Whispering Hope by Nancy Costello, Kathleen Legg, Diane Croghan, Marie Slattery, Marina Gambold, Steven O'Riordan, Sue Leonard
Let me hope that this day and this debate heralds a new dawn for all those who feared that the dark midnight might never end."
- Taoiseach Enda Kenny's State apology to the Magdalene women.
On 19 February 2013 the Irish Taoiseach Enda Kenny apologized to the women who had been incarcerated in Ireland's Magdalene laundries. In the audience sat Steven O'Riordan, a documentary filmmaker and founder of the Magdalene Survivors Together group. And by his side, waiting patiently for the words they'd been fighting to hear, were some of the women he had helped.
For Nancy, Kathleen, Diane, Marie and Marina were confined in Magdalene laundries throughout Ireland during the 1950s, 60s and 70s. The harrowing physical and psychological abuse they endured in the institutions, run on behalf of the State, led to a lifetime of shame and secrecy.
Now, in WHISPERING HOPE, these women tell their stories for the first time. Their fight for justice and forged friendships has enabled them to move forward and have their voices heard, their individual accounts weaving together in an immensely powerful narrative that shines a light on a dark chapter in Ireland's history.
Inspirational and moving, this is the story of five women brave enough to confront their past and strong enough to not let it define them."
source | Goodreads
I picked this book up from Tescos the other day. I've read a couple of books about the Magdalene laundries before and also watched 'The Magdalene Sisters' movie. I knew what to expect and I knew it would be sad, I just didn't realise how shocking and harrowing these stories of these brave women would be.
This book is about four survivors from the Magdalene laundries who tell there stories and what life was like in the Magdalene laundries in Ireland during the 1950's - 1970s. Steven - a film maker - makes a documentary about the Magdalene laundries helps these poor women to be heard and get the apology and justice they deserve and for the Irish government and officials to acknowledge the abuse that went on in such places. Being abused and mentally, physically and emotionally abused, not being able to talk and not being fed properly, being put to work for hours upon hours per day, from a young age for years upon years. Did you know the last laundry closed in 1996? Shocking isn't it?
Women that didn't 'fit' into society were sent to the laundries/workhouses/industrial schools. Unmarried mothers had there babies taken away never to been or heard of again. Women died in those laundries and records are few and far between (if any records at all!) Mothers sent there children to the laundries to learn. Not much learning really went on though. I found it difficult to read because the abuse they endured during the time. The Magdalene laundries were run by nuns. Cruel nuns at that. These women all have happier endings but they are still affected by the abuse and the way they were treated during there time in the laundries. There stories are so sad and I can not imagine what they went through. I am however, glad I read this book. I learned so much and just how much times have changed for the better. More could have been done for these women a lot sooner. None of what they went through should ever have happened. I can't even imagine..
The women are very brave for sharing there stories and deserve all the happiness in the world.
I rated this book five stars.
, by Sarah Mumx3x