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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars childhood interrupted
I think lots more of us would talk about our experiences at the hands of nuns if we could acheive something as positive as a calling them to account, in a radio phone in show. Profoundly exploited as a child, Kathleen only really becomes aware of how appauling her experience was, when she becomes a British Magistrate. This has probably preserved her from years of...
Published on 12 Mar 2007 by Mrs. R. B. L. Clarke

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Mixed feelings
I read the book with great interest and like everyone found the cruelty and unbearable lack of love so hard to fathom from supposedly loving nuns. But other organisations and people seem to escape criticism with it all landing on the nuns - where were the authorities, the visitors, the NSPCC and social services all of whom were also involved. At the same time in history...
Published on 24 Jan 2007 by BeeReader


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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars childhood interrupted, 12 Mar 2007
By 
I think lots more of us would talk about our experiences at the hands of nuns if we could acheive something as positive as a calling them to account, in a radio phone in show. Profoundly exploited as a child, Kathleen only really becomes aware of how appauling her experience was, when she becomes a British Magistrate. This has probably preserved her from years of pointless introspection, at the same time providing her with weapons to fight off an Irish judiciary who still don't seem to care or take it seriously. Victim she isn't. Virago to them, I hope she is. Those who should have protected and nurtured her, abducted her and ensalved her in an Industrial School. Worse still, her mother had to pay for this. Yet Kathleen O'Malley was equipped, even as a eight year old girl, with the tools of survival. I would speculate that she is a rational optimist, and highly motivated. She would also make Madonnas efforts at reinventing herself, look like a monkey with a lip-liner and a mirror. At critical times she cleverly appeased her abusers and sought their approval. In the David and Goliath struggle she faced, it proved to be her slingshot.. she kept her enemies close and realised that vital records still existed. These vindicated her claims. She like countless others deserve not just an apology but an ABJECT apology, and compensation out of the Sisters of Mercy's personal bank account. I'd like to see an International stock take done on the financial holdings of these 'religious orders', and then a big share out to those in their 'care'. How hard wearing would their moral fiber be in the face of a little destitution. All these archives should be made available to the public, and a list of names of all the people in positions of Authority who were to blame for this disgracefull episode in Ireland's history, 'least we forget' should be errected at the site of these convent 'schools'. True, Father Ted has lightened the load but the baggage is still aboard, and Ireland is still what Geldof called the Banana Republic. Check out the missing persons bureau. Ireland is the only country in the EU that does not have one.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Childhood Interrupted, 24 Oct 2005
By 
John L. Gordon (Havant, Hants United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
I have not read a book for many years but having seen the author on a TV program I felt I had to read her novel.I found the book to be so heartwarming and thought provoking. After reading this my vision of a nun will never be the same. I thoroughly recommend this book.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Mixed feelings, 24 Jan 2007
I read the book with great interest and like everyone found the cruelty and unbearable lack of love so hard to fathom from supposedly loving nuns. But other organisations and people seem to escape criticism with it all landing on the nuns - where were the authorities, the visitors, the NSPCC and social services all of whom were also involved. At the same time in history life in UK was so different, why was Irish social history so very harsh?

As for what the previous writer put about why do so many follow the Catholic Faith - well it doesn't make the Catholic Faith wrong it reflects on the followers not on the ideal surely?
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, interesting read, 20 Jan 2006
By 
R. Taylor "Book worm" (Worcestershire UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
I am very interested in the topic and this book didn't disappoint. It was different from other books I have read on this subject because Kathleen still has a bitter outlook only to be expected of a person who was never really given answers to the questions she so desperatly wanted to ask back then about why she and her family were treated so awfully.
The book makes interesting points as an attempt to explain why certain things were the way they were in Ireland. Which is something that the other books I have read have a tendency to stray away from.However, Kathleen doesn't attempt to make excuses for her 'carers' and the reasons why they abused.
The main part of the story is written obviously as Kathleen the child and that does come across successfully but the end of the book becomes more adult and reflexive over her time at the Industrial School. I hope Kathleen through her research, can get the answers she so deserves.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars FANTASTIC - a beautifully writen book, 12 April 2006
By 
J. WALKER (YORKSHIRE) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
I read this book in 2 days- I could not wait to find out what happened next to Kathleen. What a wonderful woman to have the courage to write this book - how proud her mum would have been of her! I imagine many other adults who were brought up in harsh regimes and abused at a young age will relate to this book.

Considering Kathleen was constantly told she was a failure and suffered continual abuse it is truly inspirational that when she came out of the Catholic Home that she knew that it was important to find out why this experience has happened to her. Her courageous decision to research her background was the right one - I am glad she found the evidence to prove that her mother was not at all like the character she had been led to believe by the Sisters.

This is the BEST book I have read this year and would recommend it 100% to any Amazon reader.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well told disturbing story, 8 Sep 2006
I took this book to read on holiday and found I had quickly finished it as I was unable to put it down. This is well written and the stark pictures that Kathleen paints of her childhood are unbelievably horrendous. This story makes you want to comfort each and every one of those poor children. How very sad to know that nuns could behave like this.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Fascinating Read, 14 Mar 2008
This is an engrossing book. It is written in a simple and unaffected style, but the story it tells is so powerful and moving that the reader is gripped from the beginning.

Its honesty is a big part of its attraction. She doesn't flinch from describing her own mixed emotions; for example, her desire to please the nuns in order to gain some approval or affection or to stay out of trouble. She even tells how, in later life, she brought her young son back to show him to the nuns who had treated her so cruelly; she wanted to say to them, "Look, I've made a life for myself, I'm a normal person, I'm not bad."

Although I grew up in Ireland at the same time as Kathleen O'Malley, and had a very different childhood, I remember the Ireland she describes extremely well. It was a repressive and dreary place, with every aspect of life dominated by the Catholic Church, and although I was unaware of what was happening in places like the Industrial Schools, I was not surprised when we found out later. The nuns who ran my smart, fee-paying school would not have dared to abuse us (although they hit us on the hands with wooden rulers - and that was OK with our parents) but their hypocrisy, snobbery and lack of human decency was only too evident.

Kathleen may have inherited her strong spirit from her wonderful mother. I finished the book full of admiration for the way in which she went on to live life fully and fruitfully.

It also made me want to remind people how dangerous religion can be and how we must try to maintain a society where there are checks and balances which prevent one institution from gaining such power.

The Ireland of that time had many kind and decent people. My own parents were gentle and good people, but they were so respectful, and in awe, of the church that I think that, even if they had been told of what was being done to children like Kathleen and her sister, they would have refused to believe it and turned away. How sad that is.
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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Childhood Interrupted, 8 Oct 2005
Hi I think that this a very good book. The first one done on Irelands Industrial Schools, for Girls. What was stolen from us can never be returned. OUR Childhoold,
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3.0 out of 5 stars deep secrets, 18 Jan 2008
the cruel and sadistic ways dont always stop with leaving the convent, many children raised in this enviroment have been known not to be able to show love or kindness later on in life because its a thing unknown to them, a friend of mine was raised by her grandmother who had been brought up by nuns and the grandmother raised my friend the only way she had been shown...by a sadistic tongue and many beatings.....my friend said even now she can remember learning to never open her mouth in case people will never believe what happened to her, she loved and also hated her grandmother who made my friend feel she was a "sin" because her unmarried mother left her to be raised by this grandmother, the thing i found heartbreaking was the fact from being a young child of maybe three or four the grandmother would often address my friend as a fornicting whoreing bastard!! even now my friend remembers trying to make this old grandmother love her to no avail and thinking it was her fault for being born, the grandmother never blamed her own daughter for getting pregnant but put the stigma on my friend for being illigitimate.........some neigbours knew how she was being treated and often asked her to talk to them and on one occation a school teacher tried to coax it out of her, but she could not tell anyone as she felt it was her fault the gradmother hated her and felt to ashamed to tell.........when the gradmother died when my friend was older she went to see her laid out and later said all she could think of was, "at last that bitter evil tongue was still and she would never never have to hear that voice again".and even now many years later my friend has never been able to shake off this stigma of being made a scapegoat by the bigoted views of certain church, lets end this note on my friends words........ people are bastards by nature not by birth .
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Very Worthwhile Read, 15 Jan 2008
By 
RozziD "Rose" (Lincoln, England) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This book is a truely amazing account of a woman's recollections of a badly abused childhood. It's fascinating to read about how a child, being regularly beaten and starved, can actually aspire to be a nun knowing what they are capable of. It was more inspiring to read her personal struggle with understanding that what had happened was wrong and how she could have been blind to this for so many years. This is a true survivors story.
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