For 60 years, Phyllis believes that she is unloved, unwanted, without purpose and has no other family. New DNA technology allows her daughter, Sally Herbert, to make a breakthrough: without it, Phyllis would have died no wiser to the circumstances surrounding her fate – but to quote Herbert, author of The Missing Pieces Of Mum, “where there’s life, there’s hope”.
Phyllis’ early life was dominated by Irish institutions: the Bethany House, where she’d been born to an unmarried mother, and subsequently the church-run orphanage. Yet by some measure, Phyllis had been lucky to have a ‘guardian’ – a devout Protestant well-wisher who paid for her education and kept an eye on her early adulthood. Phyllis always wondered if her attention was due to more than her faith.
Phyllis’s shattered life is one of thousands of examples of people left displaced, bereft and adrift because of destroyed, concealed or hidden documentation – you might have cause to recall the Windrush generation and the Kindertransport, in this context. Her adulthood, by all accounts, was full of woe, which in turn meant her daughter Sally had a difficult upbringing too, though mother and daughter remained close. This book is a testament to that and Sally Herbert’s determination to find out who her grandmother really was.
The Missing Pieces Of Mum, Sally Herbert (Mardle)
Price: £12.99. Info: here
words BILLIE INGRAM SOFOKLEOUS
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