You know critics always write things like "you'll feel like your really there" and "you experience the same emotions", its crap, reading this book there is no way you can feel how sh feels, you can feel horrow, disgust, betrayed, sad, mortified and so on and so on but you can never feel how Kathy feels.
I could not put this book down, my mother read it, handed it to me and i couldnt stop reading, i will put my hand up and say several times i cried, once even on the bus. It is horrid to think that this could happen to anyone in this world, it is also disgusting that those who have the power to stop it merely turn there heads. This book is brilliant and deserves to be read by everyone and recognized for the sheer bravery it took to be written.
I read this book virtually in one sitting and then I promptly lent it to my sister who wasn't able to put it down either, in fact she kept phoning me up wanting to discuss it.
It is horrible to believe that this sort of thing went on only 40 odd years ago, and that some of the victims are still institutionalised. The horrific mental and physical torture that these young girls and women went through, well words fail me. I have never been a great lover of the Catholic faith, and the treatment by the nuns and priests who blatantly abused their positions or turned a blind eye have the nerve to say they are God's Children. They are the penitients which Kathy speaks about throughout her book not the women and children who were sent to these hell holes.
It must have been such a shock to the young Kathy who was told she was going for a trip to the seaside only to find out that her evil father was leaving her at an industrial school and that her mother was not allowed to contact you. What kind of a God feaering man could do that to his own child!?
Kathy's strength of character shines through the pages, her determination to try and help herself and others just goes to show that having suffered the most horrific of lifes cannot break the spirit. "What doesn't kill you only makes you stronger", and Kathy is testament to this.
Despite how evil and vindictive her father was, Kathy still nursed him through his illness in later years. I don't think I would have been as merciful. This was a man who beat her daily, left her outside all day or night in all weathers, deprived her of food and made her live in the garden shed!
By the end of this book you will have gone through a whole number of different emotions with Kathy, but most of all you will want justice for Kathy and all the other victims of this abuse. I hope that one day they will get it and Kathy can finally put her past to rest.
At first, upon reading this novel, I was shocked and moved at this "true" story of a young girl. Just a few weeks after reading this, however, I came across a television documentary involving O'Beirne. It turns out that many people deny that the events that she claim to have taken place ever happened, including members of her own family. In this, she offered to take a lie detector test while answering some questions about the events. She agreed, under the terms that her brother (who said that she was lying in her book) went first. Her brother passed the test, and soon after, she backed out of taking it. I was just disgusted that she conned so many people with wht is obviously a lie.
i thought this book was brilliant it really opened my eyes, i knew a bit about magdalne laundries but this made me realise what these women had to go through in life. and it really touched me. this book is a book i would advise to anyone as i thought it was a fantastic read.
I'd recommend this to anyone, whether they had heard of the Magdalen Laundries or not. The book chronicles Kathy's experiences at the hands of Religious Reform schools and later the Magdalen Laundries, and the awful abuse that she and many other children suffered. She discusses the legacy that this has left in Ireland - mental hospitals full of women who became so disturbed and institutionalised by the schools and laundries, that they will never experience normal life again. Kathy's courage is striking as she manages to focus her emotions towards fighting for justice for herself and for the other women.