Betrayed by their families and the Church, five Irish women were condemned to lifetime labouring in a convent laundry. Together they made it through. White Linen is the story of the truth tearing their friendships apart.
A JOURNALIST WHO ESCAPES FACTUAL NEWS BY WRITING LITERARY FICTION Martin Howe previously worked in senior editorial, production, presentation and reporting roles in television, radio and online for the BBC and Channel 4. He’s written two novels - The Man in the Street and White Linen.
I can still remember the women’s stories two years after reading Howe’s beautifully written novel. Howe is able to capture the dehumanizing horror that young women endured with an unwanted pregnancy not that long ago. Equally tragic was how these women were treated later in life when the convent they had been locked up in allowed them to leave. At this point they had acquired few skills with which to find employment or to survive on.
The clever plot structure weaves the stories of several women together to reveal the truth of these Catholic institutions - contradicting the perceived outlook that they were meant to help the women as opposed to punishing them.