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on 24 January 2014
For at least the last 10 - 15 years I have been aware of the terrible cruelty inflicted on innocent women and young girls by various religious institutions in Ireland. Many documentaries have been made which revealed the truly horrifying practices which took place, particularly with regard to the Magdalene Laundries. There have also been a number of dramatic television productions, many based on the accounts of the inmates of these laundries.

Leaven of the Pharisees makes compelling and certainly not always pleasant reading, dealing as it does with unbelievable cruelty, and commonplace physical and sexual abuse perpetrated against females of all ages, by catholic priests, and sanctioned and tacitly condoned by the Church and State in Ireland.

Described as "The Irish Holocaust" , exact numbers of women and children subjected to the horror of these conditions, which was kept hidden until the late 20th century, may never be known. Leaven of The Pharisees makes it clear that it must run into many many thousands. Many victims died and were buried in unmarked graves, in the grounds of religious houses all over Ireland. The lives of most of those who did survive to make their way in the outside world, were blighted, and one way and another they never recovered from the trauma.

The unreserved apology, issued by Premier Enda Kenny on behalf of the Irish Government on 19th February 2013 did not come a moment too soon.
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on 29 July 2014
This book has the approach of the work of fiction. The story lacks credibility. The fist three chapters deal solely with molly's journey from the states and adapting to life around dublin. She has two followers that magically appeared out of nowhere and have 0 substance. The whole thing just lacks credibility. The conversations are dull and of very little relevance in some areas. The start is dragged out to the last and taking the third person aproach just did not work for me either. I could not tell if i was reading fact of fiction and was just about as realistic to me as horror version of harry potter. I would not recommend and would suggest you read 'the girl nobody wants' by lily o'brien. It has the depth an truth that this book is sorely missing.
This book seems to focus on a constant of painting the scene rather than dealing with to focal point of institutional abuse. I wanted to read about the struggle and all i got was molly knew nothing about her father, sent her on a treasure hunt and how she felt for three chapters with eoin and dermot as her sidekicks. Very poor indeed. The author should stick to history as this was the only part i felt confident she knew what she was writing about but if i wanted to read about the easter rising , i would have bought the book.
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on 30 March 2013
Really enjoyed reading this book and it is a story which should not be forgotten, for the sake of all the people who had to live in that world of ignorance and cruelty.
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on 9 December 2013
a good read by a very strong minded person just hope she can live in peace now after a very hard and disturbing life
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on 13 July 2014
I enjoyed the positive outcomeof the story. But how much is true of what truely happened in the establishments recored and the responce of the Catholic Church in all of this?
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on 1 May 2014
Really enjoyed this book. Great account of the blitz and how the people coped. Good story telling. Very highly recommended!!!
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on 23 July 2014
Thought provoking novel....very well written
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on 8 November 2014
good
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