11 September 2014

On My Bookshelf: UNFORGIVABLE by Sharon Robards

UnforgivableUnforgivable by Sharon Robards
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

“Nuns walked across the wooden floor, not speaking, accustomed to the screams as much as to the smell of ammonia. Business as usual. Except for the girl crying out and the swish-swish of black or white habits, the scene resembled a silent movie—quiet and without colour.”Unforgivable

Powerful and poignant, Unforgivable has an authenticity about it that goes way beyond mere historical fact. The people are real, the emotions complex and deep. The standout character for me was Sister Gregory, a nun with both empathy and conviction. A nun who didn’t always agree with the Catholic doctrine.

The story summons up conflicting emotions. Sadness, because even though it’s fiction, it’s what actually happened in 1960s Australia. Admiration for those same teenage girls, who despite being forced to give away their babies sight unseen, never forgot. Or forgave.

Highly recommended. If you enjoyed Love Child, the Australian TV series, you’ll love Unforgivable.

Unforgivable is the story of a teenage girl and a young nun caught up in the great religious and social upheaval brought on by Vatican II, and a thriving adoption industry driven by society’s fierce disapproval of unmarried mothers. 

Seventeen-year-old Sylvia, like many unmarried teenage mothers across Australia in 1966, is forced to wait for the birth of her child in one of the homes and hospitals run by the Catholic Church. St Joseph’s Hospital, managed by the Sisters of St Anthony, has never had a girl walk out the front gate without first leaving behind her baby. But the sisters had never met Sylvia, defiant and headstrong and determined to keep her child.

Available on Kindle from Amazon

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