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Literature Analysis

BOOK REVIEW: The Unforeseen Warrior Woman: An Unexpected Story

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A new book exploring hardships faced by women 70 years after the arrival of the first convicts is both shocking and inspiring, writes Stacey Eliopoulos.

THREE GENERATIONS of women show remarkable courage and strength in this non-fiction work set in country NSW. The NSW Police, the Catholic Church and the local council of Mudgee are all implicated in this shocking story about a wealthy and powerful family who still reside in the region and the terrible crimes they inflicted on her family.  

Author Pauline Doherty shares her submission to the Royal Commission into Institutional Sexual Abuse which documents the abhorrent rape of her grandmother by her employer. The rape and the subsequent birth of her mother, which was whispered about in this small community, highlights the disparity of justice between the rich and poor at that time in Australia. This book has lots of shocks that will make you question why the Lonergan family were never held to account for any of the crimes they committed.  

The injustices do not end there though, as Pauline documents corruption in the NSW Police Force, NSW Government, the local council at Mudgee and even by a local solicitor. She has been driven from her home, had her water rights fraudulently sold off and the authorities and institutions who could have provided support and assistance did nothing. At the heart of every difficulty her family has faced remains the powerful family who went to great lengths to hide the fact she was one of their own. The resilience, courage and strength in the face of adversity by these women is displayed in every page and is inspiring.  

This book will leave you wondering why a royal commission into water rights theft has not been held and questioning how deep the corruption is in the Mudgee Shire Council. 

‘The Unforeseen Warrior Woman: An Unexpected Story’ is available from Collins for $20 (paperback) RRP.

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