Missing Persons, Clair Wills
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Missing Persons

Author: Clair Wills

Narrator: Clair Wills

Unabridged: 6 hr 4 min

Format: Digital Audiobook Download

Published: 04/02/2024


In 2015, the Irish government commissioned an investigation into the state’s network of Mother and Baby Homes after the discovery of a mass grave containing the remains of up to eight hundred children prompted international outrage. The homes, which operated from the 1920s to the 1990s, were responsible for nearly nine thousand child deaths and countless other abuses. Yet in the face of overwhelming evidence, everyone seemed to forget what had actually occurred. No one remembered who the babies were, how they died, or where they were buried. A whole society had learned not to look, or not to look too closely, and certainly not to ask too many questions. Clair Wills’s investigation leads her back to the discovery that nearly thirty years ago a cousin of hers had been born in one of the Homes and her existence had been covered up. As she finds out more about her own family’s secret chronicle of loss, her investigation expands into an exploration of the secrets and silences that make up our family stories, the limits of record-keeping, and the fragility of memory itself. Wills unravels a history of illegitimacy that stretches back into her grandmother’s life in Ireland a hundred years ago and forward to her own generation today. Missing Persons reveals the truth that seeps through the gaps in our stories about the past and that is encrypted in things left unsaid—if you learn how to read what is missing.