The Baby Laundry for Unmarried Mothers
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The Baby Laundry for Unmarried Mothers

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3.83 of 5 stars 3.83  ·  rating details  ·  137 ratings  ·  25 reviews
London, 1963. Angela Patrick was 19 years old and pregnant. Being under 21, she was still under the governance of her parents, strict Catholics who sent her to an imposing-looking convent for unmarried mothers. At eight weeks, her son was taken away from her and put up for adoption. 30 years later, he contacted her and a reunion was arranged.
Paperback, 275 pages
Published 2012 by Simon & Schuster UK
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Heffalumpi
It is hard to categorise this book as I did like it but the subject matter makes it very difficult to say that it was amazing. It is not one of those 'nice, comforting' books but a very gritty true story of a young woman who found herself pregnant outside of marriage in the 1960's when attitudes to this were quite frankly medieval.

It is a very candid account of what this woman went through and the treatment that she received from nuns who were taking care of her leading up to the birth and subs...more
Angie Rhodes
I thoroughly enjoyed this book, The way unmarried mothers, were treated,is disgusting! so small minded, As for the nuns! The nuns.were cruel,, showing no mercy, even though the bibles asks, for you to treat people as you would like them to treat you,, Well they didn't! A great eye opening story. This happened in the 1960's,, not that long ago, A great read and a real eye opener, ,
Shadey Cole
This book is an incredible story. I came across this treasure while browsing at a Half Priced Books. I picked it up, being interested in the time period it took place in, and decided to purchase it, seeing as to how it was only $4. I LOVED it. It intrigued me from the very beginning. From page 1 to page 275, not a page was there that I didn't devour. The entire time I read the last 100 pages, I had chill bumps. Tears even sprung to my eyes at many parts. This is a must read, whether you've been...more
Samantha Dancy
I chose to read this book due to recent family discoveries that led me to need more understanding about the situation in the 60's.

I have to say I really see things from a very different perspective now.

This book is beautiful! And many tears were shed. I couldn't put it down!

Angela is a very strong and courageous woman.

Carole
A very well written book, by the author, who went through so much emotional experience like many in her time.
Angela was born a Catholic and as a teenager in the sixties committed the mortal sin of getting pregnant.
In those days things were very different to now. Despite her good job she like many were naive about the facts of life which largely were not spoken about.
Shame was great in those days and life was impossible for an unmarried mother .
The book will tug at heart stings and is emotional...more
Jantina
I needed to read this book to understand what my mother went through in the mid nineteen forties, although this book tells a story of a much later period. It is difficult for us today to understand why a devout Catholic family would put their public image and church first before supporting their daughter's and potential grandchildren. The book gives a real sence of these girl's seeing themselves as sinners and not holding any grudges against their families who gave them no other option.
It was a...more
Janice
Much of the book takes place in or near Ilford. It truly is the way things were - and if the Republicans have their way, the way it will be again in America.
The ending was weak - and somewhat irritating. Sometimes in an effort to wrap things up neatly, and appease and not upset family members - ends are tied up a little too neatly - and questions are left unanswered - for example - wasn't Paul/James curious about his father? Admittedly the father did not know about the baby - but he is still th...more
Amy
A thoroughly compelling book that I read in 2 sittings. I was gripped by the journey of Angela and how she coped with her life inside the convent home as well as the moving on and recovery which followed.
I was so pleased for Angela at the end of the book when I really felt that she had healed from her ordeal and had her life back together.
It's a must read to understand the changing attitudes towards birth outside of marriage and adoption.
Karen Jones
I cried for those poor babies only being able to feel the warmth of their mum's for brief snatches of time. I hope they all found happy caring families,
Not the best book I have ever read but written with feeling and emotion.
Vicky Hallewell
Fantastic book - the pace is really good and you do feel for the people whose lives were affected by the attitudes described in the book. I also liked it as Angela hasnt written it in a way that seeks sympathy, it is just a genuine and true account of what happened to her when she fell pregnant out of wedlock and the way those events shaped her and her families life.
Michele
This is the story of a pregnant, unmarried Catholic girl in 1960s England who is sent off to a home for unwed mothers run by heartless nuns. The story of caring for and then giving up her newborn is wrenching, but the writing is only mediocre.
Sarah Lynne
Having read about the Magdalene Laundries from a midwife's point of view, working in one of the strictest Homes, it was interesting to read about this Home from an "inmate's" point of view. Heartbreaking and informative.
Gill
Heart wrenching true story of Angela's teenage pregnancy, time spent in a convent for single mum's in the 60's and subsequent adoption of her son. Totally gripping, a really inspiring story.
Karyn Mitchell
A heart wrenching read- that had me both amazed and appalled at how attiudes of the time were. It made me seriously think about how lucky girls of today are.
Kim
I read this book in one day. Great story about an unmarked girl in the UK and the convent she went to at the end of her pregnancy in the 1960's.

Jackie Herbert-Valentine


Well written, emotive and insightful.. Who could ever imagine being treated like this in our society. Had me in tears throughout.
Jenny
Not my kind of book but a moving story to read. Bought book after hearing an interview with the Angela Patrick on Radio Four.
Amy
Sep 25, 2012 Amy added it
i loved this book and cried buckets. i really felt for the girl involved and found the way things were described wonderful
Jane
it's a while since I have read a book as powerful as this... Well written and moving from everyone's point of view.
Donna
Good, interesting and an eye opener to what it was like in the 60's to be unmarried and pregnant.
Pauline
this was a sad book didnt realise how cold hearted people were back then
Laura
Brilliant, couldn't put it down,
Ann
An okay book - certainly not a riveting tale by any means.
feetintheriver
Heartbreaking stuff.
Claire
Claire marked it as to-read
Jul 12, 2014
Ruth
Ruth marked it as to-read
Jul 08, 2014
Stephanie Carter
Stephanie Carter marked it as to-read
Jul 04, 2014
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