It’s 1947. Two English girls, Dulcie and May Taylor, are moved from a warm and caring home, with two parents, to a living hell in a short space of time. With their mother dead and their loving father in prison, they become wards of the state – or, in other words, ‘orphans’. Both girls are cruelly treated at the hands of the Sisters of Mercy, at various orphanages that they are sent to. Dulcie and May’s trust is repeatedly betrayed, as the better life to which they were promised in Australia turns out to be a lie. The cruelty which Dulcie and May suffer will have a prolonged and painful effect on both girls, lasting a lifetime.
But Dulcie meets a fellow orphanage survivor, Ross, who she can instantly relate to. And her life begins to change.
Trust Me is a tale of love and betrayal, cruelty and survival. Lesley Pearse successfully and efficiently shows us the harsh and painful lives and experiences that thousands of orphans endured, through the fictional characters of Dulcie, May and Ross.
We discover the truth behind the 1940-50’s Roman Catholic Church charade of ‘helping to give orphans caring and secure lives’. We learn of how these children suffered indescribable brutalities by monks and nuns, suffering that haunted many for the rest of their lives. The afterword, written by Bruce Blyth, confirms these harsh realities through documented statements given by orphan survivors, revealing a glimpse of their suffering. Blyth also gives us an account of how such people began to fight back at the Roman Catholic orphan regime, which he then reflects upon Trust Me.
Pearse’s title is well chosen, as trust is the one recurring theme which is repeatedly abused by various characters – particularly, the Sisters of Mercy. Trust is the one battle which Dulcie, May and Ross struggle with, which is perhaps something that we, today, take for granted. I thoroughly recommend this inspiring story to anyone who is interested in gaining an insight into the truth behind the orphan regime. As long as they’re able to stomach the truth.