A conservative Catholic family in Queensland in 1974 is no place to be a pregnant teenager. With an authoritarian mother and facing enormous societal pressures, Mary must make a decision to save her future … but it is one that will haunt her for the rest of her life.
After putting her baby son up for adoption, Mary tries to return to her old life and her studies to be a nurse but finds that she cannot escape thoughts of her son or feelings of guilt. The situation is made worse because her mother and family completely ignore what has happened to her; she cannot talk to anyone about how she feels. Even after travelling throughout remote Australia as a nurse and health advisor, and marrying and having two daughters, she feels incomplete and restless.
Then the adoption laws regarding contact between birth mothers and their children are changed. She decides that the time might be right to find out if her son wants to meet her. But nothing is ever as simple as it seems and the quest to become a part of her son’s life, turns Mary’s life and world upside down all over again.
About the Author
Mary Tennant is a retired registered nurse. She completed her general training at the Princess Alexandra Hospital,midwifery at the Mater Mother’s in Brisbane and Community Child Health certificate at Curtin University Perth. Later she obtained a Bachelor of Applied Science (Nursing) and a Masters in Public Health and Tropical Medicine and worked at the Telathon Institute for Child Research. Mary has worked in hospitals in Brisbane and Perth but the majority of her career has been in Aboriginal Health.
Mary Tennant said that winning the Finch Memoir Prize was ‘exhilarating because Finch has provided an avenue for my story to reach a broader audience. I always knew my story was worth telling but I was unsure that I could write it in format in such a way that it would appeal to readers. It was very rewarding to be judged the winner by well-known and gifted authors.’
Reviewed by 2 customers
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A well written book on a very personal and private topic, yet written with honesty. It is an intimate view into a young girls life in an era when some things were not spoken about or hidden from society. Thank you Mary Tennant for having the courage to write this book with such love and tenderness.
This book is a wonderful respectful insight to an intimate personal encounter. It is a tale which is at one engaging and thought provoking, and is relevant in ways to many experiencing a challenging time.
"This is just lovely it s that rare thing a personal memoir that feels thoroughly universal." Dominic Knight, author and former ABC radio broadcaster"
Number Of Pages: 224
Published: 19th May 2016
Publisher: Finch Publishing
Country of Publication: AU
Dimensions (cm): 21.6 x 15.3 x 1.9
Weight (kg): 0.28