Three innocent girls endure the deprivations of Ireland's infamous Magdalen Laundries in "this tenderhearted story of sinners, saints, and redemption" (Booklist).
Dublin, 1962. Within the gated ground of The Sisters of the Holy Redemption lies one of the asylums known as the Magdalen Laundries. Once places of refuge, the laundries have evolved into grim workhouses. Some inmates are "fallen" womenunwed mothers, prostitutes, or petty criminals. Most are ordinary girls whose only sin lies in being too pretty, independent, or tempting the wrong man. Among them is sixteen-year-old Teagan Tiernan, sent by her family when her beauty provokes a lustful revelation from a young priest.
Teagan soon befriends Nora Craven, a new arrival who thought nothing could be worse than living in a squalid tenement flat. Stripped of their freedom and dignity, the girls are given new names and denied contact with the outside world. The Mother Superior, Sister Anne, who has secrets of her own, inflicts cruel punishments in the name of love. Finally, Nora and Teagan find an ally in the reclusive Lea, who helps them endureand plot an escape. But as they will discover, the outside world has dangers too, especially for young women with soiled reputations.