According to the Old Celtic legend, the Banshee comes calling when a family member leaves for the Otherworld. Why is the Banshee lurking outside Arlene’s window at the same time as sickly Liam – one of the children from the Mother and Baby Home – mysteriously stops coming to school?
The Silent Children is a dark and gritty fictional suspense novel based on the horrific true events surrounding mother and baby homes in Ireland, as late as the 1970s, where unwed mothers and their children were segregated in deplorable conditions that caused many deaths, which were discretely covered up.
On 5-year-old Arlene´s first day in primary school, she sees the Home Babies filing in through a different door than the one she and the other children use. They sit on the bad side, the part of the class for the poor children, while she and the Bishop´s niece and the other well-off children sit on the good side. Arlene is instructed by her mother not to go near the Home Babies but to become pals with the Bishop´s niece. She tried but because her impulsive personality is considered “bold” by the nun, so she spends most of the time castigated on the bad side. There Arlene notices two Home Babies, Brigit and Liam, and feels a “grá” towards them.
While on the bad side, she also becomes friends with Úna and Kait, who introduce her to Celtic lore and traditions. Their nannas teach her about The Banshee, who keens when a loved one leaves for the Otherworld.
When Arlene hears the Banshee at night, lurking just outside her bedroom window, will Arlene be able to figure out who the ghastly apparition is really looking for…?Leaving Childhood Behind
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