Wartime. A single woman, pregnant by a married man, leaves home in Ireland. She abandons her baby boy in Westminster Cathedral, Central London.
A priest in a confessional box, hears a baby crying, notices the mother, watching from the shadows. He offers to help, takes her details and promises a visit if she can only, for a few more days, care for her son. Soon a Charity called The Crusade of Rescue arranges fostering. The arrangement breaks down and the boy is placed in a foundling's nursery in Feltham, Middlesex.
When aged five, he is transferred to an orphanage for 150 boys in Enfield, Middlesex, run by nuns called The Daughters of Charity. The boy's mother is discouraged from visiting because she is frighteningly disfigured - caused by a fire when she was girl. The sisters plan to have the child adopted by a family; he is told that his mother is dead and his father died fighting in the Second World War. The boy's story is told in the first person and describes his experiences from 1945-1952. In February 2011, advised by numerous commentators, I substituted an explanatory Prologue with Fragments.
"The past will shape us, but we can choose freedom from the negativity of what happens to us, and foster forgiveness over revenge, hatred and punishment." Kara McKenzie.