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35 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Survivor's Tale
Although accounts and stories of brutality in Catholic Church run institutions are legion in modern Irish culture; the tale of systematic cruelty, dehumunisation of personality and casual sadism at the hands of this order of nuns related by Frances stands out above any other account in this genre. One can virtually smell the fear felt by Frances before the beatings in...
Published on 23 Jan. 2009 by M. F. Gilheany

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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Harrowing read
This was a very harrowing read for me. I felt myself flinching when the abuse the young Frances suffered at the hands of these so called "church" people was being described.They instilled such fear into the children saying the were evil, they were the evil ones.
How anyone can pray to God then do that to children disgusts me.They are truly wicked individuals and I am...
Published on 16 April 2012 by Dolly


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35 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Survivor's Tale, 23 Jan. 2009
By 
M. F. Gilheany "Barry" (Colchester, Essex) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Although accounts and stories of brutality in Catholic Church run institutions are legion in modern Irish culture; the tale of systematic cruelty, dehumunisation of personality and casual sadism at the hands of this order of nuns related by Frances stands out above any other account in this genre. One can virtually smell the fear felt by Frances before the beatings in the cupboard and the nauseaous aroma of the dinner hall as one turns the pages. One can almost physically feel the abandonment and betrayal of trust by the adults in Frances' life outside the Nazereth convent; her mother and the Murphy family. Frances and the other poor children were God's concentration camp inmates whose only crime was being born in the wrong circumstances.

But yet the triumph of the human spirit emerges through her acts of resistance to the regime at the Nazereth, her escape from it and the way in which Frances fashions out a singing career as well as,of course,the successful legal action she takes against the nuns.

A testimony to the horrors perpetrated in the name of institutional religion.
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28 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A harrowing but must read story., 12 Jan. 2009
By 
K. Young "Kev" (Colchester) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This is one of the most powerful and disturbing stories I have read. The author tells her story as though she is back in the convent, as a child. Somehow she manages to describe the terrible brutality of the convent without a sense of bitterness. The sense of pain you feel, for the child, might make some want to put the book down, but by then I was so completely hooked that this was not an option. In fact, I found the most harrowing chapters to be some of the most compelling. Also, despite the horrors of the convent, there is humour, adventure and a sense of hope.

Few books have awakened such deep feeling within me. I would thoroughly recommend this book, but be sure to keep it away from younger reader. You don't want you 13- year-old daughter to pick it up, this is defiantly for adults only.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent read, 5 Sept. 2010
This review is from: Suffer The Little Children: The True Story Of An Abused Convent Upbringing (Paperback)
I have read many similar books of horrific catholic convent horrors but I think this must be one of the saddest of them all. The story is well told and you can actually feel the fear and terror that these poor children suffered. I could not put it down, even though I found some parts difficult reading. The author should be congratulated on this well written tale, seeing as she left the convent hardly able to read and write. I feel the utmost sympathy for the author [and utter revulsion for the nuns and the so called people of god] and was glad to read that she was able to obtain some sort of justice [albeit very small]. Whilst I understand that 'times have changed' and these convents are no longer used as childrens homes [but for the elderly], I hope that in my old age I never enter one. I wish Frances Reilly all the best and I hope one day she, and all the other children who suffered, gets at the very least, the apology they so deserve.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Evil Sisters of Nazareth Convent, 31 Jan. 2011
By 
I read this book as my grandmother was another victim of these Evil Sisters hiding behind the 'cloth'.
Frances Reilly's story is not an uncommon one and I hope that writing it all down helped her in some way accept that people in the world are not all evil and cruel as her experiences express.
The title says it all really - Suffer the little Children - as these evil women made sure they did.
I should have liked to have known how all the family got on when once out there in the world. The youngest child wouldn't have had any idea what the outside world was like until she stepped out into it. Maybe Ms Reilly could write another book to tell us of what happened to the children therein mentioned and also what happened in the Court case she brought.
The contents made me so angry, that people like this who are supposed to care, took no care at all, and lived a life amongst young children who had nothing; and they even took what precious possessions they had 'for the more deserving'.
I hope the Catholic Church was brought to account. It appears that no matter how many prayers the children were forced to make, there was no godly presence for them, only black and white shadows of pure evil in their daily lives.
A very sad read - my heart goes out to her.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars harrowing, 22 May 2009
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I live right beside this convent and was fasticated by what went on inside all those years ago.
Thjis story tells the true story of Frances and her 2 sisters who were sent to live in a Convent on the Ormeau Road.
The abuse they suffered at the hands of the Nuns were unbelievable (but in conjunction with the News today about the Catholic Church and the abuse children suffered with them, it is totally believable. I also have friends who went to boarding schools run by Nuns and Brothers and the abuse some of them suffered was along the lines of the abuse outlined in this book alothough not quite as bad) I found it so hard to understand how noone listened to them or believed them when they were trying to 'cry' out about what was happening to them. I guess Kids were just not believed in those days (only 50 years ago - but is probably still happening now and not totally confined to the past). Also very hard to understand how people supposedly 'Gods People' could treat children in this way.
I was disappointed this book ended more or less as Frances left the Convents and wanted to know how she progressed with her life afterwards.
A fantascic read and unputdownable, although extremely harrowing and sad. Not for the under 18's.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Utterly captivating, I couldn't put this book down, 2 Feb. 2009
I often read the phrase "unputdownable" on books, when quite honestly they are not that good. But with this book I can finally say I had a book that was "unputdownlable".

Reilly's story is harrowing and compelling, and her writing style is very captivating indeed. I could not stop reading... she swept me into her story so well that I had to keep on reading the next chapter to see how she fared. I knew she was no longer at the convent, now an adult writing this book, but every page I had to keep going to see if she would escape. When she detailed her escape attempts, my heart would sink when she was eventually taken back to the wicked convent. At one point I swear my heart was racing, just because of how she had immersed me in the moment -- even with a true story, it's quite an accomplishment for a writer to achieve this.

Playing devil's advocate, I did at times wonder about the specific accuracies. She recites whole conversations, but I do wonder if some of it is enhanced for the story telling mechanism -- particularly when it's hard to remember conversations we had last week, let along many years ago. But this doesn't detract from the story, as I can live with a slight dramatisation as I know the core facts are true.

My only small criticism is the book pretty much ends when she gains her freedom, which is a shame because I really wanted to know more about her life past the convent. I wanted to know about her family, her legal plight and her recovery. I think it's a credit to her that it wasn't the story of the convent that made this book compelling, it was her ability to make me deeply care for this person I'd never met called Frances Reily.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Harrowing read, 16 April 2012
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This was a very harrowing read for me. I felt myself flinching when the abuse the young Frances suffered at the hands of these so called "church" people was being described.They instilled such fear into the children saying the were evil, they were the evil ones.
How anyone can pray to God then do that to children disgusts me.They are truly wicked individuals and I am so pleased their cruelty was exposed. They should be ashamed and I hope they never fine peace.
I would have loved to have heard a lot more of Frances's life after she left the convent and how she managed to find and meet up with her elder sister and her mother. I felt the end was very rushed which was disappointing.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Suffer the Little Children - Frances Reilly, 25 Nov. 2012
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This review is from: Suffer The Little Children: The True Story Of An Abused Convent Upbringing (Paperback)
The reason I chose to buy this book, is because I actually had the pleasure of meeting Francis herself during a normal day of work at the Giant's Causeway. She made a lasting impression on me as she began to tell me about her book and her struggle to bring the 'poor sisters of Nazareth' to justice. I had to buy the book to find out more, which was very unusual for me, and I just could not put the book down. You really feel for Frances the whole way through the book and I could not believe that such brutality would occur in such places. I definitely recommend reading the book but, like some others, I certainly would like to hear more about Frances' life after the convent as well as the punishment I hope the sisters received as a result of their actions.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Powerful book, 2 Feb. 2013
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Painful yet powerful read. I was with Frances the whole way. As a Catholic I feel ashamed. All in the name of God eh! That's not a God but only a terrorist. If there's a hell this brave woman has already been and the nuns will be there in due course. Frances thank you and your courage can only be admired. Powerful book and a definite read of reality
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Suffer the Little Children - an amazing book, 13 Oct. 2011
This review is from: Suffer The Little Children: The True Story Of An Abused Convent Upbringing (Paperback)
I was very excited to read this book after reading so much about the Magdalene Laundries and asylums. It was another fabulously detailed account of a horrendous upbringing at the hands of the clergy in Ireland. The book is brilliantly written and the fact that the story is true is horrifying and astounding. I would recommend this book to anyone who is interested in realistic cases of struggle and uncovering the truth about what went on inside these so-called merciful orphanages run by nuns. I was ignorant of how much brutality and unfairness went on inside. Please buy this book, you won't regret the experience it gives you.
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