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Walsh alumna publishes her first novel

by jpolicastro
Mon, Oct 28th 2019 11:00 am

An Archbishop Walsh graduate from the class of 1966, Maureen Rooney Reid, has published her first novel, “Becoming Herself,” a story inspired by her grandmother’s experiences as a young Irish immigrant.

“’Becoming Herself,’ although a work of fiction that takes place during the first half of the 20th century, could very well mirror much of what is happening in our society today,” a synopsis from publisher Red Penguin Books reads. “Seven-year-old Maggie Clancy and her family leave Ireland to come to America for a better life but she discovers numerous challenges.”

On her first day in America, Maggie is placed in an orphanage by her grieving, recently-widowed father. She will have to forge her own path in this new world of Upstate New York — her lovely singing providing the entry she needs.

As she grows up in an era when she loses the corset and gains the right to vote, Margaret struggles with balancing the roles of wife and mother with her longing to do even more with her life. She’s a witness to the prejudices experienced by Irish immigrants and to Americans questioning the patriotism of their German-Americans neighbors during World War I. Despite that, she hopes and believes that man’s inhumanity to man will lessen when women make their voices heard.

The book has thus far received good reviews, with Reader Reviews and Clarion Review each giving it their highest ratings of 5 stars

Spending her time between her Long Island home and an apartment in Manhattan, Maureen fondly recalls her time at Archbishop Walsh.

“I remember hanging green serge skirts and white cotton blouses in my closet, decorating for proms that were held in the school’s gym, and traveling to Buffalo as part of the debate team,” she told Walsh World, an alumni newsletter, recently. “Walsh made a difference in my life — it provided me not only with a solid education but with the discipline and self-confidence to attempt to become all I was capable of becoming.”

After her graduation from Archbishop Walsh, Maureen completed her undergraduate degree at Niagara University, where she would later be recognized as their outstanding alumna in 2010. She then pursued a graduate degree in higher education administration as well as an MBA. She moved from being a dean of students at a private liberal arts college to directing the human resources agenda for an international law firm.

In her last venture before publishing her book, Maureen managed her own consulting practice.

 

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