The Leaven of the Pharisees

Molly knows nothing about her late father's past but when she steps off the plane in Dublin Airport, she steps into another world---a world where children could be taken from parents and locked away by the State and the Catholic Church. Her journey to bury her father's ashes will take her far from her destination and force her to confront the legacy of his secrets, a legacy that has left her crippled.

The novel moves from the present day to the recent past, as Molly's quest is interwoven with the narratives of her father and his sister who went missing in the 1930's. Step by step through an intinerary designed by her late father, Molly uncovers the secrets kept by those who were put away in Ireland's industrial schools as part of a  misguided attempt by the Church and the State to reshape the Irish people into paragons of morality. In time, she will stumble on the truth about the Magdalene laundries and the women who were held without trial, virtual slaves of the nuns, as she searches for an answer to her aunt's mysterious disappearance.

 Based on survivor testimony and historical research, THE LEAVEN OF THE PHARISEES is a shocking account of real-life social engineering that took place behind the locked doors of industrial schools and Magdalene laundries. From modern day Dublin to the grinding poverty of the 1930's, the novel presents an image at once stark but filled with hope. Through a harrowing journey, Molly discovers within herself a core of strength, the same power that allowed her father to survive despite a stolen childhood.

An incredible tale that paints a starkly different picture of Ireland than anything to be found in a guide book, THE LEAVEN OF THE PHARISEES is available at Amazon,, or as a download in all digital formats at Smashwords.