Toni Maguire's father abused her from the age of six, and was only found out when Toni fell pregnant, losing the child from a botched abortion. Called to her father's trial. she gave the damning evidence that put him away, and hoped that with his influence banished, she and her mother could have a happy, idyllic life once more. But her mother was unable to face the truth of what her husband had perpetrated on their daughter, and waited patiently for his return.
One day, two years later, Toni walked in to find her dreaded father sitting in the living room, on day release from prison. Toni knew then she had to leave, but stayed with her mother for another two years, desperately hoping her mother would choose Toni's wellbeing over that of her father. Yet when Joe Maguire was released, Toni was despatched to collect him from the station, and from the moment he re-entered the house she knew nothing had changed in his desires, although the threat of imprisonment was enough to prevent him from acting on them. Toni was forced to leave her home, and her mother made it known she was no longer welcome.
Traumatised and alone, Toni was unable to cope, and was admitted to a psychiatric hospital, sinking deeper into despair every day, finally being transferred to the dead-end ward with hope of recovery abandoned. But paradoxically it was when all hope seemed gone that Toni slowly began to improve, by sheer force of indomitable will – but the ultimate step occurred when she finally admitted to herself that her mother, whom she wanted so desperately to love her, had known all along what her father had done.