The Making of Her

The Making of Her

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The Making of Her is a page-turning mother-daughter love story, spanning the 1960s to 1990s, charting one woman’s journey to escape the legacy of the society that shaped her.

‘An absorbing, brilliantly paced book; I didn't want it to end.' Roddy Doyle

People were forever telling her how lucky she was. But what did people know?’

Dublin 1966. When Joan Quinn, a factory girl from the Cranmore Estate, marries Martin Egan, it looks like her dreams have come true. But all is not as it seems.

Joan lives in the shadow of a secret – the couple’s decision to give up their first daughter for adoption only months before.

For the next three decades, Joan’s marriage and her relationship with her second child Carmel suffer as a consequence.

Then one day in 1996, a letter arrives from their eldest daughter. Emma needs her birth parents’ help; it’s a matter of life and death. And the fragile facade of Joan’s life finally begins to crack.


'The Making of Her sucked me in from the very first page, and didn’t let up until I’d turned the last. Heart-warming and heart-breaking, it is an exquisite examination of the secrets that haunt us. I cried several times. A stunning debut.' Sally Hepworth

‘Bernadette Jiwa writes with compassion and grace about what it means to be a mother, a daughter and a sister.’ Pip Williams

'A beautifully crafted, thought-provoking novel that ultimately celebrates the strength of women. A true pleasure to read.' Ashley Audrain