Rock Me Gently: A True Story of a Convent Childhood

Rock Me Gently: A True Story of a Convent Childhood

Judith Kelly

Language: English

Pages: 288

ISBN: 0747587140

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

In the 1950s, shortly after her father's death, Judith Kelly was left in the care of nuns at a Catholic orphanage while her mother searched for a place for them to live. She was eight years old. Far from being cared for, Judith found herself in a savage and terrifying institution where physical, emotional, and sexual abuse was the daily norm and the children's lives were reduced to stark survival. As the months became years and no word came from her mother, she sought comfort instead from the girls around her, and especially the bright, angel-voiced Frances, who seemed miraculously untouched by the nuns' persecution and the abject misery surrounding her. When a tragic accident robbed Judith of her dearest friend, the traumatic memories of the event were to trouble her deeply, long into her adult life. Years later, at a kibbutz in Israel, Judith met and befriended an elderly Holocaust survivor. It was a friendship that began with an instinctive recognition of the fear and suffering each had experienced, and one that would begin an emotional journey culminating in Judith's return to the Nazareth House orphanage to confront her memories and to achieve some measure of peace.
Updated and revised by the author to confront her critics, this astonishing, moving, and deeply shocking memoir resonates in the mind long after the final page.

The Horror... The Horror: An Autobiography

A Rift in Time: Travels with My Ottoman Uncle

Elizabeth and Mary: Cousins, Rivals, Queens

Hitting Back: The Autobiography

First They Killed My Father: A Daughter of Cambodia Remembers

Al Capp: A Life to the Contrary





















of which makes for our own individual truth. Therefore, two children witnessing the same event are bound to remember it differently. And who could condemn any of our stories? As to the accusations that I have taken characterisations and scenarios from other books: I received written permission from each person in the convent and the kibbutz chapters and they will vouch that I have truthfully represented their personalities and the circumstances of each setting. My account of my days at Nazareth

long time.’ ‘Is there a taxi I could hire?’ ‘Taxi? No.’ ‘Then how am I to get there?’ ‘You will have to wait for the evening bus.’ ‘I can’t wait,’ I said in exasperation. ‘I’m two days late already.’ He stared at me with dreamy curiosity. I had been told that Israelis were friendly people, but this man, while not exactly hostile, was not giving me the reaction I needed. He had looked at me a little strangely when I told him where I was going. Perhaps that was it. I hardly seemed the type to

‘I don’t think so,’ I said. ‘What was he?’ she asked after a pause. ‘My mum told me that he was ...’ Throwing my fist in the air and extending one finger after another, I counted, ‘A journalist, an aircraft fitter, a pub-owner, a gambler, a Catholic, a drinker, a story-teller, something in a factory, a football pools agent ...’ ‘And now a corpse!’ A coughball of laughter rattled in Ruth’s throat. ‘The aircraft fitter sounds good.’ Speaking of Dad made my thoughts skitter back to Mum. I had

the end of the pool which I could not see. I thought from the way they were huddled together and the looks on their faces that they must have been watching Avatel and her boyfriend kissing. Slight relief slumped through me - and then I realised that I couldn’t see the fifth child, a girl called Danah. I gripped the wire fence. ‘Avatel!’ I had to call twice before she knew where my voice was coming from. ‘Avatel! Where’s Danah?’ She jumped up from beneath the tree where she and Ben had been

her, I thought. I tried placing my hands around my neck and squeezing hard. Really hard. It didn’t work. So I tried to end it with sleep, black deep sleep, if only for an hour, and lay shuddering by dawn’s blue light until fatigue and fear, hunger and shame, wore me out and closed my eyes. When I did fall asleep, my dreams were desperate. A black sky and galloping waves, like wild ponies tossing their tumbling manes, hurtling along the beach. I awoke trembling, damp with sweat. The salt smell of

Download sample


Comments are closed.