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A gripping and emotional story of abuse from debut author

"A gripping and emotional story of abuse, trauma and community from debut author Petra Molloy.

Set in 1974, Chosen Boys follows the carefree life of seven-year-old Jack, who likes to play with his friends and neighbours in his Auckland street. But when a new priest selects him to train as an altar boy, Jack shrinks away from his community, his friends and his mother, and no one can understand why.

Chosen Boys explores what happens to a community when they are betrayed by those meant to care for their spiritual wellbeing. Set in a working-class Catholic community against the backdrop of the dawn raids, Molloy’s moving debut novel asks the question: who will act when a predator declares himself ‘another Christ on Earth’?

This is the first novel to explore child sex abuse in the New Zealand Catholic Church. It is an affecting, moving drama about the hubris of an institution that claims moral authority yet ignores child abuse and the effects this abuse has on children and their communities.

“I wrote this book because of the profound hurt I feel at the Catholic Church’s betrayal of its people, in particular its most vulnerable—its children,” says Petra, whose family has been Catholic for generations. Child sexual abuse within the Catholic Church is now being investigated by the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Historical Abuse in State Care and in the Care of Faith-based Institutions (New Zealand, 2018), making these issues more relevant than ever.

Renée described the novel as “rich, haunting, [and] beautifully written”.

Petra Molloy, a graduate of the Whitireia Creative Writing Programme, is a South-Auckland based author and potter. Chosen Boys is her first novel.

Chosen Boys will be released on October 7th 2019, and is available for pre-order now from the Escalator Press website.


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