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Extended Audio Sample The Magdalen Girls, by V. S. Alexander Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: V. S. Alexander Narrator: Alana Kerr Collins Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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Dublin, 1962. Within the gated grounds of the convent of the Sisters of the Holy Redemption lies one of the city’s Magdalen Laundries. Once places of refuge, the laundries have evolved into grim workhouses. Some inmates are “fallen” women—unwed mothers, prostitutes, or petty criminals. Most are ordinary girls whose only sin lies in being too pretty, too independent, or tempting the wrong man. Among them is sixteen-year-old Teagan Tiernan, sent by her family when her beauty provokes a lustful revelation from a young priest.

Teagan soon befriends Nora Craven, a new arrival who thought nothing could be worse than living in a squalid tenement flat. Stripped of their freedom and dignity, the girls are given new names and denied contact with the outside world. The Mother Superior, Sister Anne, who has secrets of her own, inflicts cruel, dehumanizing punishments—but always in the name of love. Finally, Nora and Teagan find an ally in the reclusive Lea, who helps them endure—and plot an escape. But as they will discover, the outside world has dangers too, especially for young women with soiled reputations.

Told with candor, compassion, and vivid historical detail, The Magdalen Girls is a masterfully written novel of life within the era’s notorious institutions—and an inspiring story of friendship, hope, and unyielding courage.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “This is a tale of friendship, bravery, faith, and forgiveness that transcends may of the books written on the subject.”

    RT Book Reviews (4 stars)

  • “Alexander methodically builds the details of the dreary and demanding existence that has become daily life for these girls…Because the novel is historically accurate…the events depicted are particularly distressing, forcing readers to be engrossed and horrified.”

    Shelf Awareness

  • “Showcasing hard-won victories and a terrible tragedy, this novel shines a light on a dark period in twentieth-century Ireland. Alexander has done his homework, peppering his novel with details of the convent lifestyle…[A] tenderhearted story of sinners, saints, and redemption.”

    Booklist

  • “Chilling in its realism, his work depicts the improprieties long abandoned by the Catholic Church and only recently acknowledged.”

    Library Journal

  • “Haunting…The Magdalen Girls shines a light on yet another notorious institution that somehow survived into the late twentieth century. A real page-turner!”

    Ellen Marie Wiseman, author of What She Left Behind

  • An Amazon.com Bestseller in Women's Friendship Fiction
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