This is the first book in The Lorn Trilogy. This fictional story set in present day Ireland but closely linked to Eire’s history detailing how the past profoundly impacts on Kirsty when she embarks on a search for identity. She is not alone with her plight.
Kirsty also longs to find a tender romantic lover in the aftermath of an abusive marriage. A gallant handsome young man and a dubious Dublin garage owner vie for her attention.
With help from friends both old and new, the pieces of her complex jigsaw gradually become revealed. The reason for this choice of title becomes clear as the reader reaches the final chapters.
My dear Kirsty,
Where to begin is the problem, but begin I must.
For many years I have felt the injustice inflicted on you and feared you may become aware through an outside source. The consequence of which would have been detrimental. This is a family matter and before I proceed to the crux of my reason to put pen to paper, I want to assure you everything was done with a sincere belief it was correct for all involved at the time.
I am sure you are aware of a rift within the family which occurred many years ago between us and our brother, Matthew. However, it was not always so. There was a time when I, in particular, was close to him and his wife. Yes, the woman, whom it chokes Maud to mention. Sam remains within the family circle and a firm favourite of our self-appointed chief. The irony being that his parents were ruthlessly excluded.
Matthew and Marie are both dead and gone, as I shall be if you are reading this letter. It is not possible for anyone now to ask exactly what happened, but I can and will shed a little light. Please appreciate this is so difficult for me to do.
I have re-started this letter several times. You see, something occurred which involves you. Something I firmly believe you should be made aware of and quite possibly will help you to make sense of things which were hard to understand during your formative years.
Marie, was Irish, an actress Matthew met somewhere in London, I believe, although was never sure. She was beautiful, charming and a breath of fresh air to our serious existence. She came from a small village in County Kerry called Balvohan. Regular contact was maintained with her own family, although rarely visited until the couple selected a cottage high in the Kerry Mountains in which to live. Presumably they had funds from somewhere. Maud believes there was some sort of scandal which precipitated a need for them to leave London, but I do not. Matthew was an artist and Marie, who had grown tired glitter of the theatre, longed for a return to her homeland.
At this time, Philippa and your father visited them, three times altogether, and during one of these visits it was all arranged. Philippa was so excited, but first they had to convert to the Catholic faith. As you are aware, your parents were Catholic, and you were raised in the faith, another thorn in Maud’s flesh! This process was fast tracked by a kindly priest located by Marie, a relative of hers. Philippa, three or four months later, was pronounced a devout Catholic. Now this is where you come in.
Marie told me your parents visited a Magdalene Laundry where it had been arranged, mostly by her, that they were to collect a baby. That baby was you. Sorry, but there is no gentler way to say this.
You were to become what’s known as a de facto adoption. That is where the adoptive parents register the infant as their own, so no one is any the wiser regarding the truth of their origin. Matthew knew and disapproved, Marie urged your parents to think differently, to be more transparent. I know, because she confided in me, hoping I could change their minds on the matter. To my dying shame, I confess to you now, I did not try. I was scared to mention it and pretended to believe what they wanted us to believe, that Philippa produced you herself. This was all perfectly plausible because during those years we saw little of each other. Letter writing and phone calls sufficed to maintain contact.
I did wonder if Matthew or Marie might inform you, but they were, I suppose, preoccupied particularly when Marie became ill. Matthew devotedly nursed her back to health only to then become ill himself. Sam knows nothing of this. Victoria is ignorant of any such facts, and even our self-elected head of family, Maud, remains in obliviousness. Those who knew are all gone and I escape your wrath being in receipt of such a revelation by communicating from the grave.
Your biological mother was apparently a young Irish girl who came from the same village, Balvohan in County Kerry. She was abandoned at a Magdalene Laundry in Limerick by her own family upon discovery of her pregnancy. In the Magdalene Convent the girl, whom I recollect was named Biddy Duffy, remained long after your birth. What then became of her I have no idea.
I know nothing of your father, only what I relate above. Please, do not be angry with me. Surely this is something you should know even if it arrives as something of a bombshell later in your life.
So here I have given you all the information available to me and wish you well.
Have a good life and may you find happiness.
Your loving aunt,