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THE ABSENT PRINCE by Una Suseli O’Connell

  • Publisher : The Conrad Press (19 Jun. 2020)
  • Language : English
  • Paperback : 352 pages
  • ISBN-10 : 1913567109
  • ISBN-13 : 978-1913567101



Do we inherit the psychological as well as the material legacies of our ancestors, the hidden dynamics that influence our relationship patterns, our health and our self-image?

Una’s heartfelt family memoir, based on her parents’ letters and diaries, follows the arc of individual lives between the years 1933 and 1997.

Over a four-year period Una travelled in England, Ireland, Switzerland and the United States speaking with people who knew her parents and grandparents.

Alongside painful and shameful family secrets, she discovered stories of great emotional courage, resilience and abiding love.

Una Suseli O'Connell, author


Una Suseli O’Connell was a teacher in traditional and alternative schools for twenty years before training in Systemic Family Constellations at the Hellinger Institute of New York in 2001.

She worked in inner city schools, supporting children with emotional and behavioural difficulties and managing issues around belonging, inclusion, family and culture.

Una now works independently, providing workshops for educators, school therapists and social workers.

She has two adult daughters and lives with her husband in North Hertfordshire.

My Review

Reading a family memoir is fascinating to me. The history-lover in me searches for so much of what is facts of wars and politics. The historical connections were some of favorite parts of this book. But, I also love learning about family history and have spent years researching my own ancestral tree. The author wove her family tapestry beautifully in this book.

Her father and mother’s story was so complex. I loved reading the diary pages where they shared their love for one another, but there was also so much sadness. Reading a family history and having actual diaries of what the parents wrote, helps you to re-live their times of anger and division as well as their joyous moments. When we can see the whole of our parent’s existence, we have so much more sympathy for their faults.

I learned a lot about the times and the way people lived in Switzerland. Most of it was brand-new to me. The things that stand out most were the stories of the poor children who were taken away from their families.

The book was a quick read, and I found it to be profound in learning about Peter and his genius. Peter was a very special person but was also a tortured soul who married another tortured soul. He was as dedicated to helping others as anyone could be and he wanted to pass that passion on to his daughter.

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