A BOOKSHOP owner has turned author to tell the tale of her turbulent past.

Betty Burke, 62, has been running The Good News Shop in Leyton for almost 30 years with her husband Tom, 71.

But before she became a Christian in her 20s she had a traumatic upbringing dealing with alcoholic relatives.

Mrs Burke said she wanted to tell the story about her road to recovery in her book, From Ashes to Healing, to mark the 30th anniversary of the business next month.

The book also tells the story of a life of addictions, emotional pain and how her life changed when she found God and became a Christian.

Mrs Burke, of Winchester Road, Highams Park, was born in Dublin and grew up in a household with an alcoholic father, uncle and auntie.

She said: “It was a very traumatic home to grow up in.

"I had to face a lot of struggles being around an alcoholic family.

“Although I wouldn't say I later became an alcoholic myself I spent a lot of time drinking and blocking out my experiences when I was older.

“But when I became a Christian at the age of 27 I stopped drinking completely because I realised I didn't need to.”

She married Tom when she was 22 and they both lived in Ireland for a few years before moving to London where they ran a newsagent shop.

They later opened their own tobacconist shop in Leyton High Road.

Although the business was successful she said she started to wrestle with her conscience when she became religious.

She said: “I really felt that we couldn't make a living out of what we felt was substance addiction.

"It felt hypocritical saying one thing and doing another.

“It was a very difficult thing financially to do when we had a busy tobacconist shop but we changed to a Christian bookshop and 30 years later we are still here.”

She said after working on the book for five months she was looking forward to sharing her story with others.

“I had sold other people's books for so many years, I thought it was about time I wrote one myself.

“It was scary writing the book and putting all my experiences in there, but I felt like it was a great accomplishment when I finished.”

The book is now available priced £7.99.