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Publisher's Summary

A raw, heart-breaking yet ultimately uplifting novel about a young woman cut down in her prime, and of the woman who brings her back to life.

Top 10 Kindle best seller

1939. Seventeen-year-old Nora Jennings has spent her life secure in the certainty of a bright, happy future - until one night of passion has more catastrophic consequences than she ever could have anticipated. Labelled a moral defective and sectioned under the Mental Deficiency Act, she is forced to endure years of unspeakable cruelty at the hands of those who are supposed to care for her.

1981. When psychiatrist Janet Humphreys comes across Nora, heavily institutionalised and still living in the hospital more than 40 years after her incarceration, she knows that she must be the one to help Nora rediscover what it is to live. But as she works to help Nora overcome her past, Janet realises she must finally face her own.

Based on a true story, The Girl Behind the Gates is the raw, heart-breaking yet ultimately uplifting tale of a young woman cut down in her prime, and of the woman who finally brings her back to life, perfect for fans of The Girl in the Letter and Philomena.

©2020 Brenda Davies (P)2020 Hodder & Stoughton Limited

Critic Reviews

"Compelling. Poignant. Haunting. Heart wrenching. Just beautiful. Everyone needs to read this wonderful book." (Renita D'Silva, best-selling author of The Forgotten Daughter

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What listeners say about The Girl Behind the Gates

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Good story, but a little slow and boring

It wasn't too long ago when unwed pregnant teens were sent away to have their babies in unwed homes for mothers. This is the story of one such young girl who went to have her baby in the 30s but stayed in the home for over forty years. The story tells about her journey from life in captivity to going out into the real world.

The story is pretty heart wrenching at times but it's also long winded and gets rather repetitive and boring. It's worth the listen though, despite it's shortcomings.

-Wendi

1 person found this helpful

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like a one location movie

Unfortunately, I have listened for about five hours and nothing has happened except a girl being institutionalized and that extremely drawn out in detail. I like descriptive writing, but when it is about different characters, locations, and events. The narrators in this book were outstanding! It was read at just the perfect rate. Not sure I will finish this title. What a sad choice for a vacation listen. By the description, I was looking forward to it. No mystery, only grotesque detail and sadness. If you have lost a child or given one up for adoption. Do not read this!

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Wonderful Story, I am so glad I read the reviews and downloaded it

A moving story telling the horrible beliefs and the actions of our forefathers, how tragic.

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YET, ANOTHER GREAT AUTHOR!

This is a very long and very sad story. I found myself praying for Nora and Angela.

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Bravo

Very difficult subject matter. Written and performed brilliantly. Explores the depths of human cruelty and human resilience.

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EMOTIONAL FROM START TO FINISH.

It was a good book, excellent voice acting. I was hoping for a happier ending. I'm not a fan of crying, so if the book makes me cry it better have a great ending. the ending was meh, not worth all the tears I cried, in my opinion.

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Wow

What an amazing story of perseverance and strength. I enjoyed every bit of this book and the parallels between the two main characters. Truly inspiring!

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  • Juliet
  • 07-25-22

totally absorbing

Excellent listen, beautiful read. so sad at times and yet completely uplifting, the end was inspiring. Highly recommended.

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  • kp
  • 04-03-22

Painful and touching

This book is excellent and gives a true insight into what went on in old mental institutions.
Very moving and heart wrenching

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Wendy Docherty
  • 01-15-22

great book

really good story, really sad at times, so glad there was a happy end

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  • tanya
  • 11-28-21

touching

this touched my soul. the story the true story of how so many were treated. I had to stop listening for a week at a time in some parts. Not to lack of interest but due to the pain and anonymity of life of Nora. I made myself finish it and glad I did. wonderful heart breaking thought provoking book.

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  • Hannah Devereaux
  • 11-12-21

Addicting listen

Narrators accents were nearly all well done. Kit's (the stereotypical fat older Caribbean woman) accent was awful.

But great story.