I Would Like to Have Been a Nun
This is the story of my mother, Isabel Cecily O’Regan, and my father, William Patrick Dowling, and their families’ histories in New Zealand.
It is based on the diaries we kept in the last few years of Isabel’s life when we were determined to give her a happy death by removing the terror of hell which at times destroyed her sanity. It’s the story of women’s health, particularly mental health, the power of the clergy, and the lottery that is care of the elderly and infirm today.
One critic said:
“It’s a pity that this book was not written fifty years ago. The author depicts the ‘virgin/mother’ image … promulgated by the Catholic Church with skill and a deep awareness of what that image did for generations of women … Multiple pregnancies and a life of service to a Church that didn’t care, eventually led to … severe mental illness. Yet the love and care shown by the author and her siblings bear witness to the strength and endurance of the mother. The book resonates with this love – and humour too; there are laugh out loud bits. It’s simply a very good read.”
Published by Mòr Media with cover by Helen Crossan