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June 30 , 2008

One Link in the Chain


In 1940s Australia, being an unmarried mother is almost criminal.

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Born the product of a brutal rape in a time when illegitimacy is a sin, Margaret Weise tells a story of heartbreak and victimization, of battling for survival.

What else could I do except to keep on living? I couldn’t simply shrivel up and die because I had been raped and had borne a child. What alternative did I have but to go on as best I could? Yet there were people who looked at me as though I should have ceased to exist…

One Link in the Chain is a thought-provoking read; a family saga that demonstrates how lives can be changed in an instant. It is the story of Margaret’s mother, Heather, of how, from the time she was raped, the Catholic Church and society in general treated her as an outcast, something less than human.

After surviving childbirth at the hands of a malicious Catholic midwife, Heather raises her daughter under her parents’ protective roof in an era when unwed mothers are ostracized and scorned.

This is the recollection of Heather’s struggles and small triumphs along the way, as told to her daughter, Margaret, who, in turn, suffered the contempt of others because she was born a bastard.

A captivating and direct account of how past experiences influence our lives today, One Link in the Chain is an accomplished work that reflects on life, heartbreak, and the intensity of mother-daughter relationships.

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