Saturday, 3 November 2018

New Triskele Book Release - The Swooping Mapgie

"Heartbreaking drama of lost innocence, deceit and a scandal that shook Australia." Jill's Book Cafe

Cover by JD Smith Design

It is difficult for any Australian born after the feminist movement to understand the plight of being sixteen, pregnant and unmarried in 1970. The sanctity of marriage was still the vital cornerstone of society and it was impossible to envisage raising a child outside this union blessed by church and state.

For a girl bringing such disgrace to her family, it was an unforgiving world. Rather than being able to rejoice at bringing forth this new life, these girls were shunted into a world of shame –– hidden at home or sent interstate to homes for unmarried mothers.

But The Swooping Magpie isn't simply the story of a society refusing support to mothers battling to raise an infant alone. It also exposes the brutal adoption industry practices that targeted healthy newborns for infertile couples.

1970s photo from the collections of the Wollongong City Libraries and the Illawarra Historical Society

Until the mid-70s it was common practice to adopt out the babies of unwed mothers. In the 1960s, Sydney’s Crown Street Women’s Hospital was one of largest sources of Australia’s adopted babies. Patient documents from Crown Street and other maternity hospitals show that from the moment most unmarried girls arrived, their records were marked “for adoption”.

From 1950 – 1980, an estimated 250,000 girls had their newborns taken. Many claimed they were duped into signing paperwork whilst under postpartum sedation, or made to feel selfish if they kept their babies. Forced to pay this terrible price for pregnancy outside marriage, thousands of women harboured their grief, in silence, for decades.

Photo courtesy of Camille Perrat

We might ask ourselves how these women survived. Did they “just forget about it and get on with their lives” as urged by an arrogant and punitive society? The stories I heard demonstrate that frequently, the trauma of their loss never left them. Made to feel unworthy and unfit, they developed psychological problems. Some never married. Some never gave birth again.

The Swooping Magpie is on NEW RELEASE promo for only 99c/p from your favourite retailer:

If you'd like to read book 1 (a standalone) in this 1970s Aussie family drama series, The Silent Kookaburra is also available at your favourite retailer.

Cover by JD Smith Design
"Unsettling psychological suspense blending the intensity of Wally Lamb with the atmosphere of Peter James, this story will get under your skin..."

Photo courtesy of Camille Perrat

Photo courtesy of Camille Perrat
Happy reading!