When a young Mary McAleese told a priest that she planned to become a lawyer, the priest dismissed the idea: she knew no one in the law, and she was female. The reality of what she went on to achieve - despite those obstacles, and despite a sectarian attack that forced her family to flee their home - is even more improbable.
In this luminous memoir, Mary McAleese traces that astonishing arc: from the tight streets of north Belfast, to a professorship in Dublin while still in her twenties, behind-the-scenes work on the peace process, and two triumphant terms as President of Ireland. She writes of her encounters with prime ministers, popes and royalty with the same easy candour and intimacy with which she describes her childhood. And her account of the latest act in her remarkable career - quietly pursuing a doctorate, and loudly opposing the misogyny of the Catholic Church - is inspiring.
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Date of Publication: 27/05/2021