Republic of Shame: Read this book now

Book review: Caelainn Hogan gives voice to the survivors of Ireland’s mother and baby homes

There is a seething energy to Caelainn’s Hogan’s book investigating Ireland’s mother and baby homes. Photograph: Cyril Byrne / The Irish Times

There is a seething energy to Caelainn’s Hogan’s book investigating Ireland’s mother and baby homes. Photograph: Cyril Byrne / The Irish Times

Have you ever seen a photo that’s actually two photos? It doesn’t happen much in the digital age, but in the past you’d often send a roll of film to be developed and later find that two photographs had been superimposed into one. It’s disorientating to look at. You can’t really tell which parts belong where. You think you’re seeing one thing, then the ghost of something else rises up from beneath.

Republic of Shame, the achingly powerful first book by Caelainn Hogan, gives us the queasy sense of standing in a picture that is really two pictures, superimposed.

The Irish Times
Please subscribe or sign in to continue reading.
The Irish Times

How can I keep reading?

You’ve reached an article that is only available to Irish Times subscribers.

Subscribe today and get the full picture for just €1 for the first month.

Subscribe No obligation, cancel any time.