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on 9 March 2014
I read this book with great interest. I was at the same mother and baby home two years after the author and remember many of the hardships the young mothers had to undergo. I was a very naive 17 year old and my mother had just died. This book brought many memories back to me and what Angela said rang very true. I also recognised some of the nuns mentioned which made the hairs on the back of my neck stand up. I was lucky as I refused to have my baby adopted and left the convent just before Christmas. My heart bled for Angela - you had to be very strong indeed to keep your baby particularly remembering how unkind and judgemental society was in the '60's towards Unmarried mothers. My darling son, now 47, is also reading this book - it was part of his history too. I was lucky in that I went on to have a very happy marriage and three more children. Thank you so much Angela for writing this book.
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on 16 March 2017
I nearly didn't buy this book due to a one star review that said it was repetitive. I really don't think they read the same book I did. This was a harrowing tale, simply written and without going over the top. This could have been written in a much more dramatic manner wringing out every ounce of pathos but I found it a fairly factual account that was still an entertaining and instructive read.
Well worth reading, either for the memories of similar experiences, to try and understand what some friends had to go through, or to gain more understanding of a time when society treated unmarried mothers like the lowest of the low.
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on 17 January 2015
I enjoyed this book although I found it harrowing. I was a teenager in the 60s and it painted a true picture of the time. I cannot believe how attitudes to unmarried mothers have changed in such a short time. Sex education was nonexistent and hypocrisy rife. If a girl became pregnant as a student it was impossible to complete your degree. It was very upsetting to read how badly Angela was treated by those who should have shown compassion and support. Perhaps attitudes have swung too much the other way today nowadays. It is almost impossible to adopt a baby and the needs of the mother are put before that of the child.
I am glad that there was a happy ending for Angela with a loving husband and daughter, and, as a huge bonus , reunion with her son.
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on 20 March 2017
This story conveys all the feelings of a mother's anguish at losing her child in this way. The way society treated unmarried mothers back in the day was so cruel and heartless. As this mother explained with candid honesty and understanding of how her own mother felt and forgave her. The author went through so much heartache,this is a story that pulls at the heartstrings of women everywhere. This was a time where it could have happened to anyone of us,and should be read by all.
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on 20 March 2017
This was a good book on a difficult subject - I was particularly interested as I have been trying to find one of the mothers who, I reckon, was there at the same time, her baby being born in the August. As she is an Australian lady I have drawn blank. I know how heart-breaking the parting from their babies at the Crusade of Rescue was for them. I had no idea how stark the Mother and Baby Home was - but it was a different age. Angela was able to go back to her family, but my Australian lady was far away from home - how did she fare? One imagined the Crusade made sure they were OK - but from the book It seems they walked out of the Charles Square building - where to? If, by chance, she actually reads this, your baby son had a good home and has really made something of his life, but he cannot bear to read this book. Thank you Angela - I knew all the places in the book. It answered many previously in-answered questions.
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on 19 February 2013
Back in the 1960s unmarried mothers were treated as lepers. Narrator Angela Brown is a teenager who became pregnant after a one-night-stand and is forced to give birth in the Baby Laundry of the title. This is a convent run by nuns where girls like Angela are humiliated for their 'sin' and pressed into shocking slave labour to atone.

The heartache Angela experiences as she's made to give up her infant son Paul for adoption is unforgettable. The zeitgeist and atmosphere of the 1960s, the Convent and the fearsome nuns are brought superbly to life across the decades.

I have one issue, not really criticism, about the title and the front cover illustration which give the impression that the book is entirely or mostly set in this institution - which is not the case. The second half of the book explores how Angela copes with the rest of her life and her dreadful secret. A fine read, don't mistake me - but I did feel somewhat misled. I also wasn't happy with the ghost-writer's narrative voice, which sometimes failed to sound like a scared teenage girl.

But overall this is a great book which will resonate for a long time after the reader has put it down. Important as a record of social history too.
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on 9 July 2017
What a era to live in ,having a baby and not being married ,shut in a unmarried mothers home treated like a slave ,the poor babies shut in the room on their own not allowed any loves or cuddles ,fed at set times .Thank heavens those days are gone how the nuns could say they worked for God .So pleased she had a happy marriage and had her own child so moving when telling her past events I wept Im happy it turned out good .
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on 5 April 2017
I really enjoyed this story .It was heart breaking the way the nuns ran the baby laundry and just so cruel. I am so glad that things are not like that today. I couldn't stop reading as I wanted to see how things would turn out.It was an emotional story and I loved it.
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on 31 August 2017
A very good book,initially I thought it was a work of fiction but soon realised it was factual. A good insight to the 1960s and how unmarried Catholic mothers were treated. A good read and would recommend it to other readers
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on 13 April 2016
Heart-rending story of what it was like to be a Catholic girl who 'fell' (i.e. got pregnant out of wedlock) in the 60s. Grim at every turn. Heartless nuns ensured you suffered mightily for your 'sins' before your baby was given to others for adoption. Not finished it yet but it seems our girl eventually meets her son. Can't wait to read to the end.
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