About Martha Long

Martha Long was born in Dublin in the early 1950s and still lives there today. She calls herself a ‘middle-aged matron’ and has successfully reared three children. The Bookseller described her as a ‘truly gifted storyteller’ & Alice Walker, author of The Color Purple, compared her to Charles Dickens. Her seventh and final book in the bestselling Ma series will be published by Mainstream Publishing in the UK, Australia and New Zealand in September 2013. Her first book was published in North America by Seven Stories Press in November 2012.

Read more about Martha and keep up-to-date with all the books in the ‘Ma,’ series on her facebook page:


You can also now follow Martha on Twitter:


The author as a young woman


199 Responses to “About Martha Long”

  1. jayne May 13, 2008 at 11:52 am #

    I have just finished reading Ma, he sold me for a few cigaretts by Martha Long..what a book I couldn’t put it down fantastic…I have just looked to see if there is a follow up to this book and seen there is..I cant wait to now start reading Ma, I’m locked up in the Madhouse..

    • pat McLarnon July 20, 2009 at 6:05 pm #

      i have just finished reading both of marthas books, she is now 16 and just left the conent to become a nursery nurse, but i am dying to know what happened after that to her mother and the horrible Jackser, also poor wee charlie. both books were dreadfully sad, but what a gutsy wee girl she was. Please Martha keep writing. an avid reader waiting with anticipation.

      • anne brady June 15, 2013 at 3:14 am #

        I’d love to know what happen to wee charlie and the rotten mother and step father and the other little ones hard to believe it still happens in the world today ,some children are just a meal ticket to some leaches they learn the best and the worst from their parents.When will humans learn?

      • administrator August 15, 2013 at 1:12 pm #

        All is revealed in the final book, Ma, Jacker’s Dyin’ Alone out next month. Come to the launch if you’re near London or Dublin.

    • lisa burgess March 31, 2010 at 3:51 pm #

      i have just read ma, he sold me for a few cigarretes and im heartbroken, just want to give u a big cuddle! what a wicked time u had, well done for battleing on and never giving up hope. would love to hav ‘had a word’ with ur mum, or ‘him’ bastards.xx

    • Breda o connor November 14, 2010 at 8:12 am #

      Hi martha what a wonderfull woman u are.i just finished your fourth book .ma now im going up in the world. It was a sad funny book. I waa born in the late fifty to a family of 13children we were blessed with our parents.my mom has read all your books as well i hope that jackers died roaring.where are your brothers and sisters now? Also when is the next book out.thanks for the great books so far.hope u found happiness x

    • Brenda Doyle September 14, 2011 at 7:38 am #

      You need to read: “Ma, its a cold auld night and I’m lookin for a bed” first.

    • Anne December 9, 2011 at 1:11 pm #

      I too have just read this wonderful book and whilst reading wanted to take the child away, love and care for her so strong was the writing. It is incomprehensible that someone that went through the childhood she endured grew into an adult and was able to share her early life with her readers. What an inspiriation to others. Am looking forward to the new book.

    • Lorraine Harrington September 16, 2012 at 5:48 am #

      I am currently reading Martha’s latest book, she is a brilliant woman, I can relate to some (not all) of her experiences. I would love to meet her in person one day. I think she’s brilliant

  2. NOELEEN CLAYTON May 15, 2008 at 8:11 am #

    Thursday 15th May, 2008

    I was given the book as a Christmas present and starting reading it the very next day. I wanted to put it down because it was so moving but couldn’t. I was so sad at times and others I cheered for her. I have passed it on to a couple of friends who have said the same thing.

    I googled her name as soon as I was finished as I needed to find out more but there was nothing about her. A couple of days ago my friend said she did the same thing and found out there is a sequel. I can’t wait for the next chapter in her life as I was left “wanting” to find out more. I’m hoping that she finds the happiness which she so truly deserved.

    Thank you Martha for a wonderfully sad but uplifting story.


    • Lorraine Harrington September 16, 2012 at 6:07 am #

      I am currently reading Martha’s latest edition, I found all Martha’s books to be absolutely gut wrenching! Her first book I started reading accidentally, I sobbed my heart out for that tiny wee girl with a ton of spunk!
      But she managed to keep the humor going as well.
      My heart went out to her on so many levels, and I often felt I could relate to certain parts of her life, we are actually in the same age bracket.
      I would love to meet Martha one day, I would consider that to be an absolute honor.
      Please continue your journey through her books, you will enjoy them all.

  3. Ruth May 17, 2008 at 3:10 pm #

    I bought ‘Ma, he sold me for a few cigarettes,. A truly saddening account of martha’s childhood, I was quite overwhelmed with sympathy for her but encouraged by her motivation for a better life, its unfortunate it has such an abrupt end but I am glad to see there is a sequel so I can find out if life improves for her.

  4. Goretti Darley May 18, 2008 at 4:17 pm #

    I was so touched by this book, like everyone else I have been searching for more information on Martha but can’t find any. I am so looking forward to reading her next book and please Martha let us all know how you are getting on today.

    • angie July 27, 2011 at 10:37 pm #

      your a wonderful woman martha ,your books took me away from the hear and now ,you have a way of capturing me an i can NEVER stop thinking of you and ur life story, and even how you ar now ,i am 37 now .married with 2 wonderful kids .as a LOT of people i awate ur next book ,i finished one book as u were taken to jail and was wating for ur next book to see if you were ok ,NO im not a weardo ,its just your stories are such a fantastic read .hope there is another book VERY soon or im just going to have to read all 4 books again .love and respect to you ….angie in cork .

  5. kelly williams May 18, 2008 at 8:53 pm #

    the most fantastic book iv readin alongtime MARTHAa wonderfull woman who deserves all the happiness in the world shes an insperation of how u do carry on ………….Im devastaed there no news about where she is in her life today would loveto know i hope shevery happy…. Am very pleased there is a follow on book andcannot wait to get reading.

  6. Carol Kerr May 23, 2008 at 10:27 pm #

    I have just finished reading the first book often having to put it down for a while due to such brutality to children. I was hoping that the end of the book would let us know how she came from such an awful childhood to becoming an author so I will be at the bookshop today for the sequel. Martha I hope that in telling the world of your story you are able to find peace within yourself.

  7. Jane Schneider May 27, 2008 at 1:39 pm #

    I couldn’t put Ma,He Sold Me … down. I was lifted up every time there was the possibility of a happy ending only to have my hopes shattered every time. Martha, I do hope you are well and that life has dished out some of the happiness you so deserve. Unlike your other readers I don’t think I am yet ready for your next book as I want to stay with that kind, witty and very strong little girl for another few months. Your story moved me and I thank those people who showed you kindness. I hope you never gave up.

  8. Julie May 28, 2008 at 2:29 am #

    Well what a book, I dont think I can recall sitting down an reading a book where I continually cried. I finished the book last night and I thought to myself what happens next. I was so glad when I got on the web today and noticed there was a sequel.

    I also rang my mother and told her about the book I just had read and said Thank You for the love, warmth you gave. From reading this book you come to realise how at times we take the simple things in life for granted and the little things such as a cuddle, kiss we do for our children can stay with them forever.

    How powerful would this book make if it was a movie.

    Thank You Martha for sharing Your story with me.

  9. dee delany-stevens May 30, 2008 at 1:44 pm #

    I havejust finished Ma he sold me for a few cigarettes and like all the other comments I truely enjoyed it. As for that bastard of an aulfella – I hope he dies roaring (am just waiting for the next sequel) – and the stupid mother I was hoping all through the book that she would discover her brain… but no..

    The sickening and sadding part of the whole book is that it is a true account of Dublin in 1950’s (not that long ago) and I am scandalised that the authorities did not do more to help this child (children).

    It’s discraseful that this kind of treatment of children still goes on today all over the world. Well done Mrs for dragging yourself out of the situation and putting pen to paper to share you life with us readers.


  10. bobbie freeman June 11, 2008 at 5:22 pm #

    I also did what the other readers listed did and that was to find out more about martha long..i suppose we all wanted the happy ending because heaven help us it had to get better for martha. However each page got worse.I have pre ordered the next book and until then will wait and see, I have a feeling you will be in my thoughts for awhile too martha long ..

  11. A ORiordan June 12, 2008 at 10:36 am #

    I read Ma He sold me for a few cigarettes over the course of one day it was so unbelieveable that someone could go through this. My mam was born in the 50’s and although her family were dirt poor they were always kept fed and clothed and most of all loved apart from being brought up in a family of 15. It beggars belief that this could happen to a child at the hands of an adult and obviously her mother was suffering from severe depression it still doesn’t in any way excuse why she never stuck up for her poor daughter. How Jackser never killed her is something only God knows. The woman is a walking miracle. I’m dying to read and the same time dreading to read the next installment as I had hoped by the end of the book there would be a happily ever after and after reading a snapshot of what is to come this obviously is not the case. Martha Long inspires hope in to many people and I for one will be going out to buy her next book. I hope she knows how truly inspirational she is one, for not only telling her story but two to triumphing and becoming not only a woman but a mother also. It obviously took so much courage to sit down and write about her horrific childhood and I’m sure the memories that came flooding back are something most of us thankfully only read about. She is such a courageous and brave woman.

  12. Sandy Stobie June 13, 2008 at 1:23 pm #

    My partner and I both read this amazing book. My partner then wanted to find more about you Martha and your siblings. We are very glad you are sharing more of your amazing life in the near future with us.
    We hope that today you have found peace and are living the life you so greatly deserve.

  13. Deborah June 13, 2008 at 5:11 pm #

    I hope you read this Martha….you stood up in court saying you wanted to be a nurse, I’m wondering if you did. You would of made a wonderful nurse.
    I read your book. I fell in love with you in the first page. I walked as a ghost beside you while it all unfolded before my eyes.
    What breaks my heart the most, I can’t hold the child, I can’t comfort her or give her a dolly. I can’t take her away from all the pain and torment. I want too so desperately….but I can’t.
    I love you Martha and I love who you are. I’d tell it to your face if I saw you, but I doubt that’d happen. I live over the water in Australia, my family are from Wexford in Ireland (i’m fourth generation Irish but I was born here in Australia), that’s as close as I’ve ever seen Ireland. I know that if I ever go to Ireland one day, i’ll promise to picture you with me, so you can show me where you’ve been and all the places that you talked about in your book.

    Gawd tell us, did that Jackser fella get what he deserved eventually?
    What happened to your brothers and sisters? Was there more to come after they took you away? Where’s your Ma, what happened to her?

    I better stop, I’ll end up writing a book of questions for you to answer.
    You’ll be forever in my soul Martha….forever and ever.

  14. Jenny Martin June 22, 2008 at 1:55 am #

    I had Ma he sold me for a few cigarettes sitting in my bookcase for quite a while before I finally started reading it. I read non-stop for 10 hours yesterday (with interruptions from kiddies!) and finished it. After reading Angela’s Ashes years ago I thought I’d be hard pressed to find a book about growing up in Ireland I liked as much, but this is just as hard to put down. I loved it and, despite the horrific abuse, I found it a very inspiring, uplifting read as I could feel the author’s personality and sensed that she may have still been capable of finding happiness one day. The cruelty and stupidity of adults certainly beggars belief and I hope that bastard Jackser is 6 feet under. I find myself very worried about what happened to your siblings, particularly when I read about Charlie being left alone with Jackser and your brothers and sisters coming back from the homes looking like they had no life left in them. I hope they, like you, were able to find some happiness one day.

  15. Mary Murphy June 22, 2008 at 9:22 pm #

    What a fascinating book about Martha’s life. I am just haunted by Charlie, Teddy, Harry, Dinah, Sally and whoever came after her. I wonder if they like Martha were able to make their way in the world.

    We have heard so much about instititional abuse but I really think this pales all. Who could have allowed a child to have to exist like that in the 1950’s? Even if only a quarter of it was true (and I know that all of it is and probably more that she has forgotten about) then it is a scandal. She deserves a gold medal for living.

    • Damien Scott February 8, 2010 at 6:59 pm #

      Is there a follow up to its a cold Old Night, I hope we can get to the end of your story Martha Charlie, Jackser what happened? where and what happened after the night sleeping in the Buses. Would someone plwase let me know. It is a story that has upset me

      • BarbaraParks November 16, 2010 at 11:05 pm #

        Hi Damien i just came acroos to martha’s latest book.Its called “Ma now im going up in the world”I couldnt put it down and i read it in 2 Days.It starts when she is sixteen and gets out of the convent and ends when she is 18.I shure hope there will be another book to tell us what happened from then on and if she ever found Happiness and her mom and Brothers and sisters and what ever happens to the evil Jackster?

        Hope u enjoy it as much as i did?



  16. Margot Chapman June 23, 2008 at 4:07 pm #

    I bought the book for a friend and she said its a wonderfully sad book…

    Never have i read a book on abuse but, did I read this book!i could not put it down i sat unaware on the tube crying not bothered by anyne it made my world turn.

    I have such an affectionate place in my heart for Martha, she will live in my heart forever i need to know what has happened to Charlie and the rest of her siblings..i am off to buy the book now.
    You are one in a million Martha a very special Angel God sent to us!

  17. anne somerville June 24, 2008 at 1:39 am #

    ive never been a reader coz i never had a concentration span long enough to finish a book! but a friend gave me “ma he sold me….it was the most amazing read, i couldn`t put it down, martha you opened a whole new world for me,. Not looking back,.. reading several books whilst awaiting your next masterpiece..ma im in the madhoose..I so wished i could reach across the years to that adoreable wee lassie to cuddle and protect her..you have a special place in my heart. stay strong. xxx

  18. Kerry Zweck June 27, 2008 at 2:34 am #

    I just finished the book last night and i’m desperate to find out what happens to Martha.

    Martha, you are truly an inspiration. Good on you for fighting so hard and never giving up. I wish you a life full of much deserved love and happiness. Noone, let alone a child, should have to endure what you did. I hope your ma and Jackser got what was coming to them. I’m very much looking forward to reading the sequel. xoxox

  19. warren russell June 28, 2008 at 12:16 pm #

    how are you doing now
    I was born 1946 & I thought my upbringing was tough
    now I realise how lucky I was my heart goes out to
    you I hope that bastard Jackser got his in the end
    I wish you all the luck & love in the world you
    deserve it

    • Breege January 14, 2010 at 3:25 pm #

      Hi Martha,
      I just finished your second book and I’m delighted to discover you have a third one out. Anyway Martha, apart from all the emotional and phyical pain that al bastard inflictated on you,which by the way i’m not dismissing how terrible that was for one minute but you have left me with a very funny picture in my head. The time you rang the guards about the donkey, i thought that was priceless and when i think of it, all i see is poor donkey showing off his big set of teeth while the nuns are flapping about in a tizzy.
      I was in a convent boarding for 2 years (through a more relaxed envirnoment than yours Martha), however, there was nothing as good as making fun for yourself, especially wen some poor unfortunate nun happens to be very innocent. But, the loneliness is terrible so i can only imagine what it must have been like for you.
      Anyway, I would like to congratulate you on jus being you, kind and warm. I find it amazing that you remained the same person throughout, Yes you fought your corner and rightly so, fight for survival out there and nonone else was going to fight for you. What I’m trying to say is you have such a massive heart and its full of love.(Even though lots of people tried to knock it out of you) That is something oneone elso took from you.
      Do you think your granny still looks out for you. Anyway you are a very inspiring girl/woman and I hope you managed to enjoy a little childhood of your own with your own children. I wish you peace in your head and good health throughtout.
      I hope when i read your 3rd book, that i find out what happened to poor Charlie and the others, I hope he came safe.
      Thankyou and well done.

  20. Cy June 30, 2008 at 5:29 am #

    I finished reading “ma, he sold me” about 10 mins ago. I was straight on to google to see if there was a follow up book. I have been left with an ache for your brother Charlie, left behind in the hands of that revolting man, Jackser. I hope in your next book we find out that he too, along with your other siblings, escaped the brutality. Well done Martha for staying so strong through it all. If only we could do something for the all children who are still being raised in such awful abusive homes. I must go and cuddle my daughter 4, and my son 10 months and let them know they are truely loved. Thank you Martha.

  21. bernie July 2, 2008 at 11:30 pm #

    read all above and agree with every word, I too cant wait to find out what happens next to you and little Charlie. You were such a brave intelligent little girl, only for that you would never have got through it all, your children are so lucky to have a mammy like you, you’ve been rearing children all your life. I’m going to bed now to cuddle two of mine, I have tears in my eye thinking of what you all went through with that man.

  22. Kathleen Ashton July 3, 2008 at 8:34 pm #

    I finished reading Ma he sold me for a few cigarettes a few days ago and still can’t stop thinking of this so brave little girl. I couldn’t help feeling the story was not complete and wanted to know more about the life of Martha and what had happened to Charlie and the rest of her siblings. Then I decided like the above readers to google Martha’s name because I felt sure there had to be a sequel to her story. I was so relieved to find out there was. I have never read such a deep and moving story in my life. I too want to go back in time and find Martha when she was a child and save her from all the cruelty she was enduring and just make her happy and give her the love she must have craved every day. I just hope she is happy in her life now she so deserves to be. I also hope the rest of her siblings found happiness too.

  23. Julie K July 4, 2008 at 1:03 pm #

    I finished “Ma, he sold me” a couple of weeks ago and like all of the other people here I too was on the internet to find out more. I haven’t laughed and cried as much as I did reading your book. I wanted to take that little girl home and love her and protect her. It amazes me how people could know what was happening yes do nothing to help. You are such a strong lady Martha and you have come so far in your life. You are so brave to have dragged up your past to share what happened to you with the rest of us. You have a huge fan base and totally deserve it.

    I do hope Jackser got what he truly deserved!!

    I too am desperate to find out what happens next. I wanted to read that everything worked out well in the end and that you and your siblings found happiness.

    Everyone on this site says there is a new book coming out but does anybody know how long it will be before we can all run off to the shops to buy it?

    I have passed the book onto my mum who has just started reading it and there is a “queue” in line after her.

    Stay strong Martha!! You are AMAZING!

  24. The Triplets July 6, 2008 at 12:11 am #

    The most inspirational book I’ve ever read, Martha you are a credit to yourself and Charlie. I passed the book onto my sisters and they also couldn’t believe your strength, wit,’cop on’and intuition which thankfully got you through the hard times. We can’t wait to read the sequel!

  25. roisin k July 7, 2008 at 4:57 pm #

    Dear Martha and Family,

    How inspirational and sad your first book was, I truly commend you and your family for having courage to recall the horific childhood you had. I am a single mother of two beautiful boys and I am also a teacher and all I can say to you is this, if I had been your teacher I would have treated you differently at school, for a lot of my job deals with children of disadvantage. I myself grew up not knowing who my father was and I had two siblings for two different fathers. Things were rough and tough in my house growing up (not as much as yours though!), and it was only after I had my first child I decided I want to go to college and become a teacher not like the ones that I had in school as some of them were hags and should not have ever been allowed to teach. I now take great pride in teaching an working with children that are less fortunate in this country, and your story has just provided me with extra stamina to do the job.
    Thank you very much martha !!!

  26. Rebecca Fernyhough July 10, 2008 at 2:06 pm #

    First book i have bought in a very LONG time, amazing book i read it with in three days – as have most of my colleagues at work.

    We cant wait to hear what happened next and one of my colleagues really wants to know if Charlie is ok!

    I love the way the book has been written – with feeling but not self pity. I think if it been written with the pity it deserves I would have ended up being an emotional wreck.

    Thank you Martha for opening your heart and sharing with us all your inner child.
    I cant wait to read your next book.

  27. michelle ford July 10, 2008 at 10:30 pm #

    Martha long, a truly remarkable lady who shared her childhood with every reader, you made me experience all different emotions from sorrow, admiration, joy and frustration. It was an honour for letting me share part of your life.

  28. anne boyes July 18, 2008 at 1:52 pm #

    fantastic book very emotional unbelievable i grew up in dublin in the 1950 s from a family of 10 lived in finglas brought a lot of memories back cant wait for next book xx

  29. patricia mc quillan July 18, 2008 at 2:21 pm #

    this has to be the best book i have ever read in my life. i have read the david pelzer books, and they are also inspiring. i can t wait for follow up to be published i am already checking the book shops regularly. martha long is an inspiration and an angel on earth. i m overjoyed that she has had some of what is normal in life and has a family of her own. i am hungry to know what hapened after she finally got away from that animal (jackser).you are truly a brave courageous lady and i hope your remaining life is full of the happiness you deserve.

    patricia mcquillan

    • patricia mc quillan July 2, 2010 at 1:23 pm #

      hi martha, i have read all 3 books and would like to know when “ma im goin up in the world” is at the shops or internet for sale. wait i adore these books and cant wait for the next one. you truly are an inspiration and an excellent author. i would appreciate any info. thank you

      patricia mcquillan

  30. Joyce Nolan July 24, 2008 at 12:30 pm #

    Martha if you read this I hope with all my heart you went on to become the person you were born to be. You have made me cry and smile whilst reading your book and I find it so hard to think that no one would help you. You must of felt so let down by Irish society in those days.

    It must of been a very long and painfull journey back in time for you to dredge up all those memories and put them to paper. I travel to Dublin quiet a bit and I imagine you on those streets now , I think you will be with me in Dublin all the time now when I see the streets you were on.

    Thank you Martha xxxx

  31. Lizzie July 25, 2008 at 10:14 am #

    I cried,cried,cried, and ached for you I can’t wait to read your sequel and hope you found the happiness you truly deserve
    being born in Glasgow we had a lot of poverty,but your story made us seem like millionaires,you are a truly remarkable person .

  32. Maureen July 27, 2008 at 7:44 pm #

    As the other readers have said before me, I too was unable to put this book down, I picked it up in Dublin airport for my long flight home to JFK. While on the plane the stewardess advised me what an incredible book it was but to prepare myself for a very sad ending, I finished the book and Googled Martha also, and cannot wait to read the sequel. I pray that Martha was granted serenity after all of the years of sickening madness. I can attest to the deplorable conditions of the 40s-50s school systems in Ireland, my father was beaten senseless by a male teacher(literally, senseless, my grandparents were summoned to collect him from the school, unconscious)-he received the whipping for standing up for his younger brother in the classroom who was being beaten. Upon arriving home, my dad was administered another beating by his father for mouthing off to the headmaster. As a mother of 2 children I cannot imagine that anyone would allow such treatment never mind inflict it. Peace be with you Martha!

  33. Bel July 30, 2008 at 8:11 am #

    Ma he sold me for a few cigarettes, is the best book i have read in a very long time. I just could not put it down. I googled to see if there was a sequel! Thanks god there is i cant wait untill September to read it! Thanks for sharing your life with us, you are a true inspiration, I hope you and Charlie found love and happiness!

  34. nadina August 2, 2008 at 9:56 pm #

    Martha, i thank you for having the courage to write this book. it must have been very painful for you at times. I’ve been sitting here ages trying to put into words what i want to say. You are all grown up now, but there will always be a special place in my heart for a little girl called Martha and her 6yr old brother Charlie. God bless you both.XXXXXXXXXX

  35. Angelina 25 Dublin August 12, 2008 at 11:14 am #

    Well done Martha,

    Imagine that, you a very gifted and talented writer. after everything.

    I would love to give you a big squeezy hug. soooooooooooo proud of you. Cany wait to read the sequel.

    well done you!

    p.s. i sooo hope your a millionaire and spoil yourself rotten.


  36. Julie King August 13, 2008 at 7:15 pm #

    I took the book on holiday and finished reading it in 4days I couldnt put it down. I loved the way it was written and how Martha was really happy with things that most of us take for granted ie a warm fire,food,and smile from someone she just wanted a friend. Cant wait to read the next book.

  37. Vantanee (Thailand) August 14, 2008 at 3:20 am #

    Just finished ‘Ma, he sold me..’ last night. Love it! Now, trying to find out what’s next with Matha and Charlie, but guess we have to wait for the sequel.

    Thank you for the inspiration and courage!

  38. peter August 15, 2008 at 9:15 am #

    Still reading marthas book and find it so disturbing, having been born and grown up in the same era I found it very hard to understand how another human being could inflict such suffering on another person let alone a defenceless little girl. I too wanted to reach out and offer a loving hand to little Martha and to protect her from the monster thatwas jackser who was only able to beat up women and young chidren I hope that he suffered before he died. To Marther and her siblings you deserve everything you achieve good luck peter

  39. peter August 16, 2008 at 7:09 am #

    in addition to my earlier blog i want to add that martha deserves all she gets because after all she paid for it with her childhood. Once again I must say that this book really disturbed me and I think about it all the time have never been moved by a book before I look forward to “Ma I,m Gettin meself a new mammy” Peter

  40. Minnie August 16, 2008 at 8:52 pm #

    I could not put this book, down, I fell in love with Martha I wanted to mother her, to take her away and give her the childhood she deserved, and I wanted everyone who let her down and did her wrong to get their just rewards. I raced through the book to get to the end to see if she would be ok in the end, after all her hardship, and now at the end I am left wondering what happened next, was she ok ? how did she get through the next few years ? up till mother hood, where is Charlie now is he ok, so many questions, how are the other children etc…so glad to see there are other books on the way, well done Martha, you tell a great story and you tell it so well, I was back there with you, in the story, in the day, when you were sore I was sore, when you were cold I was cold, and on the very rare day when your belly was full and you had a little comfort i relished in it.
    God Bless you I hope you are in a very Happy place right now, my thoughts will be with you for a very long time.

  41. Dorothy August 17, 2008 at 10:02 am #

    I was given this book whilst in hospital and found it such compelling reading that I couldn’t put it down until I finished it. I am so looking forward to reading the sequal to find out what happened to her at the convent and to Charlie and her other siblings. I felt the same emotions reading the book as I did after reading David Pelzer’s ‘A child called it’. He came out on top and obviously Martha did in the end but they were so robbed of their childhood. I look at my gandkids who moan if they can’t get the right trainers or make-up without having to lift a finger towards them, they don’t know they are born today.

  42. Yvonne Kavanagh August 19, 2008 at 4:29 pm #

    Im back again, i just cant stop telling you Martha how amazing you are to have survived all of that, i had the same sort of life, and that was only in the 70’s In Glasgow, only i had a real brutal father not a stepone, i sooooooooooooo wish i could write my story like you, maybe i will take up writing classes in your honour when i get to me forties.

    Thanks once again for the best book i have ever read, and cant wait until 4th September for the next instalment.

    Hope you now have a great quiet peaceful life and enjoy your sleeps!!

    May Jackser roast in hell!!

    Godbless you xxx
    Yvonne xx

  43. sue August 21, 2008 at 5:12 pm #

    Just finished reading ma he sold me for a few cigarettes, i thought it was such a sin on martha having to go through all that, i was a very good book though , showed how hard it is to go through that kind of treatment and it is such a shame any one should go through that kind of treatment, and i think it is so amazing how you survived all that and got through it you are very strong martha, cant wait too read the next one too find out what happend too you and your siblings, i thought it was a very much shame on you and charlie and the rest, getting told to go and steal then takin the blame for jackster, i really can not put it into words what i thought about jackster, putting you through that misery, brings a tear too my eye thinkin about it, you have a very strong character martha and god bless you,

  44. Maureen August 22, 2008 at 4:23 pm #

    Can I just say, I am nearing the end to a great book and want to Say to you Martha what a Strong and Bright Child you where, the years have gone by and the past will never leave you, I know. My Heart goes out to you Martha. Can I just say my life was never as brutal as yours but I went through some tough times in my young life and just know where you are coming from?

    I cannot wait to read the last few pages of this incredible book and look forward to ‘Ma’ I am getting another Mammy’.

    Ma, I’m locked up in the Madhouse, I gather this is a Third book following on, if so I will be having that one to. ‘From Irish Lass to another’. God Bless you Martha.

  45. Ren August 24, 2008 at 8:57 am #

    Dear Martha, it can’t have been easy for you to drop back into the time and head space of that horror. You recalled it so well – written as an adult, but through the eyes and senses of a child – and so strongly connected to the memories and thoughts and feelings. I’m sorry you couldn’t forget, but buried things do have a habit of rising back up. Thank you for writing your book, even if it was…hard to read. xo

  46. Marie August 25, 2008 at 9:41 pm #

    Martha really needs to do an interview for all her fans to find out how she is now and how she got there. This would be so uplifting. I am so furiously angry with her mum and the scumbag Jackser.

  47. Pamela August 27, 2008 at 11:33 am #

    I have almost finished reading this wonderful book. What has struck me throughout the painful pages is that Martha never feels self-pity and even though she is in agonising pain she sacrifices herself again and again for her feckless mother and her poor siblings. How could the authorities hand her back to the brutal Jackser? He had put her alone on the boat to England covered in bruises and in a terrible state. This was the 1950’s when I was born yet it seems like a hundred years before that when people were starving in Victorian slums and the authorities justed seemed to ignore them. I am very keen to know how Martha and her siblings are now and feel a need to know that they came through it all. As for Jackser I too hope that he died in agony so he knows what it feels like. I would consider it a priviledge to tell Martha that I truly hope she has peace and happiness in her life at last.

  48. becky August 27, 2008 at 5:16 pm #

    i agree with the previous comment, i was reading your incredible survival story barely able to believe this was an account from only 50 years ago! this was the time in which my parents were growing up and im sure they never experienced such tough times, its incredible to hear how bad the slums of Dublin were. i sincerly hope that all your siblings fought through their hard upbringing and emerged as strong as you. x x

  49. maude salley August 28, 2008 at 12:25 am #

    I just cannot find the words to express how this book made me feel.It is the most moving book I have ever read and it was so wonderfully written.I’ve just inished the book a few minuted ago and rushed to my computer and googled Martha’s name to find out more about her and hoping to discover there was second book,because I really want to know what happens next.I’m glad there is.
    Anyway,thanks,Martha,to have shared with us this wonderful and inspiring story,an example of great courage through adversity. xx

  50. AMY WATTON September 1, 2008 at 7:25 pm #


  51. Eileen Green September 15, 2008 at 11:46 am #

    In answer to Marie’s blog, there is an interview with Martha and pictures in the October issue of Prima magazine (out now). Rush out and buy it – you won’t be disappointed.

  52. Victoria Godson September 15, 2008 at 4:10 pm #

    So beautifully written. So so sad. i just can’t beleive a child can be treated that way and what amazing courage you have shown Martha. I still feel extremely tearful and hold you in my thoughts and in my heart as that little girl. I hope reading the sequel will release that little girl from misery.
    I was glad to read (and also to see a real picture of you)that you have been so successful raising 3 children and having a fulfilled career. As many other readers I too Googled your name as soon as I finished the book to make sure you were OK.
    Look forward to reading about the convent and also about your siblings.
    God bless you and well done for coming through your horific experiences. Truly inspirational!

  53. trish kelly September 24, 2008 at 10:09 pm #

    martha ,
    well done to you. there are a million things i could say to you but i’m sure you have heard them before. i hope you are very happy , you truly deserve it . i would love to know how your brother charlie and your other siblings got on and are they ok ? best of luck with everything . your children must be so proud .
    cheers to a fantastic woman !

  54. Lucy September 25, 2008 at 12:01 am #

    I have just finished Ma, he sold me for a few cigarettes and am deeply moved – as everyone else seems to be. I am suprised however at a few of the comments I have seen on this page where people say they cannot beleive things like this happened “50 years ago” etc.
    I think Marthas story must not be cast in our minds as something that happened. But something that happens, everyday. Today. Right now there are children suffering just as Martha did 50 years ago. Right now there are Jacksers feeding off others and Sallys not taking responsibility for their lives and their children. Martha had great courage to tell us her story so lets not tell ourselves these things don’t happen now and its all in some mystical land in the past. Instead, lets be honest with ourselves about what many people are faced with every day and go about our lives remembering to be kind when someone is led our way.


  55. deirdre lawlor October 1, 2008 at 4:40 pm #

    hi, martha
    just wanted to say you are truely a wonderful person,and i have just found out about your second novel ma i’m gettin meself a new mammy,i just c’ant wait to get into it.your incredible,tamks


  56. mary t October 2, 2008 at 8:17 pm #

    ive just finished the 2nd book ,it was as good if not better then the first ,it was a great read ,i could”nt put it down ,i hope part 3 will be out soon ,as i can”t wait ,i hope your life got better in the following years ,god bless

  57. Chris O October 5, 2008 at 3:17 pm #

    I have just finished reading He sold me for cigarettes. I do not usually read these sort of biographies as they all seem similar. This one is an exception. What tremendous courage Martha has. Will definitely read the sequels as I must find out what happens to her after the age of 16. As someone else said it is a disgrace that such things continue to go on. I am roughly the same age as Martha, what a difference in our two childhoods.

  58. Rosslyn October 8, 2008 at 2:46 am #

    All of the above comments pretty much cover it for me. I am an avid reader and this is the 1st book in a long time that held me completely in thrall from start to finish.
    Although I wanted it to stop because the thought of a little girl being subjected to these horrendous adults left me distressed to say the least.
    Martha, thankyou for sharing your story! It has made me realise so much. I was horrified that maybe somewhere along the way I have judged other children because they weren’t completely kempt! I don’t think I have, but I am now completely aware again, that all is not necessarily as it appears.
    I am about to become a foster parent, and this reiterated the need for me to do this, I am not perfect, but no child around me would ever be left to suffer as you did. I wish I had been there for you, and I am so sorry you went through all that you did!
    and that there wasn’t someone strong enough around you to keep you safe. Blessed be Martha, live a long healthy and happy life

  59. niamh October 14, 2008 at 5:26 pm #

    as i read the book i had to keep stopping as i was filled with such anger and sorrow but also a ray of hope .Your spirit rose from the pages i am an avid reader and never in all my years have i been affected by a book like this . On days i feel hard done by i think of you and feel a stab of shame i wish you love and peace be blessed with love and sunshine.

  60. Kerry October 17, 2008 at 1:02 am #

    Martha, I was rivetted by the account in both of your books. I am so glad that you came out the other end as intact as what you seem to be. A lesser person would have completely lost their mind. I am left wondering what became of Charlie, Teddy, Harry, Dinah, Sally and Agnes?? I am really looking forward to your next instalment in your life. You are a beacon for all of those who have reached adulthood after an abusive childhood and wonder if they will ever amount to anything. I am sorry but the Catholic Church has a great deal to answer for – especially when it comes to their attitude toward to children in those kind of families – it still goes on today in some regions!! Children do not ask to be born into any family, anywhere. They have no voice to ask for what the need in life but most of all they ALL need cherishing. No amount of food, shelter and clothing will compensate for the lack of love and nurturing. Martha – may your beloved and precious children give you joyous grandchildren and may you live long to enjoy them.

  61. Nerelle October 19, 2008 at 11:33 am #

    I think you are a true inspiration, not for the child that came through such a horrible childhood but, for the woman that you are today.
    Not only do you have the strength to live through such a horrible ordeal, you have managed to hold on to your sanity and share your story.
    I live my life saying that there is always, always someone that is worse off than me and I can get through my issues. You are living proof of this. Thank you for being a strong enough woman to stand up and tell your story, a strength that many of us will never have.
    I commend you and I thank you for sharing your story.
    You are an inspiration to all….

  62. Jackie byrne October 20, 2008 at 4:29 pm #

    I finished the first book and read the second one straight away, only finishing it a few mins ago, missing Martha already and cant wait to see what happens her in adult life, hope her dreams came through, you’re an inspiration Martha and your family are very lucky people to have you around, best of luck with everything, you deserve it.

  63. Marian October 23, 2008 at 4:24 am #

    Wow!! How lucky we are to have Martha alive and well today to share this absolutely devastatingly sad story with us.
    Martha, I too hope that you and your siblings now have plenty of “good butter” on your fresh bread. I will recommend this book to everyone, but my copy I will cherish. If all of those people buy your book instead of borrowing it you will never have the need to be hungry or cold again. Can’t wait to buy the next one and maybe even more.

    Keep smiling Martha you are a beacon in a world of much dark and evil.

  64. Carol October 30, 2008 at 9:22 am #

    Dear Martha, After finishing reading your first book, I just sat up in bed hugging the book to my chest with tears rolling down my cheeks. I feel as though my best friend has gone away and left no forwarding address. I longed to see you in the streets so that I could bring you home to a loving household, or for you to knock on my door and ask for help. I have been feeling low lately with general day to day worries, but your account of true hardship makes me realise how trivial our worries are – even illness can be coped with when we are warm. loved and cared for. Today when we say we are ‘hard up’ it generally means we have to cut back on meals out or put less petrol in the car, heaven forbid that we should miss a meal!- How spoilt we are nowadays!

    Like everyone else I have searched in vain for some information about your life after the book – I hope with all my heart that you are now part of a loving family and feel at peace. Please take comfort that even though your readers don’t know you, I am sure they are sending their love.

  65. Angela November 3, 2008 at 8:54 pm #

    Dear Martha

    I have just finished reading you first book and I was deeply saddened , distressed and angered to learn about your horrific childhood. I’m so glad you were such a strong little girl.

    As, with all your other readers my thoughts are with you.

  66. Jo November 7, 2008 at 12:03 pm #

    I have just finished reading Ma he sold me for a packet of cigarettes and like so many before me found it hard to put the book down. Did find the ending dissappointing but have since found there is a follow up called “Ma I’m getting meself a new mammy” which follows Martha into the convent at 13 years and the abuse she suffers from the nuns and other children. I have just ordered the book and I’m sure many will follow.

  67. ashley smith November 14, 2008 at 7:16 pm #

    Martha i,ve just finished Ma i,m getting meself a new mammy and my god like the last one it,s really touched me thank you for sharing you story with us all you an inspiration

  68. Rachel O'Donnell November 16, 2008 at 1:06 pm #

    Dear Martha

    My friend gave me your book to read whilst on holiday, it took me longer than normal to read this book because I kept having to put it down, not only because I couldn’t read through the tears but sometimes I was so angry I couldn’t beleive that this was happening to such a young child. I, like others, found the ending to the book disappointing, I felt I needed some kind of closure, to know that you made it through those young horrendous years ok. I cannot wait to read your next book. You are a truly inspirational woman and I can’t tell you how happy I am that there is a sequel.
    Again, truly inspirational. xx

  69. mel November 17, 2008 at 10:07 am #

    I bought “ma, I’m getting meself a new mammy on Saturday.I couldn’t put it down and finished it last night(sunday). I cried so much during “Ma,he sold me for a few cigarettes” But with this one, while I cried, I found it alot more “light” reading. My heart went out to how hard the nuns worked Martha, but I laughed alot more,expecially “tha Dilly one” getting her just desserts.

    Thanks so much for sharing your story with us Martha. Am just wondering is “Ma, I’m locked up in the madhouse” Going to be the third one? If so I’m already looking forward to it.Am dying to know what happened to your mam and Jackser and of course all the other kiddies…………….

  70. Patricia Routledge November 19, 2008 at 4:10 pm #

    Dear Martha

    I have just finished reading both of your books I just couldn’t put them down, what an amazing wonderful person you are to have survived such a harsh begining to your life. I am so lucky to have had a wonderful loving mum and a very happy childhood.I look forward to your next book and I would love to know what happened to Charlie and if you were re united in happier circumstances.Thank you for sharing your story with me.My thoughts are with you and I send you my best wishes.

  71. Jacinta-Mayo November 20, 2008 at 11:46 am #

    I’m 27 years old,i’ve only ever read one book since I was a child.Thought reading was boring.I was going on a long flight,i toyed with the idea of buying a book,a true story I felt would be of benefit to me,I actually bought my first book-Ma,he sold me for a few cigarettes in Dublin airport,the name in itself spoke honesty and reality.

    I am pleased to say,i finished the book 10 mins ago,however,some 5 months on from the day I read the first line(might be an insult to most people,but it was an achievement for me).After reading the first page,I knew i was in for a long,tough journey but with the way it was written,kept me going and wanting to read on,however tough it was to take in.I felt as if you were telling ME your story,I was however,very disappointed with the end,not knowing what ever happened next to you, or how you are today,but I see there is a sequel,and needless to say it will be my next purchase,and I dont intend the read to go on for as long!

    I do believe I was meant to buy that book that day in the airport.It has given me a whole new outlook on life.I can thank Martha for sharing your wit,courage,strength,and your spirit will inspire me for a long long time.Reading I didnt think was something for me,now i’ve discovered a whole new world and I cannot wait to start your next book Ma,I want a new Mammy.Please keep them coming,and give me some closure on your story.I want to know that you got what you deserved in life today,happiness,peace and love.I am truly delighted that you have found more strength from God knows where,to carry on,and have a family of your own. Such an admirable woman,and I am delighted to have “met you”.

    Thank You

  72. Robyn Doyle December 4, 2008 at 8:57 am #

    How can people stand by and let these things happen to children there were many times while reading these two books that I found myself sobbing as I read how these children lived and then I would get so angry that people all around them knew what was happening and did nothing. Like so many others who have read your story and fell in love with your spirit I would love to know what happened next. What happened to the other children especially Charlie. With any luck he was taken away like you were and even though you still had a crap time you survived it hopefully he did too. I hope the rest of your life has been and will continue to be wonderful with all the love and happiness you deserve.

  73. ebbeddee December 18, 2008 at 11:46 pm #

    I don’t really know what to say. My natural mother went through similar abuse and gave me up for adoption when she was 17, she’d be about your age. From what she has told me though her life was somewhat privileged as a child. I only wish she could have your courage and confront her demons as you seem to have done. As for me, I was lucky. I was adopted at 3 months and well reared & well fed and now have childer of my own too.

    Good luck and God Bless.

  74. penny hunter December 22, 2008 at 7:57 pm #

    thankyou for putting your story down on paper Martha, i will never forget this book, so glad you never gave up, thankyou for opening my eyes to a different sort of life which go’s on for many children, it is so easy to turn a blind eye to things that would upset us, such a pity we can’t wave a magic stick, so glad you have a wonderfull life of giving and recieving love, this book gave me a kick up the bum big time,and stopped me worrying about silly small things that really don’t matter, little Martha was such a delightfull little girl and a real fighter, and i just felt so much love for her.
    enjoy christmas with you wonderfull family
    Penny from a small town in yorkshire called featherstone xx

  75. Jo T January 3, 2009 at 2:35 am #

    I’ve just read the book ‘Ma, he sold me for a few cigarettes’.

    I just couldn’t put it down. I so wished to be able to take Martha away from that life. To feed her, and clothe her and ensure she felt loved and safe.

    I too am desperate to know how her siblings survived, especially Charlie and also how Martha got on in the Convent.

    I’m just going on the net to search for heer next book in the hope that this will provide some answers.

    She is an inspiration

  76. Krishna January 7, 2009 at 6:04 am #

    i have just finsish reading your story marth, and im so sorry you had that life, god bless you and i truely hope you now have a wonderful life because you so deserve it . xx00

  77. Vicky January 9, 2009 at 4:46 pm #

    I’m reading Ma, He Sold Me For A Few C

  78. xzavia green January 11, 2009 at 11:58 am #

    i just finished reading her 1st book! i feel sick because her story affected me more than anything i’ve read in so many ways. Brilliant and horrible at the same time. Martha obviously turned out well but how is a mystery. What a gutsy girl. We go on in our own little worlds and stories like this remind us of what actually happens out there. (i cant stop crying)
    Thankyou so much martha……….there’s a reason for everything and you must be helping so many people by telling you’re story.
    i can’t handle not knowing what happened to you’re brothers and sisters though. I hope you tell us in the sequal.
    Thank you again. Iv’e never made a comment on a site about a book or author before. I felt i must. May everyone who reads your’e books remember what pain really is when they complain about petty problems.
    Love Xzavia
    Vic, Australia

  79. Cicra January 22, 2009 at 3:55 pm #

    when will Ma’Im locked up in the mad house be available to buy??

  80. Lorraine, Dublin January 29, 2009 at 11:39 pm #

    I’ve just finished reading Ma, I’m Getting meself a new mammy and to be honest I was very disappointed. I read Ma, he sold me for a few cigarettes and couldn’t put the book down. I immediately ordered Martha’s new book in the hope of finding out what happened to her since then and also what happened to her siblings, especially Charlie. Unfortunately the whole book is dedicated to her time in the convent and although her siblings do come into it at one stage when they are still young children, with the exception of Charlie, you are still left at the end of the book not knowing what has come of any of them including what happened to Martha when she did finally reach an age where she could enter the real world on her own. It went into drawn out details of “school yard” fights and descriptions of people which the book really could have done without. I know you need to give people a picture of what you are telling them but this really would make you lose interest at times. Having said that, there are a good few laughs in it and it’s great to know she didn’t have too much of a hard time with the nuns after the life she had before entering the convent. She is a fantastic woman to have come through the other side of all this and I admire her greatly but if I’d have known this book didn’t give details of the siblings and what has come of them I probably wouldn’t have bought it.

  81. Sunshine January 31, 2009 at 10:26 am #

    Martha,I am astounded! Having just finished Ma,he sold me for a few cigarettes,I am in total disbelief at what was allowed to happen to you and your siblings.You are a true inspiration to have survived the beatings, the abuse of all kinds not to mention the emotional abuse you were put through by both your mother and that miserable excuse for a human being Jackser.The strength of your spirit came through in the book and it is a testament to your courage that you have put your story in a book for all to read.I am most definitely reading your next book as I find that I am very concerned for the welfare of your siblings as well and am hoping that you let us know if they were able to survive as you have.I will be giving this book to my 16 year old daughter and hopefully it will help her be thankful for what she has and to stop always wanting things that are bigger,better or following the current trends.I sincerely hope that you have found happiness that lasts forever and day.I wish this for you and for your babby brothers and sisters.

  82. joanne February 2, 2009 at 12:19 pm #

    When I read the first page of Ma He sold me for a few cigarettes I wasnt sure if I wanted to read the book as I try not to read true stories and I had a feeling this story was going to be difficult to handle emotionally, but I just had to keep going. I cried going to bed the first night and finished the book in 2 days (something I have NEVER done).

    Martha, you are an inspiration, an angel. You were a mother to all those children even though you were a baby yourself. How you managed to live through that hell I will never know. I look at my own kids and think of you and want to cry all over again.

    I wish you and all your family only happiness and love and joy.

  83. 10th February 2009 February 10, 2009 at 10:52 pm #


    I think you are an amazing and strong human being, your book was so well written and so sad but yet funny. You were the mammy of those kids even though you were a child yourself. You made me cry throughout most of the book and laugh. You went through so much. It makes you think of how we all take advantage of things in our lives today. I came across your book in a recycling centre and started to read it and from the moment i got it i could’nt let it down i read it in 2 days which it usually could take me 2 months :-). Im looking forward to getting your next book. I hope now that you and your brothers and sisters have found the happiness that the deserve. Thank you for sharing your story. Take care.

  84. margaret mc donnell February 11, 2009 at 7:55 pm #

    ive read the first book and cried while i was reading it i cant believe a little girl her age went through so much torture she is an inspiration to everyone im on the second book now and cant leave it out of my hands i really like reading books from this author

  85. Tricia February 16, 2009 at 12:45 am #

    I just finished the second book ma I getting meself a new mammy. It was wonderful to see Martha becoming a woman and having pride in herself that no one can take. Looking forward to reading about the siblings and hopefully the demise of the horrible Jackser!!

  86. liz mcdonald February 16, 2009 at 8:11 pm #

    artha Longs books she tells her gripping story but what happened to Charlie and the other children?

  87. shyla castro February 23, 2009 at 1:25 pm #

    Dear Martha,
    I have to say that “ma,he sold me for few cigarette”is one of the best book that I’ve read this year.I found it in our staff room while I was working night and I just could’nt stop reading it.,but still took me ages to finish it bec.of the crying,the pain and all the sadness you’ve been through,,i have no choice but to put it down otherwise I will have a heart attack.I felt that I’ve been travelling w/you all throughout the story.
    I’m also a mother of three,and as soon as I went home,I went straight to my kids room and gave them a BIG hug and kisses..(they were 9yrs old,5yrs old,18m0s)…
    I can’t help thinking about what happen to your other siblings especially Charlie as he went through a lot of pain as you do?Did you ever become a nurse?

    I’m heading to the bookshop now to get your 2nd book,,,and hopefully if you ever get the chance to go to Dublin,,we’ll be all looking forward for that for your book signing.You are a truly inspiration and May God bless you more…


  88. Kath Ashton February 24, 2009 at 10:32 pm #

    Hello Martha. I have now read your second book ‘Ma I’m Getting Meself a New Mammy’. I have already commented on your first book ‘Ma He sold me for a few Cigarettes’. In this second book you have again drawn me into the life you led. I followed you through all the hard work and torment you tolerated from all those insensitive people you were among and as from your first book you managed to get through each day. I wish someone could have given you the love you needed at the time. You was such a lonely young girl. I wondered at the time if the family that took you in at Christmas would have taken you in more permenently but that was not to be. There must be hundreds of people who have read your books who like myself wish they could have been around at the time to have saved you from all the hardship you went through. I was probably around the same age so would not have been much good to you. I am looking forward to reading your follow up to your last book. I am hoping there will be more about the rest of your family, the downfall of Jackser and a happy ending for you, which I am sure you had eventually.

  89. mia c February 28, 2009 at 1:21 pm #

    i’ve just read your first book, wow!!!!!!!! -you sure are an inspiration…. Gonna start the second one now…

  90. Patricia McDade March 2, 2009 at 12:52 am #

    Hello Martha, have read your two books in about four days, I would have been quicker if I was,nt working.I could,nt put them down, I am aged 35 and was totally shellshocked at what you went through with that bandy aul bastard Jackser. Through telling your story Martha I realised how lucky I was with my own parents, we did,nt get brought up in luxury, and came from tenemants in Blackhill, Glasgow, but there was plenty off hugs, warm beds, and enough food too go round, just the basics I thought, but now I realise my wealth was my health and to me I have the best parents in the world. I have,nt any kids yet Martha, but I will 0ne day and make sure they get all the basics we take for granted. You are an inspiration to me I can,t believe how stong you are and can,t wait for your third book to see how little Charlie got on and the kids who obviously went hungary as well and did,nt have much off a live. Hope you having a happy life Martha God bless you.


  91. amanda walker March 10, 2009 at 12:43 am #

    makes angelas ashes look like a trip to disney land

  92. Lorraine April 13, 2009 at 10:27 pm #

    Congrats on a wonderful book Martha! It made me laugh and it made me cry but above all else it was thoroughly inspirational. I hope your book highlights the inadequate services and lack of funding provided to children in similar circumstances. I look forward to reading the sequels. Wishing you well in all that you do.

  93. Su Groenveld April 25, 2009 at 2:47 am #

    I have read both Ma he sold me for a few cigaretees and Ma I got myself a new mammy. I can not begin to express how these books made me feel. I just wish I was there for you and to give you a big hug and say it’s ok I am here for you. Martha I hope that you continue with another book to follow on from the last book I just wanted to keep reading but there was nothing more to read.
    I must say this Martha you are an insperation for everybody and if you can make it and survive I am sure others will also.

    Cheers Su xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

  94. marie parkes May 6, 2009 at 4:26 am #

    martha, martha, martha, what can i say sorry is not enough.. I was born in ireland in 1954 and addopted at a few weeks old ,have traced my roots and found my birth parents, . but that is my unwritten story for my grandchildren… i live in us now so was delighted when my irish friend sent your first book ‘ma….. to me in 2007.she also was born in dublin in 1953 and grew up a few miles from you but on thr other side of the street.and was sickened by your childhood in comparson to hers……… as i read each page i was so thankfulfor been addopted as i thought ”therefore but the grace of god go I” but as i finished i was dissapointed and left worring about you and moreso for your sibling………I was in ireland this march and couldent believe my eyes when i saw ma i got meself a new mammy………loved it, and the wit and irish humur shines through as usual.I rem. the rave boutique and my first visit there in 1970……But Martha

  95. Linda May 12, 2009 at 3:12 pm #

    Hi Martha,
    I read Ma he sold me last year and passed it on to everyone i know to read except my mums partner who grew up in Dublin at the same time as you, all he ever says is it was a tough time but he doesn’t really talk about it, i told him most of the stories from your book and he was just nodding along so i assume that he had similar experiences to yourself, he is a great man, very fair and honest.
    I read the second book yesterday, once i started i couldn’t put it down til i finished. What a story, i just wanted to give you a hug all the way through……
    I really hope you write a third as like others have said i would love to know what happened next, how your siblings were esp charlie and how you came to write your story. Fingers crossed and well done to you.

  96. Jacqueline Kealy May 27, 2009 at 8:50 pm #

    I wish I could throw my arms around that little girl and tell her how beautiful, how intelligent and how exceptional she is, tell her I love her. The story of your life has touched me deeply, and I cannot stop thinking about you, I hope you are now part of a loving family and you have found peace, and good butter every day! I think about wee Charlie and wonder what happened to him and the other children. I hope you find solace in knowing you have touched so many lives by sharing your story, and knowing how much they care about you. I have searched for interviews or articles to give me a glimpse of what has happened to you, but haven’t found anything. I hope you share soon.

  97. Dami June 6, 2009 at 8:24 pm #

    Dear MARTHA,
    I must say ur book ma he sold me for a few cigarettes is a wonderful book..vivid details which horrify and inspire..Looking forward to ur other books..
    I av been trying to get my friends to read the book but they keep complaining about the english which wasnt so much trouble for me…but your work was a totally beautiful one.

  98. Justine Kelly June 7, 2009 at 1:39 am #

    Dear Martha
    Never before have I heard such a heart wrenching tale of hardship and suffering I could hear your voice as you recalled your memoirs and never once did you have a tone of self pity,what a beautiful soul you are, I hope you feel the love that grows for you from every reader as they read every word you write, I hugged you all the way through as you wished you could have been hugged back then, you deserve all the love in the world and I feel honoured to have read your story. Thankyou for sharing with all of us Bless you. Justine Kelly

  99. Denise Lynch June 18, 2009 at 10:45 am #

    Hi Martha and readers of her book Ma he sold me for cigarettse
    I was blowm away with the book and the way it is writing through yonug Martha’s eyes and child like words

    She coped with so much and put her day to day life in to boxes to allow herself to carry on with her life

    I have 2 boys and the thought of any harm coming to them gives a phisical pain

    I take my hat off to you Martha God bless and care for you
    I will remember you always in my paryers


  100. Kathleen Robinson June 22, 2009 at 8:58 pm #

    Hi Martha,

    I just finished reading both of your books and I was blown away. You are a true inspiration and a gutsy woman. Like you I was brought up in a poor Irish family and had a low self-esteem earlier in my life, but after I read your book my family life looked like royalty compared to yours.
    I would love to know if you ever got married and what was your career ?

    God bless,


  101. Jaynie August 6, 2009 at 12:42 pm #

    I love ‘Ma, he sold me for a few cigarettes’ simply because young Martha kept on dusting herself off and trying again and again, despite her mother and Jackster dragging her down all the time. I haven’t read the other books yet and want to know what happened to Charlie and her other siblings- I sincerely hope no lasting harm befell them in the hands of their mother and Jackster. I suppose it gives a sound mind knowing that Martha certainly went on and done better for herself- like she always said she would.

  102. karan franks August 11, 2009 at 6:25 am #

    hello martha, i have just finished your books ma he sold me, and im getting a new mammy, and i feel as though i know you .You have such a wonderfull spirit and gutzy attitude to life and have overcome most of all the bad things that were thrown at you. I am sure you have raised fine wonderfull minded children ,and i am so pleased that you have found your niche in life. i loved your books and look forward to mreading anymore you publish. One day i will get to ireland and who knows i might even be lucky enough to meet you .Untill then may i wish you all the best for the rest of your life and keep the books comming they are a true blessing to read .xxkaran (australia)

  103. carena August 17, 2009 at 7:57 am #

    I have now read both of your books.You are one amazing person to stand up to all you did.I cryed through all your hardship but laughted at how clever and cunning you were.would love to no how charlie ended up and as for that excuse for a man JACKASTER ended… Thank you so much for sharing ur life and showing me a side that i diddnt no could exist….Your books will always stay close to me as i often think about you on a daily basis and how inspiring that you are. Regards, carena x.

  104. Claire August 20, 2009 at 12:06 am #

    It’s been a week now since I read your book and I still can’t stop thinking about you Martha and your family. The language of the little girl inside made me cry as my heart went out for you but it also made me shake my head in amazement and laugh along with your spirit, strength and cheeky character. I can’t wait to share your book with my family. Like everyone else I eagerly await to listen to your continuing story.



  105. lorraine August 22, 2009 at 6:52 pm #

    i,ve just finished reading “ma he sold me for a few cigerettes” and cant beleive the life martha and her sibbling had. i also wanted to know what happened to her and im gonna get the next book but i really want to know if her brothers and sisters are ok and if that basterd jackster got what he deserves and her simple mother god bless you martha

  106. Charlotte Grace September 17, 2009 at 9:59 am #

    I am fifteen years old and have just finished reading your first book in about three days.
    Reading the book and listening to this small girl’s recollection of all the events in her life, it seemed like a fictional story, some of the events so horrifying and devastating that I couldn’t even imagine it to be real, that someone really could have survived such terrible events, all through her young childhood.
    I could not comprehend how some of the people that you came across in your young life could act in the dreadful way that they did.
    I will be trying to get hold of the second, and third books as soon as I can.
    Your story moved me. I thank God that I was never in your shoes, and am unexplainably grateful that my childhood was not as horrific as yours.
    Wishing you every happiness, and I’m glad to hear that you have got so far in the world, and have inspired so many people with your incredible story. All these people ^^^^^ have read your book and it means so much to them.

    Thank you again, for sharing your story with us, and I will soon be reading the next instalment.

    Thank you.

  107. Marjanna Jones September 28, 2009 at 10:26 am #

    I have just finished your 3rd book. I enjoyed the read but am so disappointed that there were so few answers.
    The 2nd book could have been included in the 1st or 3rd books. All that reading for only 3 -6 mths of your life after you left the convent and you are still only 16yrs old.
    Is that it or can we expect another book.
    Martha, don’t string it out too long – we might loose interest in your story at this rate. MJ

  108. Christine October 2, 2009 at 1:42 pm #

    Dear Martha,

    You are AMAZING!! an absolute inspiration! When I was a child I did not have half as bad a time as you or your brothers and sisters in the slightest, but I did have an abusive Stepfather for too many yrs. Thanks to God that I had a very good family and supportive friends behind me during those yrs and that my mother would have never let him hurt either me or my siblings ,she took his wrath for us! but reading ‘Ma, he sold me for a few Cigarettes’ did dredge up my pure hatred for those types of cowards who torment and torture women and children, and the vows I made as a 9 yr old girl to never have a man like that in my life. I am now the Proud single mother of a gorgeous little girl who I would NEVER let harm come to. Its our duty as mothers to protect our babies from evil ppl, and though Im sure your mother didnt have an easy time of it herself she owed her children more than that and I find her complaicency with her childrens abuse very hard to swallow. Once again I find you to be an amazing woman. A walking miracle! Thank you from the bottom of my heart for sharing your story I cant wait to read the next 2 instalments. I dont need to say I hope you have found the happiness you deserve, because through your story I have No doubt that such a determined and strong Young girl would have grown to be equally determined and strong an Adult. hugs and kisses Christine ( aus)

  109. Gerry October 5, 2009 at 12:30 pm #

    Thankyou for your story, I have just finished your 3rd book “Ma its a cold auld night and I’m looking for a bed”
    I also bought copies to give as gifts to an old friend and my Aunt.
    My friend and I had what could be decribed as an interesting, difficult childhoods but nothing on the scale that you had to endure.
    Now I am interigued when can I expect the next book?
    Of couse everyone of you readers wants the happy ending for you Martha
    Kindest regards
    Gerry Aus

  110. Brett Manton October 12, 2009 at 12:33 am #

    Thankyou Martha for sharing your story. I couldn’t put, “Ma, He sold me etc . . . down. It moved me deeply. What happened to poor little Charlie? I’m dying to know.

  111. Lisa October 14, 2009 at 5:39 pm #

    I have just finished reading the third book,absolutely brilliant,I am dyin’ to read the next book,so please Martha keep on writing.I don’t understand how people can say that we might lose interest in your story Martha,if you drag it out,it took years to get you to write it in the first place and it took an amazing amount of courage to do that,I would wait years if I had to,but I would never lose interest in your story.I have to tell youu Martha,I was over the moon when you left that aul wans house,my blood was boiling reading what that scruffy aul wan and her family expected of you,but I was thrilled when you threatened her with telling the neighbours,and the fact that she had to cough up in the end,well I had to light a smoke I was that delighted!I am so looking forward to reading the next bo ok,I don’t know what happens but I do know you are a fighter so I have a feeling that all will be well,I hope you keep writing its a great form of therapy they say,so I hope it healed you while you wrote it.God Bless you

  112. kerrie October 22, 2009 at 7:36 pm #

    jus finished the 3rd book, i couldnt put it down although at times it made me feel ashamed to be irish . to know that so many people could turn their backs on the plight of young children.. i would love to hear how charlie and the other kids fared out. hope there will be more books to follow ur such a great writer martha and im sorry for all your hardships.

  113. chris October 30, 2009 at 3:01 am #

    dear martha,

    thank you so much for sharing your incrediable story with the world. I think you are an amazing woman and that you have great strenght and courage. i cannot believe that some people are rushing you to write a fourth book, i think those people should be just greatful that you wrote your story in the first place. I have read your roller coster of emotions that is your live and all i can truly say is than you. thank you for making it through those hard times and thank you for writing such great books. I really hope everythig turned out great for you in the end, god bless you. you are a national and international treasure xxxxx

  114. Sheena October 30, 2009 at 5:12 am #

    Thank you for sharing your story Martha. It has definitely changed how I view life, and treat others and what more I can do to help others. You have an inspiring story, from what you have overcome in this lifetime. I can’t wait to read your writing in the future. Good luck xxx

  115. suzanne ferreria November 7, 2009 at 9:52 am #

    hi Martha , just a note to say that i have read all your books they were amazing they made me laugh and also become very teary you are an amazing human being my heart goes out to you, please let their be another book on the shelves in the near future. take care my favourite author,Sue Ferreira Australia.

  116. Kathleen November 8, 2009 at 2:17 am #

    I have just finished Ma, He sold me for a few cigarettes. It was a phenomenol book, it hit me hard at times through the various similarties which reflected some of the hardships and difficulties I had growing up in a dysfunctional lone parent family myself. As many have said Martha you did not hold any self pity, but found strength and determination in trying to survive, grow up and not be like her own Mammy but a good loving kind Mammy.
    God, I so much want to give this to my own mother to read, but I dont think she would realise the point im making.

  117. Jonny Ripe November 8, 2009 at 6:00 pm #

    Has anyone ever seen a picture of Martha….. I’d b interested to see what she looks like????

    • Shona November 11, 2009 at 11:05 pm #

      Hi there Jonny! Yeah I have a picture of her. I managed to get my hands on a copy of the interview she did in Prima Magazine…it took me a lot of bother to get it.

      This woman has got me hooked on Irish biographies.

      I cant stand the waiting for the next book…which I hope there is another….

      • heartbroken February 11, 2010 at 3:54 pm #

        Hi shona,

        are you sure it was prima as they said they’ve no record of it?
        I’d love to read it myself!

  118. Sheena November 14, 2009 at 4:12 pm #

    Shona is there any way you would be able to share the picture with us? I think we are all curious to put a face to the name!

  119. dave December 11, 2009 at 10:35 pm #

    hi Martha thank you for your third book its a cold aul night another masterpiece you have gone from a little girl to a young lady who is gutsy who is street and people wise so the little girl i wanted to hold hug and protect i now stand back and admire so much i do wish you had a little less hardship but i have confidence in you you are so cool you are your own person on one hand but then on the other hand you are in my life and you have left me hungry for more of your storey i just want want the rest thats the way each of your books have left me please tell me your working on the next one and when it will b available this is your fault your wonderfull please satisfy my hunger THANK YOU SO MUCH BUT DONT LET IT END THERE

  120. Willie Donohue January 8, 2010 at 6:48 pm #

    My DearDear Martha
    I have just finished [Ma its a cold night an im looking for a bed].

    while reading it I couldn,t I help feeling I saw you in town you describe everything so vividly.I was born in 1952 and reared in Liberty House which is beside the {buildings}I roamed around all the places you described and you brought me back to my childhood I must have seen you so please forgive me for not holding out a friendly hand to you .I wish and sincerely hope that you have found your dream . God bless you and yours

  121. patricia mcdonnell coarmagh January 9, 2010 at 7:21 pm #

    Martha I hope your life is now “a bowl of cherries” I am looking forward to your next book, and wish you and your family well.Patricia McDonnell

  122. Elaine Gardiner January 29, 2010 at 10:20 pm #

    God bless you Martha and please let me know what happens next!

  123. Innocent Voices February 7, 2010 at 10:57 pm #

    We have just finished reading the first book, waiting on the arrival of the second one due any day now. Truly a survivor if ever there was one. Innocent voices…….let’s be heard. Love to you Martha.

  124. Linda February 9, 2010 at 2:21 pm #

    Oh Martha,those books,those stories, those cruel people who let you and your brothers and sisters down so badly. People talk about the ‘good old days’ in Ireland – rubbish! They were only good if you were lucky, and Martha, you had no luck at all. What a brave person you were to confront so much cruelty and prejudice and not become a ‘victim’.You have my full admiration and respect.

  125. heartbroken February 11, 2010 at 12:26 pm #

    Hi Martha,

    I just read Ma he sold me for a few cigaretts and I’m so shocked and upset by your story. I’ve 3 children myself, a girl, 7 and boy 3 and another baby boy 6 months. I can’t stop thinking about you and Charlie. I can picture you poor craturs and how I wish you could have been my children and I could have minded you and given you hugs and kisses and lots of lovely things to eat and dress you in lovely clothes. I’m not well off myself, but I do my best for my children. I just cannot get my head around the cruel things people and especially parents do to their poor innocent children. It’s just horrendous. I hope that Jackser fella is burning in hell. He’s a rotten one through and through.

    I’ve searched Google and am relived there are follow up books on your amazing and heartbreaking story.

    Please though Martha, if you read any of these posts, will you tell us what happened to Charlie? And the other children? I keep looking at my son of 3 and picturing Charlie and I’m going out of my mind with worry about what happened to him.
    I certainly don’t think your other siblings had it much easier, but that Jackser fella really hated you and Charlie because you’s were “bastards” and I fear the most for the 2 of you.

    You’re story certainly makes people think of their own lives, and however bad we think they are, there are people a lot worse off in this world.
    Oh Martha, I’d love to give you a hug now.

    Take care of yourself. Always I’ll be thinking of you & Charlie.

  126. sharon leeds February 17, 2010 at 11:13 pm #

    just like all the other people on here your books have touched me i just cant get you and your siblings out of my head.what you went through was horrific.i did have to put the first book down afew times because of what you suffered.all i wanted to do was hug you and for you to know that you are not alone.im glad that you have grown up and have children and have brought them up successfully.i wish you and your family all the best. take care and i hope you and your siblings have happy times together now.hugs and more hugs to you x

  127. Brandi March 13, 2010 at 11:45 pm #

    Dear Martha,

    I absolutely ADORE your books!! I have bought all 3 and have read them each 3 times and am now on my 4th read!!! Is it true there’s going to be a 4th book? (‘Ma, I’m Locked Up in the Madhouse’)??? I truly hope so!! I would love to read on about your life and find out how you got through everything. I truly hope this ‘rumour’ of a 4th book is true!!!

  128. di Brown March 16, 2010 at 7:13 am #

    Martha, what an amazing, inspiring and truly gutsy little girl you were. Have just discovered there is a sequal to Ma, he sold me for a few cigarettes and I just can’t wait to read more about your life.

    Your story is inspiring, captivating, gut wrenching, disgraceful but ever so addictive. I couldn’t put your book down and spent the whole time just wanting to reach through the pages and pull you out so that I could hug you, love you, feed you and make you safe.

    It’s obvious from the fact that you are such an incredible author now that you have definitely made something of your life in spite of the tragedy that was your childhood. Bravo for you.

    You have my absolute and utmost admiration and respect to succeed and flourish under such harsh conditions.

  129. di Brown March 16, 2010 at 7:17 am #

    Sorry Martha, had incorrectly entered my email address. I would truly love to know what has become of your siblings and that they are safe.

  130. Linda Smillie March 17, 2010 at 7:18 pm #

    What an amazing person you are Martha Long……….has just dawned on me… why should there be any other information on your life, you bare your soul in your books! I look forward to your next book release in June and many more! I hope you get as much from writing your autobiography than I do from reading your life experiences. I haven’t come across a book/s that captures me from beginning to end and pulls on so many emotions. An amazing writer, person, sister, daughter, friend, carer……….and so much more that I look forward to discovering in the future!

  131. Linda Smillie March 17, 2010 at 7:40 pm #

    ps oh the waiting is hard Martha…………..if you do ever have the time or energy to reply will we hear how your siblings have faired?

  132. penny west March 28, 2010 at 6:20 am #

    dear martha.. your book ma he sold me for a few ciggerts is the second book i have every read in my life and i am 38 years old. it touched me knowing that you come out on the other side haveing a good life makes me happy. still worring about your siblings. i have since read a book called angela’s ashes written by frank McCourt about his childhood growing up in irland in the 1940s he also had a bad childhood though i wish he could read your book and see his childhood wasn’t that bad at all. thank you for shering you life with the world hopeing your life continues to be good. much respect penny west..

  133. barbara smith March 30, 2010 at 1:51 pm #

    I have jsut finished your latest book and could not put it down just like your other ones.

    I can not understand how you were treat so badley and yet still carried on.

    your books maid me cry however I loved then,

    I can not wait to buy your next one to see how you get on.

    hope all is well for you know at last.


  134. Gemma Luckman April 1, 2010 at 3:35 pm #

    Hi Martha,
    I love your first book I just finished and can’t stop thinking about what happened to you and your siblings so I have just ordered your second book I am hoping that it will shed some light on little charlie, I fell in love with him because I could feel that you loved him through your words and the fact is he was not as strong as you because he had someone to raise him (you) and you had no-one! You are wonderful and changed my outlook on life in so many ways!Your courage is amazing and I wish that you and your siblings had not faced that horror!What an amazing person!

  135. noeleen ; linda April 15, 2010 at 1:40 pm #

    For Martha,

    We cannot believe how strong you are. your an amazing person. we both agree that if we had been through half as much of you we would have broke. we admire how you taught yourself to read and how you got through those horrible experiences. we cried and laughed with you and we both felt your pain. we will continue to wait for your next book to see if you eventually got your happy life. Jackser we hope you read the books and just see what you did to all the children who you were supposed to be a father to and we hope your sick. you deserve nothinig better than to rot in hell.

  136. liz May 22, 2010 at 8:18 am #

    i have read all 3 stories martha.In a way some of the nuns were good to u more than others,it must have been so sad when they took ure little family away that xmas without telling you my heart went out to you but u pushed on like i would do.I can relate to you in lots of ways as i never had a mothers love or cuddle i brought myself and 5kiddies 2brothers 3sisters and i was only 12 martha so i know.i have had a very unhappy life but just brush it of and dad on.Iwould love 2 hear from u martha i no uve loads of wellwishers but i cant relate to u,

  137. Lorraine Killin May 22, 2010 at 11:46 am #

    Martha, what an inspiration you are to everyone, you fought tooth and nail to get out of the sad, cruel work you were in. I would love to know if there is a 4th book, I really, really need to know what happened to you after you left that horrible womans house, (how anyone could live like that is beyond belief). Please let there be more books.


  138. Karen Vollmer June 4, 2010 at 2:41 am #

    Hi Martha – it was nice to have had the chance to meet you. You may recall talking to my daughter Valerie and I in the pub in Dublin. You were concerned about the menu and what we might order. We were the Mom and daugther travelling from Canada who are very close. I was my daughters maid of honour in her wedding. We enjoyed chatting with you!

    We stopped by the book store the following day after we met you and were able to find all 3 of your books. You are an incredible writer and I am thoroughly enjoying them. I’ll let you know more once I’ve had a chance to finish them.

    Just wanted to say “hello” again from Canada eh? 🙂

    With warmth,

    Karen Vollmer and Valerie Droog.

  139. maria bridges July 19, 2010 at 7:24 am #

    hey martha

    Im from australia and I would like you to know that I think you are wonderful and I would like you to know that your books touched my heart in a way no other books have ever done. please email me what happened to litle charlie , my heart breaks not knowing. thankyou martha for your lovely books

  140. Susanne Dobbyn September 29, 2010 at 2:56 am #

    Dear Martha, I have just finished reading your latest instalment – Ma, Now I’m goin’ up in the world. How saddend was I when I came to the end. I hope that the next chapter in your life brought you much happiness. I wait with anticipation for your next book, hope it is soon. I cant help but wonder what could have been between you and Ralph if only you had pushed you feelings a little harder, but it is hard to put an old head on such young shoulders. Hoping you found that great love that you so richly deserve. Yours Susanne (Australia)

  141. Tracey wilkinson October 8, 2010 at 7:17 pm #

    Hi Martha, Love your books. Cant put them down. I dont read alot but I like true stories, You are a remarkable person with such a personality, I have been through rough times in my life and can relate to some of your writting. I hope you are well and I llok forward to reading the rest of you books

    Take care


  142. Aimee October 15, 2010 at 10:42 am #

    Dear Martha,
    I have read the three books two of which i read in less than a week,i just couldnt put the book down.I have grown to love that witty,feisty little angel.No matter what hell you went through as a child,you always saw the silver lining.We could all learn a thing or two from you. Reading your books throughout all ive wanted to do is find little martha and give her a great big hug.I am desperately hoping there will be a fourth book?????
    Did you ever see the priest again? if not did you learn to love? i would love to hear about dinah.when reading the part about her not sayin goodbye to the lady incase she took her coat back was hilarious. she seems to have that same spark as you.i truly hope you have found happiness,as no one deserves it more than you. x

  143. vera murphy November 2, 2010 at 6:48 pm #

    Dear Martha, I have just finished, Ma, now I’m going up in the world, your forth book.
    I could not put it down. I read it in 3 days,

    It is so very sad, I laughed and cried all through it.
    I think you are very brave to write it all down.
    I have tried to find out more about you, how are doing now? did you ever marry ? and little Charlie?
    I do wish you the very best for the future.

    Looking forward to the next book, to see how you got on.

    Each time I go back to Dublin I look for your next book
    I dont have face book or twitter
    Vera (France)

  144. kathleen O' Reardon December 29, 2010 at 11:17 pm #

    Dear Martha,
    I am half way through ‘Ma, I’m going up in the world’ and am almost afraid to continue reading in case it all falls apart for you again. I have read all your other books and the first one was so painful I could only read a little of it at a time.I think you should tell youself every day that you are an exceptional person to have come through it all.
    I think everybody should read your books in order to appreciate what they have,
    I wish you every happiness and success in the future.

  145. Ted Bremner January 4, 2011 at 7:28 am #

    Hi Martha
    I have just finished reading your 1st book.I have never had so much anger and sadness in me.I kept thinking if only I could lay my hands on that bastard Jackster.I know you loved your mother.I pittied her yet felt so sad for her, there was no support in those days yet through it all, you went through your young life caring not about you but your Mum and siblings.You have truly carried your cross and Martha you are a blessed woman.Just writing this brings me to tears.I wish you well and I know that the scars will heal because of your belief in yourself
    Take care and God bless you

  146. violet dream January 20, 2011 at 12:29 pm #

    Martha, I just love your books! I am half-way through the 3rd book now and every time I get to read a few pages during the day my mood lifts up. I read many memoirs without actually buying the books but I needed to buy your books for my library so that I could give the pleasure of reading them to myself in the future again and to my friends. I love your writing style and your optimism and wit. Thank you so much!!

  147. Amanda Galea February 13, 2011 at 1:29 pm #

    Absolutely heart wrenching. Its extremely saddening to think a mother is capable of such horrid neglect. For everything you went through Martha – you proved to the world what a truly decent person you are. You should be so proud to have survived such evil times. lets hope your siblings share in your strength of character.

  148. marie February 18, 2011 at 11:43 am #

    hi martha i read your 1st book and oh my god i cant believe wot you went through i felt for you and poor charlie the most i have a charlie myself hes 3 and as i read i looked at him and couldnt hold back the tears, i cant wait to read the next books ,id love to know what happend to the other children its always on my mind because the book was so compelling i couldnt put it down. as i read some of the other comments i couldnt hold back the tears and i wonder how you survived to tell your story you are one amazing person an inspiration to us all and i hope the people who inflicted those cruel and horrible things on you and your sibblings get what they deserve.

  149. salwa March 20, 2011 at 8:44 pm #

    Dear Martha.we read all your 4books, my sister and i been brought up by nuns we had it hard but nothing near what you endure. We praise your courage and humour. We can’t wait for your fifth book to come out. Please let us know what happened to charlie, and we hope that you are happy in your life and you deserve all the best.

  150. maria tiengo May 20, 2011 at 2:58 pm #

    Dear Martha, I stayed in Dublin last March for a week with some of my Italian students (29 exactly)and as I am a reading-addict I bought a few books, among them there was “Ma, he sold me..”one of the best books I’ve ever read even if at the very beginning I was a bit upset because I’m not an English native speaker and the book is not written the way I had expected. But after a few lines I realized I was able to understand everything and your use of the language makes it extremely lively and “true”. When I’m back either in Ireland or any other English speaking country, I’ll buy all your other books, promise. I wish you and your children all the best: you deserve it for what you had to deal with, for the courageous little girl you were… for every awful experience you had to go through. When I think we are almost the same age (I was born in 19954) even though my childhood wasn’t properly full of joy I feel guilty about you because I’d never have been able to behave and survive the way you so bravely had.With lots of love Maria

  151. lisa June 4, 2011 at 1:15 pm #

    Ma He Sold Me For a Few Cigarettes was indeed both horrifying and inspiring. God Martha but you’re an inspiration and an example to us all. My Mum was raised in Dublin around the same time as you and I will be sending her this book this week. Thank you for your AMAZING courage.
    I bought the book in Cary North Carolina, and I want you to know that not a dish was washed nor a bed made until I finished it. It took me three days, 4 packs of cigs and numerous cups of tea! I’ll be buying the rest of your books online, but please please please tell me that Charlie is okay and that the other pair died roaring. I hope you are enjoying a happy, peaceful life.
    Love Lisa

  152. Kieta June 14, 2011 at 12:07 pm #

    Normally I read fiction and as my daughter and I were wondering around the local library I stumbled across Ma he brought me for a few Cigarettes, I read the blog on the back and knew I had to read it. I have now just finished reading Ma Now I’m goin up in the world and cant wait to read the next one these books have been the best books I’ve read in a long time, when will the next one be out?
    Martha you are the most amazing person I have ever read about you made me laugh you made me cry and as I keep reading I keep waiting for the happy ending that just doesnt come. Your determination is an inspiration for all, you are one of god’s special angels keep on writing Martha and thanks. Kieta xoxox

    Oh did you ever get back in touch with your brothers and sisters, how did there lives end up at the hands of that evil Jackster.

  153. Debbs June 23, 2011 at 5:43 pm #

    I have to say, I have gone through half the book and I am emotionally exhausted! Just when I think she’ll catch a break she doesnt! Holy god how do some people keep going?

  154. Nadine June 27, 2011 at 12:59 am #

    hi Martha,

    well its clear to see that you have not only touched my heart with your inspiring story, but so many others as well. although ur story made me sad it also made me laugh with your witty sense of humour, in a dreadful situation u find something funny to say. thank u soo much i really enjoyed reading your book your family are very lucky to have you i wish u all the best.
    also can anyone tell me what the next book from ma, am getting meself a new mammy?

  155. Patricia Greenwood July 16, 2011 at 2:52 am #

    Dear Martha,
    Your books broke my heart! What a survivor you are. I am 74 years of age and my father was violent but luckily my mother left him when I was 12 years and my sister 10 years to live in a loving environment with my mother’s mother and father.I truly hope you have another book to follow to tie up some loose ends.
    May God Bless You and I send my love from Australia.

  156. frances-anne August 31, 2011 at 10:55 pm #

    well Martha you have done it again you have captured my heart and left me wanting more,just finished reading “ma,i’ve got meself locked up in the madhouse” and i can not wait to read what happens next. You really are a remarkable woman

  157. natasha mealy October 5, 2011 at 11:09 pm #

    i have read all but the last book i just read a review on the last book and there seems to be a gig gap between the end of book four and the start of book five the last book i read at the end she was pregnant and the next book she is in her 30s is this correct or have i missed a book

  158. frances-anne October 6, 2011 at 10:59 am #

    yes there is a big gap as what happened in between was a very personal time for Martha

  159. Meg Claire November 3, 2011 at 9:55 pm #


    I admire you for having survived everything unthinkable that can happen to a child! Your first 4 books were riveting and heartbreaking as they are true details of your life. I have read your 5th book and do hope you pick up and clue the readers in as to how you reeared three children and by whom, etc. The 5th book leaves one wondering and all readers are interested in YOU, Martha, as like myself, they have brought your story into their fold. Please update us more on life after book 5. God Bless!!!

  160. Robyn November 11, 2011 at 10:04 am #

    martha you are inspirational i give you the credit as all the hard life you have enjoured,as people today think they are badly done by. I really cant wait for book 5 to be released,is it possible to tell me when that will be,god bless you and your family

  161. Julie November 27, 2011 at 6:09 am #

    My God, my heart is still bleeding from your first book Martha. I just want to open my front door and let you into my life and make you safe. I will read your other books but will have to wait awhile to gather the emotional strength to only glimpse what life has been like for you. You will be forever in my thoughts

  162. Tina December 1, 2011 at 3:38 pm #

    Read books 1, 2 & 4. Glad I borrowed them from the library & didn’t purchase them. The 1st book was intriguing & felt very balanced. The others I felt were less balanced & really left out a lot of the wider picture. Specifically missing was any narrative about how angry & troublesome she was as a teenager, anecdotal reminisces were thrown in as an afterthought. I also had some issues with dates. Strangely enough I could relate to the ma who was totally catatonic around Jackser, typical of the domestic violence climate of the time.
    I also would have crossed the road & avoided families like Martha’s as really there would have been nothing in common. My uncle married someone who grew up in Martha’s area of Dublin & she always milked any generosity given & always came back with the begging bowl when she needed something. Other struggling families in my area didn’t do this. Martha had an expectation for others to help her out & ate them out of house & home when they did.

  163. Kay December 13, 2011 at 10:44 pm #

    Just finished ‘Ma, It’s a cold aul night…’ with tears in my eyes yet again. Martha, you are some woman for one woman and I applaud you. When the chips are down and I am worrying how I will afford to feed my children and pay my bills, I think back to the story of your life and think how blessed I really am. In this post ‘Celtic Tiger’ Dublin that we live in now, we might see our luxuries disappear before our eyes but very few of us will ever know real poverty or hardship such as that which you experienced.

    Thank you for sharing your life with us – the ups, the downs, the horrific and the amusing. Thank you for letting us see the world through little Martha’s eyes.

    With love and best wishes, Kay.

  164. charlie December 21, 2011 at 5:21 am #

    Well Martha have just finished the last book and have had a bloody silly grin to myself all day……you have helped me to learn to accept love where ever it comes from, when the soul is mended the love and laughter can shine . My husband and kids are finally understanding me haha. ..and watch them bloody fags they will kill ya! !

  165. Wendy January 1, 2012 at 3:06 pm #

    I picked up your 1st book at work on my lunch break, I was immediately hooked. I was so shocked at the immense abuse you received by just about every adult and child you met. I cried when you came to England and was brutally raped by those builders while your stupid mother waited downstairs pretending it wasnt happening, and the posibility of a good life with the widower, again thwarted by your pathetic mother. My word how I wanted to give that woman a battering, there is absolutely no forgiveness in me for her at all – no excuses – she was a mother and failed to live up to that most precious position. I felt hope when something nice happened to you and then pure grief when it all went pearshaped again, my emotions where totally rung out after reading every page, I thanked that judge for taking you away from all that sorrow and hoped against hope that the nuns would be kind – what harsh lessons you had to learn. I prayed to God that you would never end up back with those two evil monsters, and longed for you to be able to rescue the other children from them – (I still hope you managed that) . Am still reading your books, at the moment you are in the hospital after suffering hypothermia – like everyone else I am longing for the good news that you have finally found peace and happiness for yourself and the others, especially Charlie, who had to fend for himself but thought he had learnt by your mistakes. I long to hear that your mother and Jackser paid the price for their cruelty and that you were the one who dealt them their just deserts. Your story is totally inspiring – because through all this terror I believe it has not tainted you to the point of becoming a monster yourself as we are often told that people who have abused pasts become abusers themselves. Take heart Martha Long – you may have missed out on love throughout your life but looks like you have it in bucketfuls now. Keep us posted on how your life and that of your siblings has turned out. And I wish you much joy and happiness for your future.


  166. abby January 5, 2012 at 5:02 am #

    Martha, what an INCREDIBLE, INSPIRING, AMAZING person you are!!

    I have just finished ‘Ma, he sold me for a few ciggarettes’. I wish I was able to have taken you and your siblings away from your life and showered you with kindness, tenderness and non stop love!!…things every child should grow up with! I wish you could have stayed with nice Mrs Anderson in England when you were first sent there!!

    I am so sad that you and your siblings (esp you & Charlie) had to endure such a horrific childhood. I cried throughout the book and am still crying while writing this.

    I do hope that you and Charlie found a life of love and happiness!! I cant stop thinking about you and Charlie & your other siblings! I hope all of your lives have turned out well!! You all deserve everything you want and desire in life after what you have been through. You poor defensless little things!!!

    I could not put your book down from the moment I started reading the first page. You are truely an inspiration!!! I am sending you a virtual hug, kiss, hug, kiss, hug, kiss, hug..eternally!!! I hope you are able to also pass it onto Charlie!

    I also hope that that animal Jackser got what he deserved!!!! & sorry i dont have any sympathy for your ma either.

    I wish I was able to have saved you!!! & Charlie!!!!! & Harry, Teddy, Dinah, & Sally!!! Sending you lots and lots and lots of love!!!xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

    YOU ARE SPECIAL MARTHA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  167. sarah January 20, 2012 at 4:27 am #

    I am a fifteen year old girl and I just lost my mother 6 months ago. After reading “Ma,He Sold Me For A Few Cigarettes”, I now will not allow myself to wonder “Why did this happen to me?”, I wish you had the mother i have had,she was an amazing person and I wish you had one also. For not having the most amazing 15 years with a wonderful mother,i am truly sorry, i really really am but you inspire so many people,myself included to get out of bed and not to stop everything and be miserable, I thank you so much for that.

  168. frances-anne January 20, 2012 at 11:06 am #

    Tina i think that comment was a bit harsh at the end of the day Martha was only a child that knew no better,she was simply trying to please every one and save herself from the mental and physical abuse that she was suffering from,no child in this world should go through or suffer what she went through. she was simply a child craving for love and affection that every child deserves know one can understand fully the effects such abuse can have on a child and who are we to judge any person when we dont know whats going on behind closed doors, martha is giving us a honest incite into her life in such hard times, i think she is a truely remarkable woman, and after reading her latest book she has came a long way since her terrible childhood and i wish her all the best in life

  169. Frank Dullaghan February 6, 2012 at 8:54 am #

    I’m an Irish poet, living in Dubai, UAE. It was good to get to know you through your books, Martha. May peace and joy always find its way into your life.

  170. Loulou February 19, 2012 at 2:54 am #

    I am just reading the final installment “ma I got myself locked up in the mad house”. What
    Wonderful story telling, how amazing after such
    An awful childhood , Martha became a famous
    Author, she was destined to be something special! Is there another book coming ?

  171. Holly March 6, 2012 at 12:39 pm #

    I would like to say your are such a brave girl and i grew up in todays times had nice parents so could never understand it just want to say u are amazing and never give up . x x

  172. Holly March 6, 2012 at 1:36 pm #

    I would like to say your are such a brave girl and i grew up in todays times had nice parents so could never understand it just want to say u are amazing and never give up .I also hope that that animal Jackser got what he deserved! my heart is still bleeding from your first book Martha. I will read your other books with a lot of sadness cause it just breaks your heart in two when you read it is intriging to see what happens in oyur life next after you went to the convent . x x

  173. kylie April 16, 2012 at 12:58 pm #

    hey martha, you have so many strengths that i wish i possess. Such a remarkable little girl you were to survive a childhood like that. What crushed my heart was knowing what was in store for charlie (just finished reading ma he sold me for a few cigarettes). I hope he survived also i grew to know happiness, love and kindness. That goes for you also and the rest of your siblings. Those poor babies left behind to live a life of that with no protection what so ever. I couldnt stop thinking about Charlie and the rest of the siblings. I still cant in fact. Just as well its 2012 n dat asshole would or should be dead by now. I cant really say say much bout ur mother as she really wasnt much of one….but you guys are adults now and not living that life any more…thank goodness all that is ova. hope you and ur siblings found what u guys needed, wanted, hoped and desired and wished..lots of love frm me in nz.

  174. laura May 11, 2012 at 2:04 am #

    What happened after the 4th book?? i liked all her books but im reading ma ive got myself locked up…..and im really dissapointed that she didnt continue from what happened but instead skipped a few years cos “it was too personal” arent these books meant to be based on the torment of her life???

  175. Sophie Nizam May 11, 2012 at 5:46 am #

    I would really love to meet Martha when I visit ireland for the very first time could you please advice if this can be made possible. I am in dublin on the 18 -20 August 2012. Can she do some book signing or something? Please advice
    Regards Sophie

  176. George Camilleri June 17, 2012 at 4:55 pm #

    Hi Martha, have you ever thought of visiting Malta. I read all your books and it would be great to meet you.Sending you all my best regards.

    Mary Camilleri

  177. blog de banque September 25, 2012 at 12:54 am #

    I was wondering if you ever considered changing the structure of your site?
    Its very well written; I love what youve got to say.
    But maybe you could a little more in the way of content so
    people could connect with it better. Youve got an awful lot of text for only
    having 1 or two images. Maybe you could space it
    out better?

  178. Cyn (@cynabun7669) September 25, 2012 at 6:18 pm #

    Dear Martha,

    Not sure if you will see this? If so, please for give me, I’m not brilliant with words. I just wanted to thank you for sharing such a personal part of your life with us. The day my flight out of Dublin was delayed changed my life. I came upon your second book at the airport and instantly felt an unexplainable connection. Although, I had not read your first book, I went on and bought it. While I waited for my plane, I ordered Ma, He Sold Me for a Few Cigarettes and had it shipped next day air.

    Once the book arrived, I began my Martha journey. I have been on an emotional roller coaster ever since, having read all your books! I have experienced moments of laughter,horror,rage,rejection,sadness,fear,love, loss,tears (loads of tears) and the list goes on. Some of what you have written really hits home.

    You are a courageous woman with a beautiful soul. Your drive and determination is inspirational not only to me, but to all who have read your story. Although, our paths my never cross and my Martha journey will soon end, apart of you will always be with me.

  179. Val Paradies, Australia November 7, 2012 at 5:01 am #

    Wow what a book and what a brave and wonderful child you were Martha, to endure so much and keep going. I am still reading ‘Ma, He Sold Me For a Few Cigarettes’ and was enthralled and at the same time horrified at some of what you had to go through. I am looking forward to reading your other books. Whenever I think of your childhood now I realise how lucky I was and should NEVER complain about anything in my life again. I feel your pain and your strength with every word in your book. I want to go back in time and help that little child who was you, but you fought for everything that you believed was right and you WON!

  180. Kym June 10, 2013 at 12:13 pm #

    You are an amazing woman Martha long. I take my hat off to you. I have loved all your books, I am currently reading ma I’ve reached for the moon an I’m hitting the sky. Is this your last book or do you have more in the wood works.i can’t put them down once I start reading, best wishes to you Martha regards Kym

    • administrator August 15, 2013 at 1:12 pm #

      Final book, Ma, Jackser’s Dyin’ Alone out next month. Come to the launch if you’re in Dublin or London

  181. claire feery August 19, 2013 at 11:17 am #

    You are truly an amazing person im currently reading ma now im goin up in the world you are an inspiration to us all i hope you had a happy life after all the hardship

    • administrator August 28, 2013 at 10:39 am #

      We hope you will make it to one of the launches to meet Martha in person

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