90 books like For the Love of My Mother

By J.P. Rodgers,

Here are 90 books that For the Love of My Mother fans have personally recommended if you like For the Love of My Mother. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of The Light in the Window

Esther Freud Author Of I Couldn't Love You More: A Novel

From my list on Mother and Baby Homes and the unplanned babies.

Why am I passionate about this?

Aged eighteen and living in London, my mother fell in love with an older man and was soon pregnant. Fearful of repercussions, she kept the pregnancy secret from her Catholic parents and continued to keep this secret for many years. This was something I’d always known, but it was only recently that I decided to investigate what happened to so many girls who went to the wrong people for help. What I found was devastating, and it gave me a greater understanding of the choices my mother made. I'm a writer who often draws on autobiographic material for my novels, plays, and stories. I like to feel a subject is truly mine.

Esther's book list on Mother and Baby Homes and the unplanned babies

Esther Freud Why did Esther love this book?

I came across this memoir while researching Irish mother and baby homes for my own novel. June Goulding was a young midwife in the 1950s when she was hired by the Sacred Heart Convent in Cork.  Here she found girls,  some as young as 13, punished for the sin of being pregnant, forced to work, tarring roads, scrubbing floors, and rearing their children until they were handed over for adoption – in exchange for a donation to the church often without their consent. Thirty years later, haunted by what she was party to, Goulding tells the story of how she tried to relieve the suffering of these unfortunate women. 

By June Goulding,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Light in the Window as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'I promised that I would one day write a book and tell the world about the home for unmarried mothers. I have at last kept my promise.'

In Ireland, 1951, the young June Goulding took up a position as midwife in a home for unmarried mothers run by the Sacred Heart nuns. What she witnessed there was to haunt her for the next fifty years. It was a place of secrets, lies and cruelty. A place where women picked grass by hand and tarred roads whilst heavily pregnant. Where they were denied any contact with the outside world; denied basic…


Book cover of Fear of the Collar: The True Story of the Boy They Couldn't Break

Heidi Daniele Author Of The House Children

From my list on Irish industrial schools and mother baby homes.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am first generation American - my mother is from Ireland and my father is from Germany. I’ve always had an interest in my heritage and developed a passion for genealogy. My curiosity led me to researching Industrial Schools and Mother Baby Homes in Ireland. I’ve read many books about these institutions and also wrote a book of my own based on stories of former residents of St. Joseph’s Industrial School in Ballinasloe, Galway.

Heidi's book list on Irish industrial schools and mother baby homes

Heidi Daniele Why did Heidi love this book?

Fear of the Collar is Patrick Touher’s personal account of his experience in the Artane Industrial School. Artane was the largest Industrial School in Ireland and operated from 1870 – 1969.

At times Artane housed nearly 1,000 boys and was known to be self-sufficient – with the “inmates” making their own clothes, shoes, and the boys produced and grew their own food.

Touher takes the reader through the daily military-like regiment and discipline imposed upon young boys being cared for by the Christian Brothers. His story will evoke an array of feelings. It is important to read the epilogue as you will be in awe of the man Patrick Touher has become despite the harshness of his childhood.

By Patrick Touher,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Fear of the Collar as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Sent to an Industrial School in Dublin at the age of seven, Patrick Touher was forced into a tough regime of education and training, prayer and punishment, strict discipline and fearful nights. No allowances were made for emotion, sentiment or boyhood worries, and anyone who disturbed the routine was severely punished. Artane demanded absolute obedience, absolute submission; Patrick's was an education in cruelty and fear.

Patrick Touher spent eight long years in Artane Industrial School. Run by the Christian Brothers, the school has become synonymous with the widespread abuse of children in Ireland in the 1940s and 1950s which is…


Book cover of Belonging: A Memoir

Heidi Daniele Author Of The House Children

From my list on Irish industrial schools and mother baby homes.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am first generation American - my mother is from Ireland and my father is from Germany. I’ve always had an interest in my heritage and developed a passion for genealogy. My curiosity led me to researching Industrial Schools and Mother Baby Homes in Ireland. I’ve read many books about these institutions and also wrote a book of my own based on stories of former residents of St. Joseph’s Industrial School in Ballinasloe, Galway.

Heidi's book list on Irish industrial schools and mother baby homes

Heidi Daniele Why did Heidi love this book?

In her book Belonging: A Memoir of Place, along with her personal journey, Corless shares her research and activism work towards justice for the lost babies of the Tuam Mother Baby Home. Her book is an excellent resource to learn about the institutions where unmarried mothers paid their penance and gave birth to their “illegitimate” children. Her book includes heart-wrenching accounts from former residents. 

I’ve had several exchanges with Catherine since 2010 when she responded to a query I had posted regarding the Tuam Mother Baby Home. Catherine Corless has brought worldwide attention to a scandal she uncovered: 796 missing burial records of children born in the Tuam Mother Baby Home.

By Catherine Corless,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Belonging as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

ONE WOMAN, THE SECRETS OF A SMALL TOWN, AND A QUEST FOR JUSTICE THAT ROCKED A NATION.

Catherine Corless could not have known where her interest in local history would lead her, as she began researching the Tuam Mother and Baby Home in Galway in 2010. Uncovering no less than 796 missing burial records of children born there, the stark truth of their place of rest became clear: a disused sewage tank on the old home site, where two boys had once stumbled upon bones.

But who were these lost children, and what had happened to them in the care…


Book cover of Precarious Childhood in Post-Independence Ireland

Heidi Daniele Author Of The House Children

From my list on Irish industrial schools and mother baby homes.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am first generation American - my mother is from Ireland and my father is from Germany. I’ve always had an interest in my heritage and developed a passion for genealogy. My curiosity led me to researching Industrial Schools and Mother Baby Homes in Ireland. I’ve read many books about these institutions and also wrote a book of my own based on stories of former residents of St. Joseph’s Industrial School in Ballinasloe, Galway.

Heidi's book list on Irish industrial schools and mother baby homes

Heidi Daniele Why did Heidi love this book?

Moira J. Maguire has written a book that could be used by academics yet still fascinates a curious reader. Precarious Childhood in Post-Independence Ireland gives a full view of the system implemented to care for needy children. The study examines the roles of religion and state involved in providing services. Maguire references documents and quotes from reports to give the reader an authentic view of how destitute, abused, and illegitimate children were cared for. 

By Moira J. Maguire,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Precarious Childhood in Post-Independence Ireland as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This fascinating study reveals the desperate plight of the poor, illegitimate, and abused children in an Irish society that claimed to cherish and hold them sacred, but in fact marginalized and ignored them. It examines closely the history of childhood in post-independence Ireland, and breaks new ground in examining the role of the state in caring for its most vulnerable citizens.

Maguire gives voice to those children who formed a significant proportion of the Irish population, but have been ignored in the historical record. More importantly, she uses their experiences as lenses through which to re-evaluate Catholic influence in post-independence…


Book cover of Where I End

Amanda Cassidy Author Of The Returned

From my list on nightmare thrillers that unfold in dreamy Irish settings.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a bright bubbly person with a dark, sinister imagination. As an Irish journalist turned fiction writer, the thrillers I write reflect some of the challenging crime scenes I’ve reported from. While the whodunnit element in crime-writing is extremely important, equally, I prefer to have my readers fascinated with the whydoneit. I love writing about dark pasts, buried secrets, simmering resentments, and how they shape my characters in such a way that creates delicious unease and urgency. I like to use settings like tiny Irish villages to enhance the often insular nature of locals protecting their own. The picturesque settings in my books create mood and tension and which include the landscape as character. 

Amanda's book list on nightmare thrillers that unfold in dreamy Irish settings

Amanda Cassidy Why did Amanda love this book?

Ideas of neglect and abandonment as well as isolation run throughout Where I End, a tense shocking literary debut from the Irish writer and journalist. This story is about an incapacitated mother being cared for by her teenage daughter.

I loved the desolation White created on the remote island inspired by Inis Meáin. With cliffs on one end, a sandy beach on the other, White describes how she was walking one day with her husband when she felt an explicable sense of dread.

“It wasn’t just wild and windswept and any of those clichés, it was actually more the stillness and the strangeness of it. And I noticed it was really getting to my husband as well, this kind of dread seeping up into us from the rocks and the sky and the ocean.”

This feeling is translated directly into the centre of the book, where the borders between landscape…

By Sophie White,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Where I End as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'My mother. At night, my mother creaks. The house creaks along with her ...'
Aoileann has never left the island. Her silent, bed-bound mother is the survivor of a private disaster no one will speak about. Aoileann desperately wants a family, and when artist Rachel and her baby move to the island, Aoileann finds a focus for
her relentless love.


Book cover of Death Writes

Amanda Cassidy Author Of The Returned

From my list on nightmare thrillers that unfold in dreamy Irish settings.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a bright bubbly person with a dark, sinister imagination. As an Irish journalist turned fiction writer, the thrillers I write reflect some of the challenging crime scenes I’ve reported from. While the whodunnit element in crime-writing is extremely important, equally, I prefer to have my readers fascinated with the whydoneit. I love writing about dark pasts, buried secrets, simmering resentments, and how they shape my characters in such a way that creates delicious unease and urgency. I like to use settings like tiny Irish villages to enhance the often insular nature of locals protecting their own. The picturesque settings in my books create mood and tension and which include the landscape as character. 

Amanda's book list on nightmare thrillers that unfold in dreamy Irish settings

Amanda Cassidy Why did Amanda love this book?

Towering headlands, windswept beaches, derelict houses. Ruined churches. Author Andrea Carter admits that her entire Innisowen mystery series is inspired by place – landscape and buildings which gives her novels atmosphere and depth.

Her latest offering is Death Writes, set in the stunning Northern Irish location of Glendara.

In Glendara, preparations are underway for Glenfest, Glendara's literary festival. Phyllis Kettle, the local bookshop owner, is especially pleased to have persuaded Gavin Featherstone, the local best-selling recluse writer, to take part.

The festival begins, and an eager crowd awaits Featherstone's appearance on stage. He is unexpectedly engaging, but when he stands to read from his new book, he stumbles and keels over on the platform.

Solicitor and local woman Benedicta O Keefe discovers that she holds Featherstone's will at the office, drafted by her predecessor. Soon, she's drawn into a complicated legal wrangle over the man's estate involving his family…

By Andrea Carter,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Death Writes as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The next gripping book in the Ben O'Keefe series.

Praise for Andrea Carter's Inishowen Mysteries series

'Atmospheric and vivid' The Irish Times

'I adored this traditional crime novel; it's modern day Agatha Christie with Ben as Miss Marple' Irish Examiner

'The colourful cast of characters may be fictional, but the landscapes, towns and villages are instantly recognisable' Irish Daily Mail

'A beguiling heroine - clever, sympathetic and bearing a weight of guilt' The Times


Book cover of Our Little Cruelties

Sarah Clarke Author Of Every Little Secret

From my list on psychological thrillers with secrets from the past.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a writer of psychological thrillers. I have a keen interest in psychology and how events and experiences in our childhood shape who we become. When I work on a new book, I always build a detailed profile of my characters’ childhoods – and as I write thrillers, these are often challenging ones with issues like narcissistic parents or siblings, coping with grief, mental illness, or bullying. My plot will always be at least partly driven by the secrets my characters form in their childhood or early life, and so I also really value this depth in the psychological thrillers I read.

Sarah's book list on psychological thrillers with secrets from the past

Sarah Clarke Why did Sarah love this book?

This is a story about three brothers. It starts with the funeral of one of them (you don’t know which) and goes back over their lives to unravel the mystery. They are all very different and none of them are likeable, and yet I found myself invested in all of them, trying my hardest to like them despite what they did – to each other and more widely. The book explores some serious issues around mental health and addiction, and I felt Nugent did this incredibly well – with both sympathy and clearly lots of research. The story is also told very skillfully. It uses multiple characters and jumps between timelines but reads very smoothly.

By Liz Nugent,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Our Little Cruelties as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'Liz Nugent is a force to be reckoned with' Lisa Jewell

'Brilliantly observed family life and a plot that is part rollercoaster, part maze. Loved it!' Graham Norton

'MAGNIFICENT. Her best yet, and that's really saying something' Marian Keyes
______________

Three brothers are at the funeral. One lies in the coffin.

Will, Brian and Luke grow up competing for their mother's unequal love. As men, the competition continues - for status, money, fame, women ...

They each betray each other, over and over, until one of them is dead.

But which brother killed him?
______________

'Dark, beautiful, devastating - pure…


Book cover of Autobiography of a Child

Patrick Doherty Author Of I Am Patrick: A Donegal Childhood Remembered

From my list on Irish childhood.

Why am I passionate about this?

As an experienced teacher I was fascinated by how writing personal stories helped to develop confidence as well as oral and written self-expression at different levels of complexity in children across the primary school age range. This encouraged me to embark on a MA in creative writing where I wrote an extended autobiographical piece that focused on how the relationship between my father and myself affected my childhood.  I continued this research into my doctoral studies in Irish autobiography. I explored the history of Irish autobiography, memory, and identity formation. This research provided the context to write my own childhood memoir I Am Patrick

Patrick's book list on Irish childhood

Patrick Doherty Why did Patrick love this book?

In 1899, the Irish novelist, Hannah Lynch wrote her memoir Autobiography of a Child. She caused controversy in Ireland and abroad by attempting to represent her childhood up to the age of twelve narrated through the child’s voice, a strategy I adopted but from the ageing child’s point of view where the language and thought process become more complex as I grow older. Her use of adult reflection upon the child’s unstable memory demonstrates an original understanding of the child’s point of view and its representation. Hannah uncovered the inescapable cycle of harsh treatment by her parents within a large family and the physical abuse by nuns at school. Her book reinforces the unreliability of memory for autobiography and helped me to accept that total veracity is not possible.

By Hannah Lynch,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Autobiography of a Child as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

It is a powerful first-person narrative follows the story of a young Irish girl from her earliest memory to around twelve years of age, tracing the shaping of "the Dublin Angela" into "the English Angela" and ultimately Angela of Lysterby, "the Irish rebel." This tale is told from the perspective of her older self, now "a hopeless wanderer" with youth and optimism behind her.
The narrative opens with a startling sketch of Angela's mother, "a handsome, cold-eyed woman, who did not love me," before relating fragmented memories of an idyllic time spent in rural Kildare while "put out to nurse"…


Book cover of Redemption in Irish History

Chris Lawlor Author Of An Irish Village: Dunlavin, County Wicklow

From my list on lesser-known aspects of Irish history.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m an Irish writer and historian. I always enjoyed history, even in school, and I went on to study it at Maynooth University, receiving a BA. I became a history teacher and eventually head of the history department in Méanscoil Iognáid Rís. I began writing local history articles for the Dunlavin arts festival and the parish magazine. I went back to university and got a first-class honours MA from Maynooth, before being awarded a PhD from DCU. I’ve won the Lord Walter Fitzgerald prize and the Irish Chiefs’ Prize, and my students were winners in the Decade of Centenaries competition. Now retired, I continue to write and lecture about history!

Chris' book list on lesser-known aspects of Irish history

Chris Lawlor Why did Chris love this book?

This is an unusual, ambitious, and relevant book, focusing on the Christian values contained within Irish political thought over a period of approximately three hundred years (from the late eighteenth century to approximately the year 2000). Many Irish politicians and patriots included a Christian element in their visions of and for an independent or a self-governed Ireland. Beginning with Wolfe Tone and the United Irishmen of the 1790s, this Christian element is traced through Emmet, O’Connell, the Young Irelanders, the Fenians, the Home Rulers, and the leaders of the 1916 rising. The book goes on to trace the Christian vision through the periods of the Irish Revolution, independent Ireland, and the northern troubles of the late twentieth century. Engrossing and insightful, this excellent book provides much food for thought!

By John Marsden,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Redemption in Irish History as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Marsden, John. Redemption in Irish History. Dublin, Dominican Publications, 2005. 14 x 21cm. 219 pages. Original softcover. Excellent condition, as new other than inscription to previous owner on half-title page. Redemption in Irish History comes at a critical historical juncture for Irish society and Irish Christianity. Through bringing theology, politics, history and economics into creative dialogue, Redemption in Irish History offers an integrative vision of how Irish society might be nourished from the best of its diverse traditions and thereby truly flourish in our increasingly inter-dependent world. Topics including Pearse and Connolly, history, theology, politics, economics come together in creative…


Book cover of Shout at the Devil

Colin Falconer Author Of When We Were Gods

From my list on historical adventures that are colourful and pacy.

Why am I passionate about this?

I grew up devouring old Classics Illustrated comics. By the time I was 12, I’d read all the great adventure stories from H. Rider Haggard to Jules Verne. My childhood obsession became my career. My research has taken me down the Silk Road, into the jungles of Mexico and the mountains of the high Atlas, and following opium caravans through the Golden Triangle. I’ve now written more than twenty novels of historical adventure that have been translated into 25 languages.

Colin's book list on historical adventures that are colourful and pacy

Colin Falconer Why did Colin love this book?

This is loosely based on the 1915 sinking of the SMS Königsberg, in the Rufiji delta of East Africa. I love this not only for the fast-paced plotting, but for the characters, who are far less wooden and predictable than in some of Smith’s later work. The amoral and irascible Flynn O’ Flynn is impossible not to love, as is the utterly gormless hero, Sebastian Oldsmith—brave, loyal and handsome, if not actually the full quid. I like the sheer unpredictability of this one. Smith was not constrained by the formula he followed later in his career. It is by turns thrilling, funny, and shocking. I imagine his publishers eventually persuaded him not to write any more like this. He died with more than a hundred million pounds in the bank, so perhaps they were right. But for me, this outlier remains an absolute gem.

By Wilbur Smith,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Shout at the Devil as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In German East Africa on the eve of the First World War, two freebooting adventurers pit their wits against the gross German Commissioner from whose territory they are making their living as game hunters and ivory poachers.


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