How bad does it have to be for a mother to leave? It would have been easy to say that Kay O’Gorman just continued the cycle of her own neglect and abandonment, but she thought that too easy an excuse. It would have been easy to place the blame on her own traumatic childhood, on the early death of her mother, on her domineering but charismatic father. To escape this background, she married early but, like many such marriages, it was not a happy union. She hoped that children would change things, but they did not. Her circumstances grew ever more desperate. Kay fled. She formed a new relationship, but her sense of guilt at having abandoned her children oppressed her to the point that she herself developed problems with alcohol. It took a long time, but finally she sorted out her life. In ‘Where’s Your Mama Gone’? she writes with unflinching truth about her past and the motivations for her actions. It recalls an Ireland of casual cruelty, all-powerful authority figures, sexual ignorance and non-existent choice.
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