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Unforgivable by [Robards, Sharon]
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Unforgivable Kindle Edition

4.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Length: 242 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Page Flip: Enabled Language: English

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Product Description

From the bestselling author of A Woman Transported.

Unforgivable is the story of a teenage girl and a young nun caught up in the great religious and social upheaval brought on by Vatican II, and a thriving adoption industry driven by society’s fierce disapproval of unmarried mothers.

Seventeen-year-old Sylvia, like many unmarried teenage mothers across Australia in 1966, is forced to wait for the birth of her child in one of the homes and hospitals run by the Catholic Church. St Joseph’s Hospital, managed by the Sisters of St Anthony, has never had a girl walk out the front gate without first leaving behind her baby. But the sisters had never met Sylvia, defiant and headstrong and determined to keep her child.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 721 KB
  • Print Length: 242 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Sold by: Amazon Australia Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00GV1LA1A
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #185,245 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)

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Format: Kindle Edition
Set in 1960s Sydney, Unforgivable tells the story of seventeen-year old pregnant and unmarried Sylvia, who is sent by her parents to St Joseph’s Hospital, a Catholic Church-run institution catering to unmarried mothers, to await the birth of her baby.

When Sister Bernard immediately demands that Sylvia sign the adoption papers, Sylvia is equally determined she won’t. She loves her boyfriend, Tommy, who has promised to stand by her, and wants to keep her baby. Very quickly though, Sylvia finds herself a virtual prisoner at St. Joseph’s and realises she must fight to stand her ground, not to mention her battle against the stigma, shame and secrecy of being pregnant and unmarried in 1966 in Australia.

Besides Sylvia, the other two main characters are excellently drawn: Kim, who befriends Sylvia, and whose present day perspective, after she gave up her baby, is also cleverly woven into the story. Sister Gregory is an empathetic nun who often struggles with both the Catholic doctrine and her vocation.

Unforgivable truly brings to light the plight of unmarried mothers and adoption issues during that time, and we realise how much things have changed since. It also raises issues about national conscription and the Vietnam War and the changes brought to the Catholic Church by Vatican II. Sydney in the sixties is excellently evoked through the author’s use of celebrities, events and fashions of the day.

I felt the ending was a bit abrupt, and would have liked more information on Sylvia's later life and what happened to Sister Gregory. However, all in all, Unforgivable was a poignant, authentic and compelling read; a powerful story about unforgivable decisions and acts upon the innocent––young mothers being forced to give up their babies and go back to the real world and carry on as if nothing had happened. Highly recommended.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program) 4.3 out of 5 stars 9 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars UNFORGIVABLE by Sharon Robards is quite Un-put-downable and Unforgettable 19 December 2013
By Jools - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Read from December 12 to 14, 2013

*This review may contain spoilers*

UNFORGIVABLE by Sharon Robards is quite Un-put-downable and Unforgettable!

The story takes place in Australia in the mid 1960’s when unwed mothers were still very much looked upon with much shame and disgrace, a shame which somehow often didn’t extend to include the role of the father in question, nor smear his name.
It was a time when unmarried pregnant girls would find themselves quickly and quietly packed off to a place where they would be kept closeted until their baby arrived and then immediately and without further ado, the baby would be signed over to new, waiting adoption was deemed the preferred and expected means of permanently dealing with the ‘problem’ by erasing all indications that it ever happened at all.
It was, for all intents, a wholesale baby marketing exercise which greatly benefited the institution under the seemingly benevolent guise of giving infertile couples the chance to have a newborn baby, and.....”No-one need ever know”. So that the young girl who just gave birth could walk away with empty arms and so, without the obvious stigma of her sins, forget it ever happened and go on to lead a normal life... that was a part of the sales pitch. How ironic that the Church should accuse these naive young girls of having low moral standards and brand them sinners in the eyes of God.

This is the story of Sylvia, a teenage girl who fell head over heels in love with her lifelong friend and then, due [largely] to her teenage naive innocence.... fell pregnant to him.

To save face and avoid the consequences of raising a child out of wedlock, Sylvia is convinced to pack her bags and travel with her mother to a Catholic run home for unwed mothers where she has been booked to stay for the duration of her pregnancy and until her baby is delivered, at which time she believes she and her newborn will return home to be raised with the help of her mother until she and her boyfriend can be married as they had planned.....

Unbeknownst to Sylvia, upon her admission at the Catholic home she will be incessantly exhorted to sign forms relinquishing all contact or claims to her baby from the moment of its birth, and at which point the baby will be taken from her and handed over to the new parents who have often already made very generous promissory donations to the Catholic church and its affiliates to secure the adoption.
The story revolves around the enormous struggles, both physical and emotional, which Sylvia endures from all angles during the period of her stay at the home, where she unwittingly encounters the many unforeseen and unimaginable ‘conditions’ surrounding her predicament, which will test her and some of her mentors to the very limits of their sanity and faith.

This story will pull at your heartstrings not just for Sylvia’s plight, but for all the very real mothers she represents during that time....and their babies, who as adults now seek to acknowledge their birth mothers and to be acknowledged in return.

Kudos to the author Sharon Robards for her in-depth research into the workings of the institutions at that time and their rigid dogmas which were very often misinterpreted by their very representatives to a point which raised questions of their own ethical and moral standards, scarring their reputation immeasurably.

Highly recommended.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Forced Adoption 8 March 2014
By carolynfromoz - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
In 1966 when 17 year old Sylvia finds herself pregnant to her boyfriend Tommy her mother spirits her away to a hospital run by the Catholic church where she is to wait out her time until her baby is born. She is locked in and not allowed to see Tommy, who has promised to stand by her and provide for the baby that she so desperately wants to keep. The nuns believe the best thing for the girls is for them to give up their babies for adoption and forget all about them and try to coerce Sylvia into signing adoption papers for her baby. However, this is also a time of great change for the Catholic church with the many modernising reforms announced under Vatican II, and one nun, Sister Gregory has started to question her role in the Church. As she becomes close to Sylvia she also questions whether they are in fact doing what is best for the mothers and babies.

This a thoughtful, insightful novel of a difficult time for unmarried mothers in our society. The characters of Sylvia and Kim, the friend she makes at the hospital, and Sister Gregory are well drawn and the limited choices for women in those days clearly shown.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Catholic Nuns have a lot to answer for! 14 January 2014
By Jilly - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I am never surprised by the Catholic Priest's, Brothers or Nuns, their evil endangerment and handling in many situations was nothing short of the ultimate betrayal. How they could even sleep at night or pray to their God is way beyond my understanding. The heartbreak inflicted on all of those UN Wed Mothers to carry for the rest of their lives MUST BE UNBEARABLE!!!! The not ever knowing and the children that could never forgive them is so very, very, tragic. I can only hope you can find some inner peace somewhere, somehow, before your time on this earth ends. I wish all of you much love and kindness. A wonderfully written book.
4.0 out of 5 stars Thought-provoking 27 January 2017
By Andrea R - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A thought-provoking, convincingly authentic story of unmarried mothers being forced to relinquish their babies for adoption in late 1960s Australia.
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars 16 March 2016
By Peter Kininmonth - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I enjoyed reading this book, but would have liked to include how Sylvia fared the same as Kim