Little Sister: A Memoir

December 11, 2019 - Comment

As seen in the New York Post! They promised her heaven, but there was no savior.Imagine an eighteen-year-old American girl who has never read a newspaper, watched television, or made a phone call. An eighteen-year-old-girl who has never danced—and this in the 1960s. It is in Cambridge, Massachusetts where Leonard Feeney, a controversial (soon to

As seen in the New York Post!

They promised her heaven, but there was no savior.

Imagine an eighteen-year-old American girl who has never read a newspaper, watched television, or made a phone call. An eighteen-year-old-girl who has never danced—and this in the 1960s.

It is in Cambridge, Massachusetts where Leonard Feeney, a controversial (soon to be excommunicated) Catholic priest, has founded a religious community called the Slaves of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. The Center’s members—many of them educated at Harvard and Radcliffe—surrender all earthly possessions and aspects of their life, including their children, to him. Patricia Chadwick was one of those children, and Little Sister is her account of growing up in the Feeney sect.

Separated from her parents and forbidden to speak to them, Patricia bristles against the community’s draconian rules, yearning for another life. When, at seventeen, she is banished from the Center, her home, she faces the world alone, without skills, family, or money but empowered with faith and a fierce determination to succeed on her own, which she does, rising eventually to the upper echelons of the world of finance and investing. 

A tale of resilience and grace, Little Sister chronicles, in riveting prose, a surreal childhood and does so without rancor or self-pity.

Comments

Anonymous says:

I could not put this book down! My copy of Little Sister: A Memoir arrived with the afternoon mail, and I put it aside to peruse after dinner. At the appointed hour, I settled in, thinking to read the prologue. I could not put this book down. I turned the last page at 3am, and resisted waking my wife to tell her about it until morning coffee time. Admittedly, I love to read. Yet I can count on one hand the times I have been compelled to read an entire book in one sitting.This is a book for reading once alone: it is…

Anonymous says:

Gripping and beautifully written memoir of growing up in a Catholic cult I greatly enjoyed Little Sister, a compelling memoir by Patricia Walsh Chadwick, published by Post Hill Press and distributed by Simon and Schuster.Patricia was born into a Catholic cult in Cambridge, Massachusetts: “The Slaves of the Immaculate Heart of Mary,” founded by Father Leonard Feeney, a kind of twentieth-century Savonarola, a Catholic priest who had a fanatic’s vision of an evil world in which the only path to true salvation was through a complete rejection of all worldly…

Anonymous says:

GRACE CANDOR FORGIVENESS AND OPTIMISM What a delightful read Little Sister was for me- devoured in two days. Detailed and nostalgic it was refreshing to read an adult’s memoir who CHOSE to see the glass half full- who CHOSE to focus on the positive and all she’d been given as opposed to what she had lost out on.It’s hard to say too much without revealing the ending. All too often we play the blame game in all that has happened in our past. What a welcome change to read of a woman who overcame her challenges and far…

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