Forced by their families to the harsh life of servitude and abuse at a Magdalen Laundry in 1962 Dublin, three young women must fight to break free from their dull, exhausting lives while insanity and death lurk nearby. V.S. Alexander's historical fiction debut is a masterfully written novel of life within 20th century Ireland's notorious institutions-and an inspiring story of friendship, hope,
V.S. Alexander is an ardent student of history with a strong interest in music and the visual arts. Some of V.S.'s writing influences include Shirley Jackson, Oscar Wilde, Daphne du Maurier, or any work by the exquisite BrontU sisters. V.S. lives in Florida and is at work on a second historical novel for Kensington.
Praise for THE MAGDALEN GIRLS by V.S. Alexander
"Filled with authentic details . . . Alexander methodically builds the details of the dreary and demanding existence that has become daily life for these girls who had dreams and ambitions like other 16-year-olds. As the girls' friendship progresses and their desperation to escape grows, the story quickens, racing toward an ending that is both incredibly sad and hopeful. Because the novel is historically accurate (the last Magdalen laundry closed in 1996), the events depicted are particularly distressing, forcing readers to be engrossed and horrified by what the Catholic Church and other secular and religious entities did to rehabilitate "fallen" women, who needed the grace of God to be saved from their sinful lives, no matter how true or untrue." --ShelfAwareness "Showcasing hard-won victories and a terrible tragedy, this novel shines a light on a dark period in twentieth-century Ireland. Alexander has done his homework, peppering his novel with details of the convent lifestyle and the shameful treatment of the Magdalen laundry girls. Fans of Barbara Davis and Ashley Hay will enjoy this tenderhearted story of sinners, saints, and redemption." --Booklist "Using the pen name Alexander, author Michael Meeske has clearly done his homework. Chilling in its realism, his work depicts the improprieties long abandoned by the Catholic Church and only recently acknowledged. Fans of the book and film Philomena will want to read this." --Library Journal "Set in early 1960s Dublin, Alexander's first novel chronicles the lives of three teenagers who are sent to live indefinitely as penitents under the watch of occasionally sadistic Catholic Nuns . . . The Magdalen laundries where Teagan works were infamous for their severe conditions and the inhuman way their girls were treated." --Publishers Weekly "Powerful writing . . . a fine tribute." --SCENE Magazine (Florida) "A haunting novel that takes the reader into the cruel world of Ireland's Magdalene laundries and shines a light on yet another notorious institution that somehow survived into the late twentieth century. A real page-turner!" --Ellen Marie Wiseman, author of What She Left Behind "I was completely moved by this historically-accurate, vivid accounting of one of the most troublesome aspects of the Catholic Church; yet ultimately, it's a story of friendship, hope, and courage." --Leslie Lindsay, Reviewer and Blogger, Goodreads "The author has a magnificent eye for detail. He draws so vividly the laundry in operation, the girls' living quarters and garments, the architecture of the convent and adjacent orphanage, the family dwellings and the physical characteristics of the ample and fascinating cast of characters" --Florida Weekly "Alexander's research of the treatment within the convent is clear and true; the girls suffer, and suffer in silence. Their personal narratives are told through wonderful prose" --Historical Novels Society "This is a tale of friendship, bravery, faith and forgiveness that transcends many of the books written on the subject." --RT Book Reviews "It's exciting to see this (subject) being tackled in this new release." --CulturedViltures.com, "6 Biggest Books of December"