Penance Theresa Talbot

41m2PXVMKtL._SX315_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg Pub: Strident Publishing

Oonagh O Neil has a challenge on her hands – and her head over a toilet bowl. TV journalist and media darling Oonagh O Neil faces danger and chaos when an elderly priest dies on the altar of his Glasgow church. His death comes as she is about to expose the shocking truth behind the closure of a Magdalene Institution. The Church has already tried to suppress the story. Is someone also covering their tracks? DI Alec Davies is appointed to investigate the priest s death. He and Oonagh go way back. But their friendship counts for nothing when Davies suspicions falls on Oonagh s married lover. Oonagh now faces the biggest decision of her life. But will it be hers to make? What secrets lie behind the derelict Institution s doors? What sparked the infamous three-day riot that closed it? And what happened to the three Maggies who vowed to stay friends forever? From Ireland to Scotland. From life to death.


If this was a one word review it would be ….Harrowing.

When Father Kennedy drops dead at the alter during Mass, Oonagh O’Neil finds herself in danger, ready to expose a shocking story and uncover secrets that will rock the Catholic Church to the core.

Father Thomas Findlays life is not that Holy, His faith is rocked by his own personal problems, but nothing can prepare him for what Oonagh finds.

Reading about the poor girls plight at the hands of the Magdelene Sisters is shocking and the fact that this has happened just about 50 years ago is just unimaginable.

Penance is an remarkable read, a deadly combination of fact and fiction gives this novel an edge that you you don’t normally find with Authors debuts.  Theresa Talbot writes with emotion, it has suspense, heartbreak and the descriptions of the nuns excuses of what happened ‘was the will of God’ makes it barbaric and astonishingly cruel.

My heart broke for Irene, her sorrowful tale is wretched,  her life deemed meaningless by those who should care is painful to read.

There is no happy ending with this novel except to say that the Magdalene institutions are no longer. The tragedy is that the girls who endured this savagery are still alive living with their demons.



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