achieving happiness. This was a great finish to the book and nicely sums up the valuable lessons she has imparted during her story. It also provides easy access for future reference.
Overall, this book is well written. The entire novel only contains a couple of errors, making it exceptional quality. The writing is descriptive and flows perfectly. Christine’s memories are presented in perfect chronological order, while intermittently returning to the present to keep the reader informed of what is occurring between her flashbacks. The movement between these different timeframes is fluid and the transitions are easy to identify. Christine also displays a wonderful talent for describing details in a unique way that stays with the reader.
This book would appeal to a variety of readers, particularly those who appreciate a story of resilience and strength in the face of adversity. This story also provides encouragement for people wanting to work towards happiness or achieving goals. People interested in starting out in business could also benefit greatly from the valuable business tips contained throughout the book. Finally, while I would recommend caution to those who are sensitive to the subject of abuse, people finding themselves in such a situation may find this book offers them the inspiration they need to take that first step. Jwalker73, 13.2.2018 on Onlinebookclub
Below you will find a few extracts from different chapters of 'No Fourth River':
Growing Up, Down
We were all survivors, programmed from the very start of life to tiptoe around the pillar of fury that was my father. My mother used to tell me that before he became successful in the diamond industry, he didn’t touch alcohol. Alcohol did not excuse who my father was to me and to his family.
He was the kind of man who would strip his children of all self-esteem, then blame us when we could not perform. He delighted in mental harassment and physical beatings.
He was a chain-smoking, whisky-swilling king of the diamond trade. A tyrant to his children.
My brothers and I learned all about the dark, solitary places of our house. At five, I remember hearing noises from behind the cellar door one morning, so I investigated, only to find my brother Oliver huddled in the corner on the cold stone floor, throwing rocks at the wall. My father had sent him there the night before, without supper.
“Oliver, you okay?” I screeched, taking note of his wide, round eyes. They were full of fear and something else…shame.
It was dirty in the cellar and the stone was so cold that the air coming up from the bottom felt like a wave of freezing mist.
He was trapped down there, alone in a frozen ocean of stone, framed by the light coming from my open door.
“Shh, dad might hear,” he called up to me.
“He’s not home.” I sniffled at the weakness and helplessness of my words. I wanted to help him but I couldn’t. It was against the rules.
“What happened?” At least I could give him some company.
“I’m not allowed to grow my hair. Dad told me to cut it, and I told him I wanted to keep it long.” A slight hint of anger lined his voice.
I would not understand that feeling until I was much older.
“Oh. You look cold.”
“I am cold.”
“Should I bring you a blanket?” I noticed there wasn’t so much as a towel on the floor where he sat.
“Better not. I’ll be fine. You go upstairs and play.” He turned his face into the darkness of the cellar. I obeyed and gently shut the door on my brother and walked to the lounge, where my other brothers were. Oliver was not allowed out of the cellar for four days over a long weekend.
Mum brought him a plate of food, once a day. There was no washroom, and he would do his nature calls in a plastic pot with a lid on that mum had to clean every day.
Oliver seemed resolutely quiet, as if his isolation was something to be taken seriously or a vital lesson might be missed. I was very sad about Oliver being in the cellar and didn’t quite know what to do with my feelings.
The emotional impact of being separated from my family at the age of five was shocking and I didn’t quite know what to do with my feelings.
Being “dumped” in a boarding school ended up defining me, and my ability to cope with it.
A nun took me to a huge room with 50 other beds in it lined up against the walls with a wardrobe next to each bed and a trunk at the end of each bed. My cold, metal bed was the second to last one in the line, number 49. I was introduced to the nun in charge of my dormitory, Sister Henrietta. Her round glasses perched on the tip of her nose, too close to her perpetually scowling mouth.
Sister Henrietta loved her rules. The moment I met her she began firing them off at me, one after the other, warning me at the same time that I had better remember each one for my own good or there will be punishments.
“This is your bed. Bed 49. You will make your bed at 5:25 sharp every morning before church. If your bed is not made correctly, you will be punished.”
For the first few years in boarding school, I cried every day, begging the nuns to send me home. “I want my mummy! I want my daddy!” I cried, heaped against the wall at break time while the other kids played and enjoyed the sun.
“Your mum and dad don’t want you at home, child. That’s why you are here. Cry all you want; no one is coming to get you.” the nuns would tell me. It didn’t stop the tears for a very long time.
Crying became the only way I could function through my early studies. There was so much trapped pain and misery that it had to go somewhere. I kept asking to be sent home during classes but I always got the same reply.
The Red Door
I channeled a lot of my anger and my rebellion into those nights at the bar; I did a lot of things I later regretted. At the time however, it made me happy to get out there and flirt with a bar full of people. I was even happy to have sex with the men around me as long as it made me popular.
I was so desperate for human approval and affection, that I had no idea that what I was doing was wrong, nor did I have any interest in right and wrong. I didn’t understand the kind of reputation I was building for myself or the kind of life I was setting myself up for. I was just having fun—for the first time in my life.
Dirty, alcohol-fueled, self-hating fun.
Men from the bar started to take me to their homes but it was never a satisfying experience for me.
The entire time this was going on, never once did I orgasm. I had no concept that I even could, and I wasn’t having sex for my physical pleasure. It was my aim to please the men, nothing else!
I wanted to do things to them that they liked, so they would like me for it. I wanted them to like me. Most of the time the sex was so quick that it was over before I was ever aroused and the alcohol dulled my senses anyway.
I was a messed-up kid looking for approval and love in broken places and anyone who interfered was my enemy.
The Tiny Dirty Room
I walked for what seemed like hours, wandering from house to house trying to find a pub friend who could help me. I begged them to help me. All of them. They all said no; one after another they closed the door in my face, like I was a door-to-door salesman. That was when I realized I was well and truly alone.
Friendless and penniless, my feet took me to a familiar place: the bar I had been frequenting over the last few years. Surely, someone would help me get on my feet. I pushed open the red padded door and stepped into my favorite party joint in the village. With nothing but a little bag of personal items with me, I felt foolish for not taking anything of real value.
“Hi, Mike, is Janine in?”
Saddling up to the bar, I waited for the barman to call Janine, the fiery-haired manager of the place. I had spent many evenings drinking with her and felt like she might give me a job if I asked, as she knew I would draw in the boys to her pub.
Janine sidled over from a back room, wearing blue cleaning gloves. I explained my situation to her.
“I need a place to stay for a while, until I can figure things out. Please let me stay here. I’ll work to cover the rent,” I said, wearing my sincerest face.
She considered me and then said, “Follow me. If you can live in here, you can stay. I could use a good cleaning woman.”
Janine led me upstairs to a small, dark room cluttered with mops, buckets, empty bottles and other junk.
“Start by cleaning this room. This is where you sleep.” I thanked her and did as I was told. The room was positively filthy and much smaller than I had hoped once all the stuff had been moved out of it. The windowless room was cold and dark. It stank of old cigarettes and spilled booze, and some of the stickiness would not come off the walls.
One single, bare, flickering bulb hung from the ceiling. So this was the place that would be better than home, this tiny, dirty, filthy room. I settled in as best I could. A man I met at the bar gave me a second-hand mattress, and I used the bar toilets.
An old tin bucket became my bath, and I had to hand wash myself with water fetched from the sinks in the toilet rooms each morning. It was no hotel, but I was free.
After just 2 days working as a cleaner, Janine told me to serve drinks. She told me that her customers liked me, males and females; she thought I would attract extra customers to her pub.
A week into my new life at the pub and I was drinking like there was no tomorrow. I found the only way I could sleep in that place was to be drunk.
Even though I lived in impossibly dirty surroundings, in constant contact with men that wanted to take advantage of me, I was free—free from fear, free from violence, and free from being told how useless I was.
No Longer a Daughter
Marriage did change Harry but not in a good way. He immediately became nastier and more violent than ever before.
Low on money, we had booked a two-week stay in a two-star hotel in Spain for our honeymoon, which was all we could afford. We drove to Spain by car, as we couldn’t afford to fly.
I sensed something was off when we arrived at the hotel that first day.
Everything would have been wonderful but Harry’s mood was off. He started drinking heavily and did not stop.
I was lying by the pool in my bikini, Harry was helping himself to cocktails directly next to the hotel bar, where he decided we should sit. It was a muggy, sticky day—the kind you had to enjoy with liberal dips in the swimming pool to stay cool.
I laid on a deck chair with my sunglasses on and my straw hat shading my face as the sun baked my skin. Harry settled on a chair next to me, turned, and with the straw still in his mouth blurted out, “Now that your dad’s dead, you can ask your mum for money so that I can start a garage.” I looked at him through my sunglasses, faintly outraged that he was so crass about what he wanted. Harry had always wanted to own a garage where he could repair people’s cars.
“I can’t do that,” I replied offhand, “and I wouldn’t want to do that. We should both work and save up our own money if you want to start a garage.” I watched as Harry’s jaw clenched around the straw and he drained his fresh cocktail.
“Okay, I’ve had enough of the sun—let’s go and get a drink and relax in our hotel bedroom.”
I had been laying in the sun for long enough, so I was also ready to go inside. I thought that what Harry had said to me was just him taking a chance and didn’t consider it again.
We lazily ordered another round of drinks and made our way down the white passages into our bedroom—a small room with a bed, a table, a bathroom and a television. The moment Harry shut the door behind me, I was overcome with a sense of dread.
“Now that your dad is dead, you can ask your mum for money so that I can start a garage.” He opened up again, in a sturdy and angry voice. He stood tall, both arms over his chest.
“Harry, I just told you I don’t want to do that,” I reiterated, growing more fearful. Harry moved to the door, locked it and pocketed the key.
“I am telling you, you useless bitch, that you will ask your mum.” He looked at me, his cruel eyes filled with hate. Then he pointed his finger at me and marched towards me.
I was cornered. I shook my head and stepped back, but he seemed to grow in size and fury at the sight.
He grabbed my arm and pulled me down onto the bed, raising his hand. “I’ll beat you if you don’t ask her, Christine.”
He had never struck me before, so I pushed my luck. The threatening hand came down onto my head and face with the force of a mallet. The next ones were not slaps but hard follow-up punches in my stomach. He grabbed me by my shoulders. I struggled against him but I couldn’t break free; he was too strong. The pain shot through me, and I was winded. I rolled off the bed and hit the floor, wide eyed and terrified.
“You will ask.” He raised his fist and towered over me. “No, no, no,” I gasped, writhing breathlessly on the floor in pain. He hit me and kicked me—connecting with my stomach, my arms, my chest, my legs and my back. My mouth was wet with the taste of blood, my head was pounding. I was dizzy. He meant to hurt me badly. I curled up into a ball and held my hands over my head as blow after blow stole my breath.
Then he stopped and stormed out of the room. I tried to be brave but was soon overcome by a wave of my emotions and I broke down. Hugging my knees in my chest, I rocked back and forth, shivering in disbelief. It was my first real beating from my husband Harry.
I agreed to marry him because he didn’t hit me and I hoped he would change. My belief in him not hitting me was now shattered. I realized what an enormous mistake I had made by marrying him.
I sat there, humiliated and wretched on the floor for what seemed like hours. I was in pain and felt lower than the lowest insect and had no idea what to do. So, I did what I had done for most of my life and cried myself to sleep. He did not come back that evening.
I woke in agony with dark bruises covering my arms, my legs and much of my body. Later that morning, Harry gingerly walked through the door, puffy eyed and somber. He collapsed on the floor at my feet, begging for my forgiveness.
He begged me not to tell anyone, because he loved me and would never do it again. He’d been drunk.
No Fourth River is available in these book formats: Paperback, Kindle, eBook, iBook and shortly also available as an Audiobook.
TITLE: No Fourth River
AUTHOR: Christine Clayfield
PUBLISHER: RASC Publishing
DATE OF PUBLICATION: November 20, 2017
SIZE: 5 X 8"
RETAIL PRICE: Paperback £10/ $14.97 (price can vary)
RETAIL PRICE: £5.97 / $8.43 (price can vary)
PAGES: 187 (A4 format)
RETAIL PRICE: price varies on different websites
Available on iTunes
No Fourth River is available soon as an audiobook.
To download individual pictures: 1. Click on download link for bigger size pictures. | 2. Right click and choose 'save as' to download.
Christine Clayfield with mum, aged 3
Christine Clayfield aged 5, after the nuns cut her hair
"They called me “Number 49,” they took away my clothes as I had to wear a uniform, and they also cut my fringe. I was robbed of my own identity. It’s rather difficult at such a young age to cope with that." (see page 29)
Christine Clayfield aged 6, first communion
Christine Clayfield aged 10
Christine Clayfield aged 12, second communion
Christine's neck, where you can see the bruises her abusive husband left after one of his violent attacks.
Christine's course work for her diploma in accountancy that her husband threw in the fire.
"I’m sick of your stupid classes,” he announced. “I’ll decide what you turn in, and what you’ll turn in now is nothing.” I felt helpless and hopeless as he threw all of my course work into the open fire. All my hard work was mere ashes in seconds." (page 142)
When Christine woke up from her coma, she decided to transform her life.
“I had to find a way to overcome my fears and move forward with my life. I had to cross over to the other side. I needed to find the courage to rebuild a meaningful life and change the course of my life forever. I was going to meet my fears with the same resistance that a rock shows the wind. I promised myself nothing was ever going to be the same again.
Harry had done enough damage to kill me and yet, I was alive. This was my rock bottom. I kept telling myself I was lucky to be alive. I had big plans for a new life. I felt broken beyond repair because of all the abuse I had endured but I told myself I was going to pick up the pieces of my shattered life. It was the end of my life as I knew it.” (see page 159)
Christine receiving her 1st triathlon trophy, winning 1st place - 1985
"The feeling of achievement rested in my bones and I was obsessed with finding more of it." (see page 170)
A small selection of Christine's trophies from her swimming and triathlon competitions - 1985 - 1986
"After my victories in sport, I knew that I was unstoppable. Anything I decided to do could be done, and I was going to make sure that the world knew that. I started putting some serious thought into my future and what I wanted.
When I was practising to compete in the triathlon, I had to constantly tell myself, “Keep going, keep going, and you’ll get there.” I was going to apply these exact principles in my business life as well. I was going to work until I made it." (page 174)
Christine as a young female entrepreneur in the 1980s
Christine's first plunge into the business world by opening her Apple dealership showroom in 1987 (see pages 174-177)
Christine giving the opening speech for her Acer wholesale distribution company - 1989. (see pages 217-219 in 'No Fourth River')
Christine took a big financial leap and invested in a large stand at a major computer exhibition - 1989 (see pages 217-219 in 'No Fourth River')
Christine was doing business deals on the phone on her wedding day to her second husband. Her husband loved it and said: "That's my Christine" - 1991
Christine giving speeches and presentations.
Christine's favourite business quotes:
"Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve" -Napoleon Hill"
"Never, never, never give up" -Winston Churchill
"No Bees No Honey - No Work No Money"
"Focus on Your Focus" -Christine Clayfield
"Excuses are your limitations" -Christine Clayfield
"Put yourself in your customer's shoes"
"Being off target is never the target's fault"
Trailer 1 (30sec)
Trailer 2 (35sec)
Trailer 3 (47sec)
Possible Interview Questions & Book Themes
No Fourth River
What prompted you to write this book?
In your novel ‘No Fourth River’ you don’t hold back, you share your experiences, the choices you made, the good and bad ones. Are you worried about what people will think?
What was the reaction you received when people you know read your novel?
What message do you want to send with your story?
What would you like someone who read your book to do?
Who do you want to read this book?/Who is your book for?
You’ve had quite an eventful life. Who are you now?
How have your experiences changed/ shaped you?
If you could change anything in your life, what would it be?
Did you ever have any counselling sessions as a child or an adult to help you work through your past?
Your novel ‘No Fourth River’ relates your own experience of domestic violence. What would you say to someone who is in the same situation right now?
What do you think is the single most important factor that stops a domestic violence victim from reaching out/ leaving or getting help?
What should people close to a domestic violence victim be on the lookout for?
Why do you think many people stay with their violent partner instead of leaving them?
Do you think that if you hit your first husband back the first time he hit you, he would have hit you a second time?
What are the factors that lead to a violent marriage/ domestic violence?
When did you first think, ‘I’ve got to leave him’?
What was the deciding factor for you to leave him?
From then, how long did it take you to leave him?
Where did you find the strength to leave him?
Was there any point that you thought, ‘I’m going back’?
Who did you turn to for support, during your marriage?
Who did you turn to for support after your marriage?
Who do you suggest victims turn to for support?
What are the questions you get asked most often about your experience/ violent marriage?
How do you find people react when they learn about your violent marriage and what you’ve been through?
How does your parenting style differ from that of your parents?
What are your feelings for your parents now?
Do your experiences make you a better parent? How?
What would you say to others who have had a similar childhood to yours?
Do you think that parenting in the 1980s and parenting now, in the 21st century has changed? Do parents need to do things differently?
You have spent your parenting years building your business. There are a lot of working parents who face the challenges of juggling work and family, how did you do it?
What would be your advice to these parents?
What are the challenges that working mothers face when it comes to raising a family?
Adolescence and bad choices
You’ve had a tumultuous adolescence, what is the impact this has had on your life?
What would you tell your teenage self, if you could reach back in time?
What was the worst thing you did/happened during your adolescence? Do you think this could have been avoided?
What would have helped you during these teen years?
What support do you think teens need?
As someone whose teenage years are the stuff of parents’ nightmares and a mother who has seen her children through their teenage years, what advice would you give other parents?
You had no money when you started your first business. How did you manage to grow the business into a big and successful company?
Are you still an entrepreneur? What do you do now?
How did you start your entrepreneurial journey?
Is it easy for someone to start their own business?
What are the challenges that one can face?
Where do you recommend someone start when they decide to start their own business?
What makes you successful as an entrepreneur?
You say you are a serial entrepreneur, what was your favourite venture?
Christine’s first marriage was a violent one that saw her beaten into a coma and left her fighting for her life.
Looking back, Christine’s violent marriage was a natural progression from her abusive childhood and wild adolescence.
Starved of loved, Christine fell into the arms of the first one who showed her some love and offered some longevity and commitment to their relationship.
Because she was used to her relationship with others being abusive and selfish, the violence of her marriage was normal to her.
Christine suffered through various humiliation, both in private and in public by her husband.
Example from No Fourth River:
He regularly took Christine’s car home while she was having classes in evening school out of malice. The first time Christine called the police and reported her car stolen, after that, she just took the train home.
Harry, Christine’s first husband was the typical abuser, he was a master at belittling and undermining his wife’s confidence.
Although he wanted money, he was against the concept of working for his money. He wanted easy money, money he did not have to work for, money given to him in a lump sum, from his wife’s diamond magnate father.
He resented his wife’s ambition and willingness to better herself, to learn and to gain the skills needed to earn her living and to better their lives.
Extracts from No Fourth River:
‘My earliest idea of love and marriage came from my parents, and that meant I thought of the whole thing as something of a misery—an enslavement of sorts.’
‘We started arguing and fighting all the time but each time it would get bad, he would apologize. Harry was a master at apologies and I always believed him.I wanted things to get better.’
‘Despite his apologies, his drinking and penchant for humiliating me became worse and worse the longer we lived together. He hated that I earned more money than he did. He simply could not cope with that at all.’
‘He came from a lower social background and his parents were on benefits. He couldn’t stand that I found a job, that I was more successful than him.’
‘...as someone who grew up being abused, I just wasn’t shocked by his behaviour.’
‘He said he loved me. I made excuses for him and believed I could change him.’
‘When he wanted sex, I agreed- whether or not I wanted it. Not that he really asked. It would be more accurate to say I complied without fighting back.’
‘You never think of the person you grew to love for what they do but for what you think they are- and perhaps that was my biggest downfall’
‘My main problem was not that Harry was abusive and violent; it was that I was too afraid and full of self-doubt to leave him. Loneliness is the cruellest of all emotions and I avoided it to the brink of my own death.’
‘I was the first woman in Belgium ever to have to pay alimony, so my lawyer told me.’
Christine’s family was a typical 1960 family, with Mum taking care of the house and kids while Dad was the sole breadwinner. But this family was not the typical loving family where the children are loved and supported and mum and dad love and support each other.
Extract from No Fourth River:
‘Fear was the first emotion any of us ever learned.’ while most young children are given lots of love and made to feel safe.
Christine’s father was a domineering, strict and selfish character who ruled the roost with a firm hand.
Extract from No Fourth River:
‘Everything had its place- and the children were no exception.’
Although he came from a modest background as a mechanic, Christine's father made his fortune in the diamond industry. He was one of the few De Beers sightholders. He was a rich man but never gave his five children much. When he died, one of his children took over the business and kept most of the money for himself.
He constantly reminded his wife and children of his position, he was the one in charge and he particularly delighted in reminding everyone that he was superior, he was successful and he knew best.
His constant reminder to his children was that if they don’t follow his rules, they won’t do well.
Dad took reprimanding and disciplining his children too far. He was physically as well as verbally abusive.
He punished his children with long hours, often days of isolation, withholding meals, painful stress positions and physical blows. One of his favourite punishments was to make the children trim the grass or hedges with a blunt knife.
The family took care to stay out of Dad’s way. ‘My father was the hunter and we were his defenceless prey’.
Christine fell out with her father when she left home, and the two never reconciled.
Christine’s mother was the only female role model Christine had for a long time. Starla Lemmens was fearful of her husband and she was not exempt from his cruel words, physical blows or punishments.
She had four children in four years and had trouble coping and keeping her children safe. Christine ended up with a disfiguring injury that marked her for life.
Extract from No Fourth River:
‘She would regularly let things happen to us, preferring a distant style of parenting that led to a lot of wounds, scars, and burns.’
Christine’s relationship with her mother improved as the two got closer after the death of Christine's father and after Christine ended her first marriage.
Christine’s looked after her mother, during the last year of her life, until she passed away. (see photos in the photo section)
Breaking the cycle of abuse
Christine parenting style differed wildly from that of her parents. From her own hands-on experiences, she knew how disastrous the effect that lack of support, love and understanding can have on one’s life.
She endeavoured to provide love and security to her twin daughters, making up for what she lacked during her own upbringing.
Due to her own past, Christine was anxious when her daughters hit their teenage years. She was a strict but loving parent. However, she had to find the right balance of giving her daughters advice and letting them find their own path.
Extracts from No Fourth River:
‘I found myself getting too strict with them. The more they pushed for new freedoms, the tighter I clung to them in fear of what mistakes they might make. I worried, though, that I was starting to make the same mistakes as my dad. He’d been right about the people I was mixing with, but he had failed to explain it to me, and I just thought he was cruel.’
‘We were all survivors, programmed from the very start of life to tiptoe around the pillar of fury that was my father.’
‘Mum could never do anything right in my father’s eyes. She was, just like the rest of us, constantly told that she was useless.’
‘Mum never got involved in any decision about our education. She could never say anything that was acceptable to him. Her opinions were always considered useless.’
‘I remember my mother telling me once, in later life, that she stayed in the relationship because of my father’s money.’
Being a teenager is not easy for most, Christine’s abusive childhood led her to a tumultuous adolescence.
Christine sought acceptance and approval in all the wrong places, she was heavily influenced by peer pressure and did what was needed in order to be accepted. This led to some bad decisions, including promiscuity and heavy alcohol consumption.
The friends Christine found during her adolescence, did not only have a bad influence on her, but none of them was there for her when she needed them the most.
Extracts from No Fourth River:
‘I learned the wrong kind of lessons. You know, the ones that keep you trapped inside misery forever. I just didn’t know better.’
‘...at the pub, I was two of the best things possible: pretty and funny. At the time, I thought these two things were the most important things to be.’
‘I wanted to do things to them that they liked, so they would like me for it.’
‘I modelled my new self so closely on my new friends that I never even considered what I actually liked myself.’
‘Now I had the magic potion to take the sting from their words and I could get it at any pub’
' I was desperate and desperately lonely. I had no money, no job, no food, no real friends, no love and no home to live in.'
Extracts from No Fourth River:
"I had no money, no job, no food, no real friends, no love and no home to live in." (page 115)
“The room was positively filthy and much smaller than I had hoped once all the stuff had been moved out of it. The windowless room was cold and dark. It stank of old cigarettes and spilled booze, and some of the stickiness would not come off the walls.
One single, bare, flickering bulb hung from the ceiling. So this was the place that would be better than home, this tiny, dirty, filthy room. I settled in as best I could." (page 116)
Christine had no money when she started her first business. She started her business empire with a small bank loan.
Christine is a now well known and successful serial entrepreneur.
She is a best-selling author, Internet Marketer, Entrepreneur, Infopreneur and Public Speaker.
She has spent years helping others take control of their own finances and led them down the entrepreneurship path.
Her first foray into entrepreneurship, started soon after she decided to take control of her own life after she came out of her coma.
She set about finding ways to earn her own money and start up her own business, where she would be in total control and did not need to answer to anyone. Something that most people wish for but hardly ever achieve.
She did not let anything get in her way. Christine has done it all. She started by being that annoying person at the end of the phone selling you something, that’s how she started her Apple dealership.
She did not take no for an answer, she diligently did her research, worked on spotting gaps in the market and trusted her instincts. She worked her socks off, from her first small Apple dealership she went on to own one of the biggest industrial warehouse in Belgium with a multi-million turnover.
Extracts from No Fourth River:
“The nuns. The girls at boarding school. My father. Harry. Even the teachers at my second boarding school told me I would never make anything of my life.”
‘I met the stranger who was inside me all my life but never had the chance to appear. The stranger I knew well became the new me. I found myself.'
‘Never again would I take orders from anyone. I made a promise to myself that nobody would ever control me again and tell me what to do, when to do it, and how to do it. I would be completely independent and free.’
‘Everyone wanted a computer, but nobody had one. In Keldonk, this meant one thing—demand without supply.’