Annie s Girl

Author: Maureen Coppinger
Publisher: Random House
ISBN: 9781845968618
Release Date: 2011-03-04
Genre: Biography & Autobiography

The shocking but ultimately uplifting life story of an Irish woman who endured 13 years of cruelty and injustice in an orphanage Maureen Coppinger's earliest memory is of watching the woman she believed to be her mother walk away and abandon her to the care of the nuns at one of Ireland's notorious industrial schools. She was just three years old. She remained in the orphanage until the age of 16, subjected to cruelty and neglect, and starved of love and affection. It was an environment from which no one emerged unscathed. Throughout these tormented years, Maureen dreamed only of escape, and when she was contacted again by her mammy she believed all her dreams were about to come true. Life in the outside world brought its own challenges, however, and Maureen was thrown into turmoil when she discovered that the truth about her past was more murky than she had ever realised. Annie's Girl stands apart as a poignant testimony to the resilience of the human heart. This touching and evocative memoir is the incredible story of an illegitimate industrial-school survivor's profound struggle to overcome a shame-filled past and solve the mystery of her origins. Maureen Coppinger emigrated to Canada in 1955, where she married and raised three sons. She worked as a school secretary for 25 years before retiring in 1994 and now spends her leisure time as a volunteer for the Galway Association.

Secrets My Mother Kept

Author: Kath Hardy
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
ISBN: 9781444763263
Release Date: 2013-10-10
Genre: Biography & Autobiography

Kath grew up on a vast council estate in the 1950s, the second youngest of ten children. The two most important people in young Kath's life were her charismatic but manipulative mother Flo and her mother's sister Aunty. But Flo and Aunty were keeping secrets, a tapestry of lies that cast a harrowing shadow over the children's lives. Many years later Kath's mother died and while sorting through Flo's things, Kath discovered a bundle of secret letters that sent her on a journey to finally unravel the truth... Inspirational and moving, this is the story of a women brave enough to confront her past, and strong enough to let love not bitterness define her.

Sins of the Mother

Author: Irene Kelly
Publisher: Pan Macmillan
ISBN: 9781447291527
Release Date: 2015-08-13
Genre: Biography & Autobiography

Irene Kelly was brought up in poverty and abused by her mammy from an early age. But home life was still better than the time she spent in one of Dublin's industrial orphanages. In that harsh regime she was beaten and sexually assaulted. Set to work in the nursery, she saw the nuns treat the babies with horrifying cruelty. As an adult those experiences haunted Irene. When she fell in love with Matt, who was fighting his own demons, they moved to England for a new start. They wanted their daughter Jennifer to have a better life, but in trying to protect her by hiding their past they only succeeded in pushing her away. Until, one day, Irene had a phone call from Ireland that changed everything . . . Sins of the Mother is a powerful and inspiring story of a family whose love was tested but never broken, who finally found the strength to heal the past.

The Light In The Window

Author: June Goulding
Publisher: Random House
ISBN: 9781448146147
Release Date: 2012-05-31
Genre: Biography & Autobiography

'I promised that I would one day write a book and tell the world about the home for unmarried mothers. I have at last kept my promise.' In Ireland, 1951, the young June Goulding took up a position as midwife in a home for unmarried mothers run by the Sacred Heart nuns. What she witnessed there was to haunt her for the next fifty years. It was a place of secrets, lies and cruelty. A place where women picked grass by hand and tarred roads whilst heavily pregnant. Where they were denied any contact with the outside world; denied basic medical treatment and abused for their 'sins'; where, after the birth, they were forced into hard labour in the convent for three years. But worst of all was that the young women were expected to raise their babies during these three years so that they could then be sold - given up for adoption in exchange for a donation to the nuns. Shocked by the nuns' inhumane treatment of the frightened young women, June risked her job to bring some light into their dark lives. June's memoir tells the story of twelve women's experiences in this home and of the hardships they endured, but also the kindness she offered them, and the hope she was able to bring.

Little Drifters Kathleen s Story

Author: Kathleen O’Shea
Publisher: Harper Collins
ISBN: 9780007532292
Release Date: 2014-02-13
Genre: Biography & Autobiography

The harrowing true story of a travelling Irish family bonded by love, broken apart by life, and then betrayed by their carers in a cruel convent in Ireland.

The Girl Nobody Wants

Author: Lilly O'Brien
Publisher: Troubador Publishing Ltd
ISBN: 9781780880334
Release Date: 2011-11-24
Genre: Biography & Autobiography

You only get one chance to live your life as a child, but Lily was never given that chance; her childhood was taken from her before it ever begun. From the age of four, when she was first sexually abused, her life changed forever; when she walked through the institution’s doors in Ireland, her life continued along the same path that has destroyed her soul. Her emotional pain is as strong today as it was the day it began and will never leave her alone.“When I go to sleep it’s in my head and when I wake up I can see it in the mirror and I am only waiting to die.” A child abuse story that will stay with you forever and one that you will talk about for many years to come, The Girl Nobody Wants is a harrowing true story that will appeal to fans of biographies and fans of Jodi Picoult. It has been compared to Dave Pelzer’s A Child Called It, Damaged by Cathy Glass and The Kid by Kevin Lewis.

The Boy in the Attic

Author: David Malone
Publisher: Random House
ISBN: 9781780571621
Release Date: 2011-10-06
Genre: Biography & Autobiography

Ireland 1973: a very different world. But a tiny village in County Dublin was about to lose its innocence for ever. On a bright and sunny June afternoon, a seven-year-old boy was left in the care of his teenage neighbour. No one knew, or would even have dreamed of suspecting, that the teenager was a Satanist. The two went out to the fields to look for rabbits. The child was never seen alive again. For the first time, in The Boy in the Attic, David Malone reveals the exact events of that summer day: how the youngster was lured to his death, how the teenager came to delve so deeply into the occult and the nightmarish scene awaiting police when they entered the attic. But there is another disturbing question - how is it that this murder, which was easily one of the most shocking and horrific in living memory, was barely reported upon at all? Why have you never heard of the boy in the attic until now?

Kathy s Story

Author: Kathy O'Beirne
Publisher: Mainstream Publishing Company
ISBN: 1840189681
Release Date: 2005-01-01
Genre: Abused children

The Magdalene Sisters made international headlines with Peter Mullan's award winning film of the same name which put the abuse which went on in the Magdalen Laundries on to a world stage. The laundries operated for over eight decades. Thousands of young Irish girls, already orphaned or at risk in the community, were incarcerated in homes run by nuns and subjected to punishing work routines. Many were beaten and sexually abused. Those who became pregnant had their babies taken from them and shipped to the US. However, a survivor of the horrific system has never told their personal story - until now. Kathy O'Beirne spent nearly 14 years under the Magdalen Laundry regime. At the age of eight her father called and asked if she wanted to go to the seaside. She was thrilled and ran to the front door only to find a nun waiting for her. She was taken to a Magdalen Laundry and didn't return home until she was 21. For the next two years she was sexually abused and beaten. After attempting to rebel against the system she was classified as mentally ill and transferred to a mental hospital where the abuse contined with the addition of regular electric shock treatments. Her baby was born with an illness and spent the rest of her short life in a home run by nuns who buried her in a mass grave. Kathy still doesn't know where her baby is buried. Miraculously she survived but has chosen to tell her story in the hope that she can help other victims of the Magdalene Sisters Laundry Scandal and help remember all those who died and were buried in mass graves, without coffins or headstones. In Kathy's Story, the author recounts her tragic experiences in unflinching detail, along the way stirring up many extreme emotions. It details her will to survive horrific circumstances and her subsequent fight for justice that will inspire and impassion many.

The Lost Child of Philomena Lee

Author: Martin Sixsmith
Publisher: Pan Macmillan
ISBN: 9780230753211
Release Date: 2010-07-02
Genre: Political Science

When she fell pregnant as a teenager in Ireland in 1952, Philomena Lee was sent to the convent at Roscrea in Co. Tipperary to be looked after as a fallen woman. She cared for her baby for three years until the Church took him from her and sold him, like countless others, to America for adoption. Coerced into signing a document promising never to attempt to see her child again, she nonetheless spent the next fifty years secretly searching for him, unaware that he was searching for her from across the Atlantic. Philomena's son, renamed Michael Hess, grew up to be a top Washington lawyer and a leading Republican official in the Reagan and Bush administrations. But he was a gay man in a homophobic party where he had to conceal not only his sexuality but, eventually, the fact that he had AIDs. With little time left, he returned to Ireland and the convent where he was born: his desperate quest to find his mother before he died left a legacy that was to unfold with unexpected consequences for all involved. The Lost Child of Philomena Lee is the tale of a mother and a son whose lives were scarred by the forces of hypocrisy on both sides of the Atlantic and of the secrets they were forced to keep. A compelling narrative of human love and loss, Martin Sixsmith's moving account is both heartbreaking yet ultimately redemptive.

Songs of Willow Frost

Author: Jamie Ford
Publisher: Ballantine Books
ISBN: 9780345522047
Release Date: 2013-09-10
Genre: Fiction

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER From Jamie Ford, author of the beloved Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, comes a much-anticipated second novel. Set against the backdrop of Depression-era Seattle, Songs of Willow Frost is a powerful tale of two souls—a boy with dreams for his future and a woman escaping her haunted past—both seeking love, hope, and forgiveness. Look for special features inside. Join the Random House Reader’s Circle for author chats and more. Twelve-year-old William Eng, a Chinese American boy, has lived at Seattle’s Sacred Heart Orphanage ever since his mother’s listless body was carried away from their small apartment five years ago. On his birthday—or rather, the day the nuns designate as his birthday—William and the other orphans are taken to the historical Moore Theatre, where William glimpses an actress on the silver screen who goes by the name of Willow Frost. Struck by her features, William is convinced that the movie star is his mother, Liu Song. Determined to find Willow and prove that his mother is still alive, William escapes from Sacred Heart with his friend Charlotte. The pair navigate the streets of Seattle, where they must not only survive but confront the mysteries of William’s past and his connection to the exotic film star. The story of Willow Frost, however, is far more complicated than the Hollywood fantasy William sees onscreen. Shifting between the Great Depression and the 1920s, Songs of Willow Frost takes readers on an emotional journey of discovery. Jamie Ford’s sweeping novel will resonate with anyone who has ever longed for the comforts of family and a place to call home. Praise for Songs of Willow Frost “If you liked Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, you’re going to love Songs of Willow Frost. . . . tender, powerful, and deeply satisfying.”—Lisa Genova “[A] poignant tale of lost and found love.”—Tampa Bay Times “Arresting . . . [with] the kind of ending readers always hope for, but seldom get.”—The Dallas Morning News “[An] achingly tender story . . . a tale of nuance and emotion.”—The Providence Journal “Ford crafts [a] beautiful, tender tale of love transcending the sins people perpetrate on one another and shows how the strength of our primal relationships is the best part of our human nature.”—Great Falls Tribune “Remarkable . . . likely to appeal to readers who enjoy the multi-generational novels of Amy Tan.”—Bookreporter “Jamie Ford is a first-rate novelist, and with Songs of Willow Frost he takes a great leap forward and demonstrates the uncanny ability to move me to tears.”—Pat Conroy “With vivid detail, Jamie Ford brings to life Seattle’s Chinatown during the Depression and chronicles the high price those desperate times exacted from an orphaned boy and the woman he believes is his mother. Songs of Willow Frost is about innocence and the loss of it, about longing, about the power of remembered love.”—Nancy Horan, author of Loving Frank “Ford’s boundless compassion for the human spirit, in all its strengths and weaknesses, makes him one of our most unique and compelling storytellers.”—Helen Simonson, author of Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand

Please Will Someone Help Me

Author: Sophie Young
Publisher: Penguin UK
ISBN: 9781405910545
Release Date: 2013-04-11
Genre: Biography & Autobiography

Sophie Young tells her shocking true story in Please Will Someone Help Me? Sophie Young was born into a dysfunctional family, with a violent mother and father. Sophie was routinely neglected and harmed, starved and left to fend for herself. Social workers were often involved but, despite numerous visits and extensive reports, nothing was ever done. When Sophie was six, her life took another horrible turn: her adored grandfather began to sexually abuse her. Please Will Someone Help Me? is Sophie Young's heartbreaking story about a young girl at the mercy of the adult world. With full access to her social work files, she shows how those who are meant to help children can be blind to the reality of their lives; but how, ultimately, love conquers all. Sophie Young was the eldest of three, born into a dysfunctional family that she fought for years to escape. Now forty years old, she lives in England with her husband and children, and works as a volunteer for a national children's charity.

The Bell Tolled Twice

Author: Tony Brennan
Publisher: BookBaby
ISBN: 9781925681208
Release Date: 2017-12-05
Genre: Fiction

1944. King’s Cross. The red light district of Sydney is alive with noise, bright lights, American soldiers on leave – and vice. Nearby, Annie Watson is hoping for a few days’ vacation with her cousin, Monica Jeffrey. But when Annie intervenes to save an orphan girl, she is enmeshed in a murder conspiracy involving gangsters, drug addicts, thugs and prostitutes. Discovering the time and place of the arranged murder, Annie tries desperately, in her inimitable manner, to avert the tragedy. Unorthodox methods are called for, and Annie, as usual, is not afraid to use them.

All My Mother s Secrets

Author: Beezy Marsh
Publisher: Pan Macmillan
ISBN: 9781509892716
Release Date: 2018-08-09
Genre: Biography & Autobiography

From the grimy streets of Acton and Notting Hill to the bright lights of the West End, Beezy Marsh's All My Mother’s Secrets is a powerful, uplifting story of a young woman’s struggle to come to terms with her family’s tragic past. Annie Austin’s childhood ends at the age of twelve, when she joins her mother in one of the slum laundries of Acton, working long hours for little pay. What spare time she has is spent looking after her younger brother George and her two stepsisters, under the glowering eye of her stepfather Bill. In London between the wars, a girl like Annie has few choices in life – but a powerful secret will change her destiny. All Annie knows about her real father is that he died in the Great War, and as the years pass she is haunted by the pain of losing him. Her downtrodden mother won’t tell her more and Annie’s attempts to uncover the truth threaten to destroy her family. Distraught, she runs away to Covent Garden, but can she survive on her own and find the love which has eluded her so far? 'Beautifully-penned story on the harshness of life and how hope survives' The Sun

Dani s Story

Author: Diane Lierow
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
ISBN: 9781118043653
Release Date: 2011-05-18
Genre: Biography & Autobiography

The story that captivated a nation?how a horribly neglected little girl was rescued by her loving adoptive parents In July 2005, a six-year-old girl named Danielle was removed from her Florida home after authorities found her living in bug-ridden squalor, subjected to horrific neglect and so damaged by her own mother that recovery seemed hopeless. But hope was waiting for Dani?and help. In October 2007, Bernie and Diane Lierow, a hard-working couple with five boys of their own, adopted her and utterly transformed her life. This book tells the moving story of how the Lierows rescued Dani and helped her recover to the point where she can not only communicate, something once thought impossible, but can say of herself, "I pretty." Dani's story was featured on Oprah and the subject of a Pulitzer Prize-winning article published by the St. Petersburg Times The Lierows describe their struggle to adopt Dani, how they bonded with her and made a home for her, how they satisfied her craving for contact and stimuli, how Dani began to overcome her severe learning disabilities, how she learned she no longer had to steal food, and how their son Willie may be the greatest brother ever For readers who enjoyed Mistaken Identity: Two Families, One Survivor, Unwavering Hope; Hope's Boy; and Sickened: The True Story of a Lost Childhood Charting a perilous journey from hardship to hope, a new family, and a second chance at life, Dani's Story is a book you cannot put down and will never forget.