Maureen Coppinger's earliest memory is of watching the woman she believed to be her mother walk away and abandon her to the care of the nuns at one of Ireland's notorious industrial schools. She was just three years old. She remained in the orphanage until the age of 16, subjected to cruelty and neglect, and starved of love and affection. One of her closest friends was taken away to an asylum after her spirit was broken by repeated beatings, and Maureen herself faced a constant battle against despair. It was an environment from which no one emerged unscathed. Throughout these tormented years, Maureen dreamed only of escape, and when she was contacted again by her mammy she believed all her dreams were about to come true. Life in the outside world brought its own challenges, however, and Maureen was thrown into turmoil when she discovered that the truth about her past was more murky than she had ever realised. Annie's Girl stands apart as a poignant testimony to the resilience of the human heart. This touching and evocative memoir is the incredible story of an illegitimate industrial-school survivor's profound struggle to overcome a shame-filled past and solve the mystery of her origins.

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