After last night I was feeling quite lazy, so I took the time to read a bit…and read I did! I started and finished the book ‘Suffer the Little Children‘ by Frances Reilly. This is the story of Frances’ childhood (and her sister’s) and her life growing up in a convent after being abandoned their by her mother. Growing up in a Catholic country, I have of course heard of abuses in the convents and institutions owned by the church, so I had an idea of the cruelties going on in some of these places (though certainly not everywhere, and certainly not restricted to these institutions only – which doesn’t make it any better!).
The book tells the story of a girl who was repeatedly beaten, hit, and demeaned. For some reason she also seemed to be particularly picked on by one of the nuns, maybe because she didn’t have anyone visiting her, like others did. It tells the story of how she tried to escape numerous times, both from the convent, as well as from the remand house she was moved to after trying to run away one too many times. More so it tells how on a visit outside the convent to go spend the weekend with a family, she was then repeatedly abused of by the men of that family. Nothing seemed to go right.
The book gets to you, as you go through the story. However, I found it a bit lacking particularly at the end. I wanted to know what happened to her now…how did the events influence her life…how does she feel about it? There is an epilogue at the end, but the book left me wanting to know more about this girl. I understand though that writing this book would definitely not have been an easy task…I thus praise the author for even coming so far as to write it.