Happy Publication Day to Rachel Wesson on the book birthday for Stolen From Her Mother. This is an emotional, Historical Fiction book that I definitely recommend.
Stolen from Her Mother by Rachel Wesson, Maeve Smyth (Narrator)
Published January 21st 2022 by Bookouture, Bookouture Audio
About the Book: With a broken heart, she sinks to the ground. Tears run down her face as the truth hits her. “You can’t do this. She’s my daughter, my flesh and blood. I’ll never stop looking for her. Never. No matter what you say or do, I’ll find her.”
Ireland, 1941: While war rages across the world, Kate struggles on her family farm by the wild Atlantic Ocean. Living off rations and looking after her sick father, she doesn’t dare dream of falling in love.
But when she meets American airman, Tony, whose blue eyes are as stormy as the sea, her life collides with the war in ways she never imagined… They fall madly in love, stealing kisses in the rolling fields, and Tony vows to make her his wife. Their time is cut short when Tony leaves for war, promising to come back for her. Only then does Kate learn she is carrying his child––but when her family find out, she is shunned and banished to a Magdalen Laundry.
Imprisoned in the home for unmarried mothers, where the windows are covered in barbed wire, the girls survive on scraps and sleep in a crammed dormitory. Kate writes to Tony to tell him about their child, but she never hears back… Is he even still alive?
And when she gives birth to baby Eva, Kate’s worst nightmare comes true: her precious child is sold to a stranger. But she made a promise to her darling daughter, and she’ll never stop looking for her. Can Kate escape, save her child and reunite her family before it’s too late?
A heartbreaking, tear-jerking and completely unputdownable World War Two page-turner about the power of a mother’s love. Fans of Before We Were Yours, Orphan Train and Diney Costeloe will be utterly glued to this unforgettable novel.
4 Stars: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Stolen From Her Mother begins in Ireland in 1941. Kate has fallen in love with an American soldier and he wants to get married before he is shipped off. Unfortunately, they don’t get the chance, but they do have one wonderful sexual encounter. Of course, she gets pregnant and her nightmare begins. Her parents, actually her mother, ships her off to a convent to live and work. They are called Magdalen Girls after Mary Magdalen. These young pregnant women are treated terribly. Forced to work in the laundry with little food, working all day, being berated, slapped and beaten for even speaking when they are supposed to be silent. They are not given proper medical care and once their children are born, they are taken away from them, often being sold. Kate tries to keep her daughter, but when she is almost four, she is “adopted” by a young American couple and taken to the US. The American couple are Carol and Josh. Josh and Carol have their own issues and while in Ireland on business, Josh is directed to the convent to find a child to adopt. Josh selects Eva, Kate’s daughter to take home, being assured that her mother wants nothing to do with her. He even leaves letters and money for her to pay her debt to the sisters to finally be released from the Magdalene Laundry.
This was a heartbreaking story. Kate had a brother who loved her and tried to help, but things didn’t work out. Her father who loved her, died of a heart attack after his wife, her mother sent her away. This is a fast paced story that was hard to put down. It begins during WW2, but ends in the late 1950s. It is a very emotional story which ends with some hope. I always like it if I read an historical fiction story and learn something. I did not know about the Magdalen Girls and found that interesting, but also so sad. Shame on Ireland and the Catholic Church for treating these unwed mothers as criminals. Even after they deliver their children they have a debt to pay for their care and end up staying and working for 3 years or more. Even the girls, some very young, who were pregnant due to rape or sexual assault by a family member are treated as sinners, something they did wrong. As heartbreaking as this story was, I am glad I read it and recommend it to those who enjoy Historical Fiction. I have enjoyed several books by Rachel Wesson and recommend her other books as well. I did a read/listen with the audiobook being narrated by Maeve Smyth. This was my first time listening to her perform and it took some getting used to. I will say that I found the pace of the audiobook rather quick. That is okay as I usually listen at 1.5 speed, but found I switched to normal speed or 1.2. Maeve also has a thick Irish accent, which was perfect for most of this book, but it took getting used to. I also found the US storyline still had an Irish lilt to it. I did enjoy the audiobook, but found I switched to reading most of it because it was more emotional to listen to the story. The publisher generously provided me with a copy of this book upon request. The rating and opinions shared are my own.
Purchase: Amazon https://geni.us/B09KC2RFY1social
About the Author: Rachel Wesson is the author of several best selling series including her latest based on the Orphan Trains. Having always been a fan of history, Rachel tries to combine her love of history with a good story.
Rachel Wesson was born in Kilkenny, Ireland but considers herself to be from the capital, Dublin as that’s where she spent most of her life. Her dad brought Rachel and her two sisters out every Saturday to give their mother a break. He took them to the library and for ice-cream after. It took a long time for her sisters to forgive her for the hours she spent choosing her books!
She grew up driving everyone nuts asking them questions about what they did during the War or what side they were on in the 1916 rising etc. Finally her Granny told her to write her stories down so people would get the pleasure of reading them. In fact what Granny meant was everyone would get some peace while Rachel was busy writing!
When not writing, or annoying relatives, Rachel was reading. Her report cards from school commented on her love of reading especially when she should have been learning. Seems you can’t read Great Expectations in Maths.
After a doomed love affair and an unpleasant bank raid during which she defended herself with a tea tray, she headed to London for a couple of years. (There is a reason she doesn’t write romance!). She never intended staying but a chance meeting with the man of her dreams put paid to any return to Ireland. Having spent most of her career in the City, she decided something was missing. Working in the City is great but it’s a young person’s dream. Having three children you never see isn’t good for anyone. So she packed in the job and started writing. Thanks to her amazing readers, that writing turned into a career far more exciting and rewarding than any other.
Rachel lives in Surrey with her husband and three children, two boys and a girl. When not reading, writing or watching films for “research” purposes, Rachel likes to hang out with her family. She also travels regularly back home – in fact she should have shares in BA and Aerlingus.