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A fiction debut from the bestselling author of the series of memoirs that includes Ma, He Sold Me For a few Cigarettes

Lilly and Ceily Carney are only seven and twelve when their mother is cruelly taken from them, leaving them at the mercy of the Church and the authorities.

This is a terrifying prospect in 1950s Dublin, where it is likely that the girls will end up in one of Ireland’s notorious Magdalen laundries – a fate they are determined to escape.

When Father Flitters and the ‘Cruelty’ people arrive to take the children into care, Lilly and Ceily resist, and a riot breaks out. The girls are helped by kind Mister Mullins and his daughter Delia, but events lead to further tragedy and Lilly is left to fend for herself on the dangerous streets. Heartbroken, hungry and vulnerable, she looks like easy prey and it seems there will be no safe haven for her to find.

Formats & editions

  • Paperback


    June 15, 2015

    Transworld Ireland

    320 pages

    RRP $22.99

    Online retailers

    • Abbey's Bookshop
    • Amazon
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    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

  • EBook


    October 23, 2014

    Transworld Digital

    320 pages

    Online retailers

    • iBooks
    • Amazon Kindle
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    • Google Play
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Also by Martha Long

Ma, Jackser's Dyin Alone
Ma, I've Reached for the Moon an I'm Hittin the Stars
Ma, I've Got Meself Locked Up in the Mad House
Ma, Now I'm Goin Up in the World
Ma, It's a Cold Aul Night an I'm Lookin for a Bed
Ma, I'm Gettin Meself a New Mammy
Ma, He Sold Me for a Few Cigarettes


To Kill A Mockingbird
The Heart's Invisible Furies
The Handmaid's Tale
Norwegian Wood
A Gentleman in Moscow
Echo Burning
The Curious Incident of the Dog In the Night-time
The Girl on the Train
Dragonfly In Amber
The Narrow Road to the Deep North
The Golden House
The Bear and The Nightingale
Nineteen Eighty-Four
Ready Player One
The Trip of a Lifetime
The Light Between Oceans
A Long Way from Home