The Whipping Club: A Novel [NOOK Book]

Overview

The Whipping Club explores the sacrificial secrets we keep to protect our loved ones and the impact that uncovered secrets have on marriage, family and society. Both a wrenching family drama and a harrowing suspense story, it chronicles an interfaith couple's attempt in 1960's Ireland to save their son from corrupt institutions. "A powerful saga of love and survival." ?Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
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The Whipping Club: A Novel

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Overview

The Whipping Club explores the sacrificial secrets we keep to protect our loved ones and the impact that uncovered secrets have on marriage, family and society. Both a wrenching family drama and a harrowing suspense story, it chronicles an interfaith couple's attempt in 1960's Ireland to save their son from corrupt institutions. "A powerful saga of love and survival." —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
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Editorial Reviews

Caroline Leavitt
Harrowing, haunting, and brilliantly written, Henry’s stunner of a novel is about secrets, so-called sins, and the way even the deepest scars can begin to heal. So breathtakingly good it seems burned into your heart.
Robert Olen Butler
Deborah Henry is a natural storyteller and she is far more. Her novel The Whipping Club is a compelling read, but it also seriously explores the terrible ways the world—as a society, as individuals—often fails its children. Most importantly, her book offers a searingly lovely vision of how wrongs can be made right. Deborah Henry is a splendid young novelist who deserves a wide audience.
Jacquelyn Mitchard
An intimate, assured first novel, the story of Marian McKeever and her child hidden by cruelty and custom. It rings with the authenticity of shame and courage. You can put it down but you will not forget it.
Dawn Tripp
Exquisitely written, unflinching and spare, The Whipping Club is the haunting portrait of a family that challenges a system whose chilling atrocities toward children are at once beyond comprehension and altogether real. Deborah Henry is a gifted storyteller. The steely realism of her prose, her fiercely drawn characters and startling plot twists make The Whipping Club one of those rare novels that linger in the mind long after the last page is turned.
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Product Details

  • BN ID: 2940013996557
  • Publisher: T. S. Poetry Press
  • Publication date: 2/22/2012
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 312
  • Sales rank: 111,775
  • File size: 317 KB

Meet the Author

DEBORAH HENRY’S first short story was published by 'The Copperfield Review,' was a historical fiction finalist for 'Solander Magazine' of The Historical Novel Society and was longlisted in the 2009/10 Fish Short Story Prize. 'The Whipping Club' is her first novel. She lives in Fairfield, Connecticut with her husband and their three children. She is currently at work on her next book. Visit her at deborahhenryauthor.com
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 11 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(8)

4 Star

(2)

3 Star

(1)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

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Sort by: Showing all of 11 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 30, 2012

    Blew Me Away!

    I finished The Whipping Club nearly a month ago, but I get choked up right now just thinking about the book, unable to forget it. The characters are fictional, but I still see their faces, feel their pain and, most important, continue to be inspired by their courage. Henry’s writing, compassion and characters blew me away. As an advocate for divorce reform, I understand some of the unnecessary harm suffered by our nation’s children, including some of the many ways our society fails them. Deborah Henry, too, understands the way our society can fail its children and our families. Loss, love and redemption, Henry understands them all, translates them to the page, speaking from a place inside the deepest heart of a parent.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 28, 2012

    Awesome Book

    Having spent 12 years in a private catholic school system I could relate to the odd thinking and practices of the religion. Loved the book!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 12, 2012

    Couldn't put the book down after I started reading it. Honestly

    Couldn't put the book down after I started reading it. Honestly one of the best books I have read all Summer. Found out about the book from Oprah's Magazine in her July Summer reading list. This book kept me engaged and constantly wanting to know what happened next with each turn of the page.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 29, 2012

    A magnificent period piece that's relevance is, sadly, timeless.

    To say I enjoyed The Whipping Club feels odd, but I did. It is a brutal tale, expertly crafted, that I'd recommend as reading to anyone needing to be reminded that blindly following societal, religious, and even family laws/rules/norms isn't always advisable. How often do we compartmentalize deep feelings of guilt, shame, and the knowing of wrongs in order to go about living what authority figures would have us believe is the righteous path? Then as now, I fear the answer is far too often.

    Much of this book paints the human condition darkly. It won't be an easy read for just anyone, nor should it be. What the story deals with would be easy to dismiss as the going-ons of a bygone era, and while I'm confident much progress has been made since the 1960s, for me, Henry put me at unease with what I am currently okay with. How much of what happens in the world, near and far, am I only pretending doesn't exist?

    Should you choose to give The Whipping Club a read, I suspect there will be times you absolutely hate the main characters for their inaction and seeming complacency. Then, like me, you may find a bit of yourself in each of them, and as things progress for the better perhaps we can finish the book having become more aware of where our own ideologies are flawed.

    I look forward to seeing what Henry puts her talents against next.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 28, 2012

    A magnificent period piece, its relevance is, sadly, timeless.

    A magnificent period piece, its relevance is, sadly, timeless.

    To say I enjoyed The Whipping Club feels odd, but I did. It is a brutal tale, expertly crafted, that I'd recommend as reading to anyone needing to be reminded that blindly following societal, religious, and even family laws/rules/norms isn't always advisable. How often do we compartmentalize deep feelings of guilt, shame, and the knowing of wrongs in order to go about living what authority figures would have us believe is the righteous path? Then as now, I fear the answer is far too often.

    Much of this book paints the human condition darkly. It won't be an easy read for just anyone, nor should it be. What the story deals with would be easy to dismiss as the going-ons of a bygone era, and while I'm confident much progress has been made since the 1960s, for me, Henry put me at unease with what I am currently okay with. How much of what happens in the world, near and far, am I only pretending doesn't exist?

    Should you choose to give The Whipping Club a read, I suspect there will be times you absolutely hate the main characters for their inaction and seeming complacency. Then, like me, you may find a bit of yourself in each of them, and as things progress for the better perhaps we can finish the book having become more aware of where our own ideologies are flawed.

    I look forward to seeing what Henry puts her talents against next.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 10, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    "A SACRIFICE FOR LOVE IN ONE WOMAN'S BRAVE CHALLENGE AGAINS

    "A SACRIFICE FOR LOVE IN ONE WOMAN'S BRAVE CHALLENGE AGAINST SOCIETY!"

    Inspired to examine the territory of interfaith marriage, along with curiosity of her own Jewish-Irish heritage, Deborah Henry created an unforgettable and terrifying journey through the eyes of one family in this incredible story that will leave an aftermath, long after the book is closed. One woman, who is against all odds, confronts the truth to bring home her child in this powerfully-moving story, made for the Movie screen! Marian is a Catholic woman in love with Ben, who is a Jewish man. They get married, and have a daughter. Prior to their marriage, what dark secret did Marian hide from Ben, and why? How did Ben's parents react to his marriage to Marian? Where did Marian bring Adrian, and who told her that Adrian was being mistreated? I highly recommend this compelling novel to all literary fiction lovers, who enjoy historical stories that are chilling, intriguing, and inspiring. The author takes the reader on an emotional roller-coaster ride through the life of one family in Ireland, set in the nineteen-sixties. A story of compassion, redemption, and authority gone mad. Did Adrian live in an orphanage, or an institution? Was he in prison for no crime, and was he suffering? Who was responsible for abuse and cruelty, did Adrian escape, and will the trauma ever be forgotten? Deborah Henry penned a story that so many can relate to, one that will make you smile, and cry. A suspenseful story of love, loss, and triumph! "THE WHIPPING CLUB" is as brilliant as THE MAGDALENE SISTERS, as shocking as SUFFER THE LITTLE CHILDREN, and as heart-wrenching as THE GOD SQUAD.

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  • Posted March 5, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    An Interesting Read

    From the book:

    Deborah Henry's new historical novel, THE WHIPPING CLUB (T.S Poetry Press, March 2012, available in print and e-book formats) is a literary page-turner and a tale of redemption, set against the backdrop of violence and deeply entrenched prejudice in 1960s Ireland as told through the heartrending experience of one inter-faith family. In it, an Irish Catholic woman, Marian, in love with a Jewish journalist hides the birth of her out-of-wedlock child to save her future marriage. The child she has relinquished does not end up with an American family as promised. Instead, he is committed to a notorious Catholic orphanage where there is little hope for his survival.

    Tormented by feelings of remorse and guilt that have plagued her throughout her marriage to the boy's father, the woman must confront the truth and reveal her long-buried secret. While putting her marriage and family at risk, she determines to save her son and in so doing correct the terrible wrongs of her own past and challenge a system that chronically serves up children to abusive clergy.

    My review:

    This was a very interesting read for me, something that was completely outside of my comfort zone.

    I felt that the author did a very good job of developing her characters from the good Catholic mother Marian, the Jewish father Ben, sister Johanna and Adrian, the child that was given away. It was easy to relate to their personalities and behaviors. The story begins with Marian being rejected by Ben's mother and deciding to enter a "convent" to deal with the baby she felt was unwanted. As the story goes on, it's revealed that Ben knows more than he let on. Johanna, the "kept" child, begins to sense that there's something going on and gets involved when she overhears some conversations. Adrian has no clue that he has a family and it comes a surprise when they come to visit. Unfortunately this is not a happily ever after story and there are quite a few horrible scenarios spelled out.

    I thought the book was a bit long. It took 40 chapters (although some were really short) to get to the point of the title. I think the story could have been told in much less words. I related to the characters and enjoyed the development of the personalities. I did think this was something that could and probably did happen during the time period related to the book. Overall, I thought the book was well done and the story was told in an engaging manner.

    I received the galley of this book from the publisher on NetGalley, for the purpose of review. Opinions expressed are my own.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 27, 2012

    A heart-wrenching novel about Ireland's Orphanages

    The Whipping Club is a timely novel that makes a powerful statement, revealing the sufferings of victims and families at the hands of the Catholic Church in the mid 1900’s. Although the story focuses on Ireland’s orphanages, Magdalene Laundries, and homes for unwed mothers, parallels can be drawn in many other countries where survivors of similar institutions are coming forward.

    The story centers around one family. Marian is a Catholic teacher at a Zionist school who falls in love with a young Jewish man named Ben. When she discovers she is pregnant, she tries to tell Ben, but his mother’s antagonism at her religious background forces her to keep her secret. Instead, she enters into a special hospital/home for unwed mothers where she puts her son up for adoption, assured he will find a good family in America.

    Marian and Ben marry and they have a young daughter. All seems perfect until one day, she learns the son she gave up for adoption is still in the Catholic orphanage she originally left him in. Ben and Marian take legal action to acquire custody of their son, Adrian, and begin to assimilate him into their lives. But he is under the custody of the nuns at the orphanage and they, together with the court system, maintain their hold and custody of the boy.

    Not for the faint of heart, this novel addresses several complicated and painful issues that are coming forward in today’s society. For the sake of the survivors, it is important to learn about what truly happened, to understand, and to learn from these mistakes so that such things never occur again. As a Catholic myself, it was a shattering experience to read about the harsh punishments, cruelties, and sexual abuse against innocent children and the prejudices against unwed mothers. I admired the fact the author took care to not only portray depraved or cruel religious members, but also those who were loving and kind, albeit the former outweighed the latter in numbers.

    What I admire is that the author had the courage to deal with such contentious issues such as deeply ingrained religious beliefs, transgressions, mercy, and the devastating consequences of not speaking out. This novel has depth and punch. It is not a light read – one should not skim over the words light-heartedly. Rather, readers need to prepare themselves to face a realm of emotions as they read and try to understand the true purpose for which the author wrote such a story. This heart-wrenching tragic drama has depth and richness. Despite the painful topic, the author leaves the reader with hope at the end. Bravo Deborah Henry for having the courage to address such tragic and painful realities in our recent past.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 1, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted July 22, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 25, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 11 Customer Reviews

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