by Magda Palmer
Once on the path of this story, I worked during the day and through the night because sleep was often broken by an urgency to continue recording dark social history in a readable fashion. But it is not just Peggy's story, but the life-long nightmare of thousands of adopted children who were abused by adoptive parents, of young, single women-mostly raped or cheated by more worldly immigrant men, and of widows to dead heroes, all of whom birthed babies in fear, pain, and social disgrace. The babes are now known as the Stolen White Generations. Many of those babies lived their adult lives thinking their mothers discarded them at birth. When they read Paper Sparrow, they will know they were loved by their natal mother.
Paper Sparrow is a historical novel inspired by real-life events, Australia 1943-1955. PEGGY is born to circumstances that deny her opportunities afforded to others. At thirteen, she is forced to work as a Nursing Aide in a home for the elderly. Aged fourteen, she is drugged, raped and pregnant. Peggy's dark journey reveals a massive baby farming industry, untold sufferings, and life-long consequences to thousands of post-WWII victims-single women. Their babies are the stolen white generation.
Peggy meets PETER, a man of the cloth, BINEHAM, a master of Chinese psychology and LILY, a welfare officer fighting for social justice. They foster her potential and lighten her journey. Peggy's baby is kidnapped from the birthing table and sold to a ruthless couple. Peggy incites reform through civil society to end social prejudice against single mothers and their children.
Fortune brings work in the fashion industry and a scholarship that will lead to a career in live theatre. A heart-rending meeting with her child and a sordid society party meant to launch her in the Miss Australia quest destroy her will to live. Yet, Peggy miraculously survives a deep-sea baptism and finds the strength to promote benevolence, communication, and beauty.