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Eileen Cronin’s memoir ‘Mermaid’ brings to light one of the great medical tragedies of the 20th century

January 22, 2015

A press release:

At the age of three, Eileen Cronin first realised that only she did not have legs. Her boisterous Catholic family accepted her situation as “God’s will”, treating her no differently than her ten siblings. But starting school changed everything, when at the age of eleven, her school teacher Sister Luke announced to the class that the reason Eileen had no legs was because her mother had taken the pill thalidomide when pregnant, causing Eileen’s legs to shrivel up in the womb. Humiliated and alienated Eileen demanded to know the truth from her mother: was she a thalidomide baby? But it was to no avail, her mother denied the accusations: God had chosen Eileen “to carry the cross.”

With a winning combination of candour, grace and humour, Eileen Cronin’s eye-opening memoir Mermaid tells the story of a girl determined to find out the truth surrounding her disability. Recounting the bullying, snide comments, parties, boyfriends, and later, her struggle with alcoholism, Cronin describes how she transformed from a naïve legless girl to a clinical psychologist who only came to terms with her disability after finally uncovering her family’s secret.

One Comment leave one →
  1. philipburdekin permalink
    January 22, 2015 7:38 pm

    The nun must have been a nasty TORY.

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