> Skip to content
  • Published: 31 May 2022
  • ISBN: 9781761045011
  • Imprint: Random House Australia
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 352

The Making of Her




The Making of Her is a page-turning mother-daughter love story, spanning the 1960s to 1990s, charting one woman’s journey to escape the legacy of the society that shaped her.

‘An absorbing, brilliantly paced book; I didn't want it to end.' Roddy Doyle

People were forever telling her how lucky she was. But what did people know?’

Dublin 1966. When Joan Quinn, a factory girl from the Cranmore Estate, marries Martin Egan, it looks like her dreams have come true. But all is not as it seems.

Joan lives in the shadow of a secret – the couple’s decision to give up their first daughter for adoption only months before.

For the next three decades, Joan’s marriage and her relationship with her second child Carmel suffer as a consequence.

Then one day in 1996, a letter arrives from their eldest daughter. Emma needs her birth parents’ help; it’s a matter of life and death. And the fragile facade of Joan’s life finally begins to crack.


'The Making of Her sucked me in from the very first page, and didn’t let up until I’d turned the last. Heart-warming and heart-breaking, it is an exquisite examination of the secrets that haunt us. I cried several times. A stunning debut.' Sally Hepworth

‘Bernadette Jiwa writes with compassion and grace about what it means to be a mother, a daughter and a sister.’ Pip Williams

'A beautifully crafted, thought-provoking novel that ultimately celebrates the strength of women. A true pleasure to read.' Ashley Audrain

  • Published: 31 May 2022
  • ISBN: 9781761045011
  • Imprint: Random House Australia
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 352

About the author

Bernadette Jiwa

Bernadette Jiwa was born into a house with no books and a home full of stories, in Dublin, Ireland. She migrated to the UK in the 1980s, raised three sons with her husband, and now lives in Melbourne, Australia. She is the creator and leader of The Story Skills Workshop — a program that has taught thousands of people to harness the power of their everyday stories. The Making of Her is her first novel.

Praise for The Making of Her

An absorbing, brilliantly paced book; I didn't want it to end.

Roddy Doyle

The Making of Her sucked me in from the very first page, and didn’t let up until I’d turned the last. Heart-warming and heart-breaking, it is an exquisite examination of the secrets that haunt us. I cried several times. A stunning debut.

Sally Hepworth, author of The Younger Wife and The Good Sister

Bernadette Jiwa writes with compassion and grace about what it means to be a mother, a daughter and a sister.

Pip Williams, author of The Dictionary of Lost Words

Oh how I love this novel! Once I started reading I never looked away, except when my eyes filled with tears... A beautiful tribute to what our lives can become when shame is forgotten, and love is reclaimed.

Nina de Gramont, author of The Christie Affair

A compelling and tender exploration of the unattainable expectations of women, the shame and guilt inherent in motherhood, and the reverberations of the hardest choices we make. Jiwa gives us a beautifully crafted, thought-provoking novel that ultimately celebrates the strength of women. A true pleasure to read.

Ashley Audrain, NYT bestselling author of The Push

Discover more

Article
The Making of Her book club notes

An absorbing story to discuss with your book club.

Related titles