The Light in the Window

by June Goulding

ISBN 1 875989 57 9


Publication date: June 2000


'No-one wanted to know, not clergy, politicians, families. It was the times – there was no crime worse than having an illegitimate child.'

In Ireland in 1951 June Goulding, newly qualified as a midwife, went to work in a home for unmarried mothers. There she was shocked by the horrific treatment the women received. After the birth, in order to punish them for their sins, the women were forced to work in the convent while they looked after their babies for the first three years, and then to hand over the toddlers to adoptive parents – a heartbreaking experience. June's memoir tells the story of twelve women's experiences in this home and of the hardships that they endured, but also the kindness that she offered them, and the hope she was able to bring.

In a narrative that gives full flavour to the fifties, June's own courtship – dressmaking, dinner dances and afternoon drives – is played out against the stark background of a hidden Ireland where helpless women were punished for their sins.




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