'Kate Howarth grew up in Sydney's Darlington and Parramatta, and far western New South Wales. She was forced to leave school at fourteen and an eclectic career followed; she has been a factory worker, an Avon lady, corporate executive and restaurateur, to name a few. At the age of fifty-two she began writing her memoir, Ten Hail Marys.' Source: www.uqp.uq.edu.au/ (Sighted 07/04/2010).
'In January 1966, Kate Howarth gave birth to a healthy baby boy at St Margaret's Home for unwed mothers in Sydney. In the months before the birth, and the days after, she resisted intense pressure to give up her son for adoption, becoming one of the few women to ever leave the institution with her baby. She was only sixteen years old.
'What inspired such courage?
'In Ten Hail Marys, Kate Howarth vividly recounts the first seventeen years of her life in Sydney's slums and suburbs and in rural New South Wales. Abandoned by her mother as a baby and then by "Mamma", her volatile grandmother, as a young girl, Kate was shunted between Aboriginal relatives and expected to grow up fast. A natural storyteller, she describes a childhood beset by hardship, abuse, profound grief and poverty, but buoyed with the hope that one day she would make a better life for herself.
'Frank, funny and incredibly moving, Ten Hail Marys is the compelling true story of a childhood lost, and a young woman's hard-won self-possession.' (From the publisher's website.)