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In a Stalker’s Sights…unless they can stop him.

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A delightful story of a love that defies time

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He’s already lost one woman he loved…he’s not about to lose another.

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Jennifer Vido | Jen's Jewels Interview: THE MAKING OF HER by Bernadette Jiwa

The Making of Her
Bernadette Jiwa




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August 2022
On Sale: August 9, 2022
Featuring: Carmel; Joan Egan
352 pages
ISBN: 0593186133
EAN: 9780593186138
Kindle: B09LGZZGGY
Hardcover / e-Book
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Also by Bernadette Jiwa:
The Making of Her, August 2022
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Jennifer Vido: What inspired your new release, THE MAKING OF HER?

Bernadette Jiwa: Writers are often asked where they get their ideas. You’ll sometimes hear a writer balk at the question, but I’m not so sure that it’s a bad one because every book has a backstory.

THE MAKING OF HER is inspired by a true story, one that I wanted to rewrite long before becoming a writer. A dear friend of mine was given up for adoption in England by her unmarried Irish mother in the 1960s. Her parents returned to Ireland, got married, and had more children. My friend reunited with her parents in the 1990s, but her siblings still don’t know she exists to this day. Like many Irish families back then they were torn apart by a legacy of shame and secrecy.

I also wanted to preserve something of my Irish grandmothers’ stories lest we forget the plight of women of their generation. Without access to contraception, both grandmothers gave birth to eleven children. They had too many mouths to feed, and there was never enough of anything to go around. Their bodies, their hearts, and their souls took a hammering. Some women, like my grandmother, Ellen, who died in childbirth aged just thirty-eight, paid the price with their lives. Her story and stories like it are not something that happened in the dark ages or isolation. And we still live in their shadow.


Jen: Why did you choose to set the story in the nineties and sixties? And, what was the most challenging part of writing in two time periods?

Bernadette: The novel’s timeline was chosen by necessity. It’s a snapshot of the truth surrounding a particular moment in recent history. The sixties are remembered as an era of liberation and free thinking but they were a time of repression for the women of Ireland. Without access to contraception or reproductive and financial freedom, women’s paths were pre-determined. It took decades for a shift in social and moral consciousness to translate to the empowerment of women.

I am lucky to have been able to draw on the stories my parents told around the kitchen table about what life was like in the sixties (when I was born). I grew up as a teen in Dublin during the eighties as the rumblings of change were happening, so I was familiar with that era. The most challenging part of writing in two timelines is making the characters’ arc feel true and believable.


Jen: What happens to Joan Egan that turns her life upside down?

Bernadette: The daughter she was forced to secretly give up for adoption contacts her out of the blue thirty years later asking for a life-or-death favor.


Jen: How does the news affect her marriage?

Bernadette: Joan’s husband, Martin, is the only person who knows that their daughter exists. He is reluctant to rake up the past. His reluctance holds up a mirror about his true nature to Joan and the cracks that have been part of their relationship for years begin to open.


Jen: How do Carmel and Emma feel about their newly discovered sisterhood?

Bernadette: I don’t want to give any spoilers here, so I’ll say this. Imagine discovering the parents who gave you up for adoption, married, and had more children who don’t know you exist. Imagine being confronted with the news that you have a full sibling your parents kept a secret from you your entire life. How would you feel?


Jen: Let’s switch gears now and talk about your promotional plans for the release. What’s the best way for readers to stay connected with you?

Bernadette: Readers can find me on my website or Instagram and Twitter.


Jen: Sneak peek! What is your current work in progress?

Bernadette: I’m tugging on the threads of another story set in Ireland, about a woman whose life is upended by a choice her husband made twenty years before.


Jen: What books are on your summer TBR list?


SMALL PLEASURES by Clare Chambers
THE NARROWLAND by Christine Dwyer Hickey
And I’m looking forward to OUR MISSING HEARTS by Celeste Ng

Jen: Thank you for taking the time to chat about The Making of Her. Happy summer!

Bernadette: Thanks for sharing THE MAKING OF HER with your readers, Jen, and for asking such thoughtful questions.

THE MAKING OF HER by Bernadette Jiwa

The Making of Her

Dublin 1996. Joan Egan lives an enviable life. She and her husband, Martin, and daughter, Carmel, are thriving in Dublin at the dawn of the Celtic Tiger economic boom. But everything changes when Joan receives a letter from Emma, the daughter who she and Martin gave up for adoption.

While Joan grapples with the pain and regret of giving up her baby long ago, she must confront her present as the cracks in her marriage become impossible to ignore and simmering tension with Carmel boils over. Meanwhile, Carmel and Emma struggle to come to terms with the perceived sins of their mother, and to imagine a future for their family before it is too late.


Women's Fiction Family Life [Dutton, On Sale: August 9, 2022, Hardcover / e-Book, ISBN: 9780593186138 / eISBN: 9780593186138]

Buy THE MAKING OF HER: | Kindle | | Apple Books | Kobo | Google Play | Powell's Books | Books-A-Million | Indie BookShops | Ripped Bodice | Love's Sweet Arrow | | Book Depository | | Amazon CA | Amazon UK | Amazon DE | Amazon FR

About Bernadette Jiwa

Bernadette Jiwa

Bernadette Jiwa is an Irish Australian author who began her writing apprenticeship as a blogger and non-fiction writer in her mid-forties.


About Jennifer Vido

Jennifer Vido

Jennifer Vido is best known for her nationally syndicated Jen's Jewels author interview column. A savvy book blogger she dishes the scoop on the latest happenings in the publishing business. As a national spokesperson for the Arthritis Foundation, she has been featured by Lifetime Television, Redbook, Health Monitor, The New York Times, The Baltimore Sun,, and Arthritis Today. She is the author of the Piper O’Donnell Mystery series. Currently, she lives in the Baltimore area with her husband and two sons.





1 comment posted.

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