The Monk Woman’s Daughter — Susan Storer Clark

Today I’m happy to welcome author Susan Storer Clark as she shares about her recent story.


My mother said she was a nun. That may have been a lie.”

The “Monk Woman”—Historical Fact

A young pregnant woman named Maria Monk arrived in New York City in 1836. She soon created a national sensation by saying she was a nun, and that a priest was the father of her child. And she wrote a book about it. The Awful Disclosures of Maria Monk described a nightmare world of sexual corruption in a convent in Montreal. She went on the lecture circuit in a nun’s habit, with her baby girl in her arms. Her story was discredited, and she disappeared from public view.

Who Was Her Daughter?

This novel is a fictional account of the life that baby girl. Vera is a resourceful and intelligent heroine who makes her way through the squalor of 1840s Manhattan, the bucolic countryside of Flatbush, and the riots and fires of 1850s Baltimore, and the excitement and corruption of Civil War Washington.

Bringing History Alive

The turbulent world of American cities before the Civil War fascinates me. It’s not the sanitized (and dull!) story we learned in school. Political disputes were often settled with fists and clubs. Prostitution was legal, and one of the few economic choices most women had. Gangs with names like the Plug Uglies and the Dead Rabbits ruled the streets in New York and Baltimore. Washington City was a half-built capital rising from the mud.

The Monk Woman’s Daughter is a winner in the New York City Big Book Awards, and was a finalist for the Nancy Pearl Award in mainstream/literary fiction.

I loved meeting the cast of characters who walked through my mind and into the book. I hope you will, too.


“My mother said she was a nun. That may have been a lie.”

So begins the eye-opening and entertaining tale of Vera St. John’s chaotic upbringing amid the turbulence of nineteenth-century urban America. Sometimes rollicking and sometimes terrifying, Vera’s story features a fascinating array of characters—from the troubled woman who bore her, to the charming Irishman she marries, to the African-American freedman struggling to rescue his wife from slavery, to the beautiful high-priced prostitute she befriends, to the washerwoman who stands by her in a quixotic quest.

From the squalid streets of 1840s New York to the devastation of post-Civil War Memphis, Vera threads her way through the powerful conflicts of American history to find where she belongs. Along the way, she discovers the nature of power and the true meaning of freedom.


Buy link:


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Susan Storer Clark:

Susan Storer Clark is a former broadcast journalist who wrote and reported for the Voice of America and for WRC-TV in Washington, DC. She holds degrees in history from Rhodes College and King’s College London. She blogs about history, historical fiction, and writing at, and is working on her second novel. Susan has written reviews and other articles for the Washington Independent Review of Books since its inception. She and her husband Rich live in the Seattle area, where they have renovated an old farmhouse, and where she plays bass guitar with the band Learning to Fly.



About historythrutheages

I write stories of His Story Through The Ages that offer tales of hope and redemption.

Posted on June 17, 2019, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on The Monk Woman’s Daughter — Susan Storer Clark.

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