Sins Of The Mother, Irene Kelly
I was sent a review copy of The Sins Of The Mother by Katy Weitz, the book’s ghostwriter. This post contains reference to child abuse, and the book contains graphic descriptions of physical, emotional and sexual abuse.
Although I’ve had this for a little while, I’ve only really sat down to read it now that I’m back commuting (it arrived while I was on holiday, and then I did plan to read it while catsitting, but I forgot to take it with me). The Sins Of The Mother is the true story of Irene Kelly, an Irish woman who took part in the investigation into the abuse of children in residential institutions.
Irene was brought up in extreme poverty, and abused by her mother from an early life. But when she, along with her siblings, was taken away and put into care at an orphanage run by nuns, it did not bring them a better life. Besides terrible food and public humiliation, the children were routinely physically abused, and witness the abuse of other children. When Irene was contacted by the Redress Board, she expected to see someone held accountable.
The descriptions of the abuse Irene and other children suffered are graphic and upsetting, but it was an important read. While I’ve seen items in the news about the abuse that went on in Irish institutions, I never really realised the extent of it, nor did I have any idea about how much was covered up during the investigation.
The Sins Of The Mother tells of how one woman – one of many – was abused time and again, and not believed by the people who were supposed to help, support and protect her. The effects are long-reaching, but the final impression is one of healing and of hope.
Other categories that Sins Of The Mother fits into: a book published this year, a book by a female author, a book set in a different country, a nonfiction book, a book based on a true story, a book that scares you, a memoir, a book by an author you’ve never read before