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The Magdalen Laundries: a novel based on true events

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The Magdalen Laundries: a novel based on true events
Maren Bradigan is just sixteen years old when she is taken under false pretenses from her comfortable life on her family farm.

Concerned at the level of intimacy developing between Maren and the boy who helps her father with his farm work, the village priest takes it upon himself to remove her from school and bring her to High Park Convent, where he delivers her into the care of the nuns. Now, alongside many other "Magdalens" - named for Mary Magdalen - Maren must spend her days washing dirty linens, symbolically cleansing herself of her sins while repeating endless penance to a God that she soon comes to feel is no longer listening to her. Only the presence of Ceara, a young pregnant girl who befriends her inside the institution, gives Maren strength to continue through abuse, humiliation, beatings and near-starvation.

Set in Ireland in 1961, The Magdalen Laundries is based on the true stories from one of the most shameful chapters in Ireland's history, and tells of the redemptive power of faith, friendship and forgiveness.

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About the Book

Book Trailer:

Have you ever seen a trailer for a book before? Well, here you go. 😊The Magdalen Laundries is available for Kindle and Kobo, and in paperback. Find it on Amazon: Goo.gl/7dXsJe

Posted by Lisa Michelle Odgaard – Author on Friday, June 23, 2017

 

 

 

Endorsements
If you began reading this book without seeing the cover or knowing what it was about, you would guess that you were reading a future dystopian fantasy about a horrific, oppressive torture prison. However, you are not reading fantasy, you are reading a novel based on a true story. It doesn’t take place in the future, instead the sad pitiful events took place in Ireland, and other English-speaking countries, including America, for over 100 years.

“There is hope in Christ, not despair.”

Author Odgaard’s story is set in 1961 at High Park Convent near Dublin. Young and pretty, Maren grows up on her family farm, loved and cherished. Maren begins to awaken to feelings of love, when a hired farm hand catches her eye. Her innocent feelings lead her parish priest to commit her, without her family’s knowledge, to what were called the Magdalen Laundries. These laundries were ostensibly places for “fallen” girls and women to redeem themselves. But too many ended as victims of a system of torture and deprivation.

At times slow-moving at the beginning, most of the book is compelling and engrossing. Maren and her best friend at the laundry are described with love and compassion by Author Odgaard. While not sugar-coating or endorsing the practices at the laundry, the author also extends this same understanding to the Catholic Church. The story features a heartfelt affirmation of the Gospel message.

While, many elements of this book are difficult to read about, overall there is a message of hope. I am grateful to the Author for opening my eyes to the Laundries and the plights of the young girls. In the afterward of the book, the Author presents more information about the Laundries and encourages readers to research more on the internet. I did look up some information about the history.

“She felt a joy in her heart and knew that her journey to find peace had ended here, In Glasvenin cemetery.”
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