book cover of The Making of Her
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The Making of Her

(2022)
A novel by

 
 
An unforgettable debut novel about family secrets, falling apart, and coming together.

Dublin 1996. Joan Egan lives an enviable life. She and her husband, Martin, and daughter, Carmel, are thriving in Dublin at the dawn of an economic boom. But everything changes when Joan receives a letter from Emma, the daughter who she and Martin gave up for adoption thirty years before, asking for a life-or-death favor.
 
While Joan grapples with the guilt over giving up her baby long ago, she must confront her present as the cracks in her marriage become impossible to ignore and simmering tension with Carmel boils over. Meanwhile, Carmel and Emma must come to terms with the perceived sins of their mother, to imagine a future for their family before it is too late.
 
Spanning the nineties and the sixties, with Dublin as its backdrop,
The Making of Her is the tender and page-turning story of marriage, motherhood, a culture that would not allow a woman to find true happiness—and her journey to finally claim it.

Genre: Literary Fiction

Praise for this book

"The Making of Her is a compelling and tender exploration of the unattainable expectations of women, the shame and guilt inherent in motherhood, and the reverberations of the hardest choices we make. Jiwa gives us a beautifully crafted, thought-provoking novel that ultimately celebrates the strength of women. A true pleasure to read." - Ashley Audrain

"Bernadette Jiwa's moving fiction debut, The Making of Her, explores the impact of secrets, the magnitude of our choices, and the tenuous binds of family. Set in Dublin and shifting between past and present, this deeply evocative novel is a masterful study into what it really means to love, and to forgive. The Making of Her is ultimately a story about the plight and power of women, and is not to be missed." - Karma Brown

"An absorbing, brilliantly paced book; I didn't want it to end." - Roddy Doyle

"Oh how I love this novel! Once I started reading I never looked away, except when my eyes filled with tears. The Making of Her renders its characters so perfectly, and with so much compassion, they feel like dear friends after only a few chapters. Bernadette Jiwa has written a beautiful tribute to what our lives can become when shame is forgotten, and love is reclaimed." - Nina de Gramont

"The Making of Her sucked me in from the very first page, and didn't let up until I'd turned the last. Heartwarming and heartbreaking, it is an exquisite examination of the secrets that haunt us. I cried several times. A stunning debut." - Sally Hepworth

"Bernadette Jiwa writes with compassion and grace about what it means to be a mother, a daughter, and a sister." - Pip Williams


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