by Judith Kelly - £7.99 Bloomsbury (2006)
paperback ISBN 13: 9780747587149 | ISBN 10: 0747587140
A harrowing and moving memoir about childhood and coming to terms with the past. Revised and updated with a new introduction.
In the 1950s, shortly after her father's death, Judith Kelly was left in the care of nuns at a Catholic orphanage while her mother searched for a place for them to live. She was 8 years old. But far from being cared for, Judith found herself in a savage and terrifying institution where physical, emotional and sexual abuse were the daily norm and the children's lives were reduced to stark survival. As the months became years and no word came from her mother, she sought comfort from the girls around her, especially the bright, angel-voiced Frances. When a tragic accident robbed Judith of her dearest friend, the memories were too traumatic to confront. It was not until years later, on a kibbutz in Israel, that a friendship with an elderly Holocaust survivor gave Judith the strength to revisit her past - and the orphanage of her broken childhood.
"Kelly's story, while harrowing and fraught with sadness, is superbly told and will stick with the reader long after the last page has been turned."
(Sunday Business Post)
(Price & availability last checked: May 2018)