Best Book Publishers UK | Austin Macauley Publishers

By: Lil Fowler

An Irish Orphan in Africa

Pages: 230 Ratings: 5.0
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The fortitude of women is measured in many ways.

When Brigid is orphaned at the age of six in 1937, she is separated from her three elder brothers. She finds solace in books while living with an elderly spinster aunt and her younger brother in the country.

With her vivid imagination she dreams of travelling to faraway countries. After a strict Catholic upbringing and boarding school in a convent, she leaves Ireland at the age of 21 to follow her dreams. The British Foreign Office sends her to Libya as a radiographer for two years. It is there her love of the dark continent is ignited and three years later she arrives in Malawi to work in Lilongwe. She meets her Catholic South African husband in the first two weeks, marrying him after eight months.

Over the next 13 years, she endures constant control and abuse while trying to raise five children with no family or emotional support. The family eventually returns to Ireland in 1973, travelling by car and caravan for three and a half months through Africa, Asia and Europe. After a year of increasing control and entrapment she finally escapes with her five children, aided by her two eldest brothers. She never sees her husband again, as he departs the country leaving her penniless and a single mother of five young children.

She survived and now lives peacefully in Dublin on her own enjoying bridge and hearing from her children and 14 grandchildren.

Lesley was born in 1961 in Lilongwe, Malawi, the eldest of five children to a South African father and an Irish mother. She left Africa with her family in 1973 and spent the next sixteen years in Dublin, eventually qualifying as a registered nurse. From 1982 she travelled extensively, working in London, USA and Saudi Arabia before settling in Melbourne, Australia in 1989. She met her husband in 1994 and has been married for 25 years with three children in their 20’s. They moved to Perth in 2007 and she is happily settled there playing tennis, nursing, painting and travelling.

She has always enjoyed writing and decided to write her mother’s story in lockdown. This is her first book.

Customer Reviews
4 reviews
4 reviews
  • Gina Gleeson

    Loved this book. A moving story of high & low times, with different eras on different continents, brought to life, with familial love at the very heart of life.

  • Mike Nourse

    Well written an interesting story about a very strong woman who put her children first above all else very courageous and adventurous woman really enjoyed the book

  • Becci

    I absolutely loved this book. I binge-read it over a weekend and couldn’t put it down. Having been to Africa several times and having many friends from Africa, the scene painted and the description of the characters really resonated with me. I was disappointed when the pages finished. What a wonderful story of strength, countries, and love.

  • Gillian Duffitt

    I absolutely loved reading this beautifully written insight into the life of a fearless, courageous intelligent loving woman. Brigid's life challenges started at the age of 6 and her strength of character became apparent from a very young age and remains with her right throughout her whole life—an independent selfless woman who put the love of her children above all else. The descriptive writing of Lil Fowler transports you into the story and all the places Brigid visits throughout her adventurous life. A page-turner from start to finish.

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