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Gilt-edged revelation about not just Catholic guilt!

November 20, 2011
This review is from: Daddy’s Girl’s Guilty as Hell: The Lonely Legacy of Catholic Guilt – A Woman’s Soul Imprisoned

This exposé of religious guilt through the experiences of several women, including the author, struck a deep chord with me even though I am not Catholic.

Particularly in the early parts of the book, I found a very clear and comprehensive description of what guilt is and its effects in terms of the lowering of self-esteem and loss of power which women in particular can experience. Vividly portrayed is the vicious circle in which the ‘guilty party’ can never be right or good enough, and which may result in the ill-health or depression of repressed unhappiness, pain and anger. At the very least, women imprisoned by such guilt may not be able to make healthy decisions or life choices – or feel guilty if they do!

This exposition is put across in the intimately engaging style of the author, Susan ni Rahilly. This is definitely a book written from the heart – but not without thought and formulation. The only part of the book which lost me a bit was the section on the Catholic church, which seemed less well written than the rest, or simply more distanced from me because it was less personal.

Perhaps that is because I am not Catholic, but don’t dismiss the book if you are not! The insidiousness of educated guilt is widespread. If you are a woman, and particularly one who has suffered from lack of self esteem or depression and is not sure why, this book may shed light on the reason – and show light at the end of the tunnel!

Essentially a book full of hope, I learnt a lot from the analysis it contained and the accessible anecdotal style. Everything is clearly explained. Don’t expect all the answers though. The book is a springboard for your own leap. Hopefully the net will appear! And maybe a second book on how to jump safely!

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