Cover Image: Keeping On

Keeping On

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Member Reviews

Make sure you watch the netflix documentary so you can relate parts to the book. It discusses a topic that really needs to be discussed. Sexual abuse and paedophilia. Very good book.
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Unfortunately, I was unable to feel as if this book was able to hold my interest for very long. 

The story is interesting, but I feel that it is more "memoir" than "True Crime." If you are interested in this story because you want to know how it impacted the aurhor, you will love this book. However, if you are more interested in the crime, you may want to give this book a pass. 

I rate KEEPING ON as 3.5 out of 5 Stars.
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This was an interesting book to me because my mom and I grew up in the area and she knew people who went to school there in the era of the murder. I really feel for the students and women who were victims of that school and priest. I felt like this was a good peek at the backstory of one woman behind the headlines.
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When "The Keepers" premiered on Netflix a few years back, I binged the entire series. I was completely captivated and intrigued by the show, especially Gemma Hoskins who decided her mission in life was to figure out the person behind the death of her favorite high school teacher, Sister Cathy. What she uncovered was disturbing to say the least.

When I decided to read this book, I was interested in what Hoskins had to say about her life's work. Instead, the book focuses mainly on her childhood (living with type 1 diabetes) and the death of her young husband. Whenever "The Keepers" is mentioned, it feels as though it is just in passing and much of the book wouldn't make sense if you haven't seen the Netflix series already. As it's been several years since I saw it, there were mentions that confused me because I couldn't remember who specific people were.

I think Hoskins' unique perspective and sense of humor would make for a great companion piece to the series. However, as a memoir on its own, it doesn't amount to much. I think the book could have benefited greatly from having more concrete info about "The Keepers" laid out in an easy-to-understand section. I admire Hoskins for telling her story but I think fans of the TV series might be a little disappointed in the lack of cohesion and no new information.
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Grab a chair, a cup of coffee, and settle in as Gemma Hoskins shares her story.

Gemma is well known as one of the key citizen investigators of the 1969 murder of Sister Cathy Cesnik - a former high school teacher of Gemma’s whose brutal homicide was described in the 2017 Netflix documentary “The Keepers”. In the documentary, Gemma and her colleague, Abbie Schaub, set out on a multi-year investigative journey to find Cathy’s killer, and end up uncovering of a network of horrific pedophilia and sexual abuse, masterminded but not limited to clergy members situated at Gemma’s Maryland high school.

In this book, which is best read as a companion piece to the documentary, Gemma provides her back story, providing insight into her childhood, school life, friendships, romances as well as some broader context leading to her role in the examination of Cathy’s murder. 

Gemma tells her life story unapologetically, just because “it makes her happy”. And she does it well - the easy conversational style of this book, along with Gemma’s brisk, no-nonsense telling of it, makes for interesting reading. 

Gemma herself comes across a little bit like a real-life “Olive Kitteridge” - direct and somewhat prickly, definitely someone who knows her own mind - and yet it’s impossible not to feel for her. Her motives, her focus, and her strength of purpose in seeing this terrible journey through as well as in providing resources and support for victims of abuse everywhere are inspiring to read.

Some on the passages I noted in this book included: 
- “Cozy is sometimes hard to be”

- “My philosophy is that every day be spent doing something productive, something therapeutic, and something fun”

And on a chilling note:
- “The nuns did not mess around, even the nice ones. The priests were another story. They walked around the school and playground like they owned the place, because I guess they did.”

I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys inspirational memoirs and particularly if you follow the Cathy Cesnik story, 

3.5 stars

A big thank you to NetGalley, the publisher, Mascot Books and the author for an advance review copy of this book. All thoughts presented are my own.
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This is an unusual true crime account in that it is also a biography - but not of the person who was murdered.  This means it brings a perspective which is personal but also perhaps more able to reflect on the impact of the crime without over dramatising it.  The tragedy itself is a big part of the “story” but the biggest part is the analysis of what that loss of life meant and, perhaps more important, how the life lived continued to impact others.  A very interesting book indeed.
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I loved the writing and feel like Gemma Hoskins has a real talent for it. The book was incredibly detailed, well thought out, and easy to follow. My only issue is I felt like it was more of a memoir. I don't feel like I learned much I didn't already know after watching the Netflix Documentary. 

I'd love to read more from this author in the future!

Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for providing an excellent ARC in exchange for my honest review.
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ThAnk you for the advanced copy. True story of an unsolved murder. I haven't watched it on Netflix but will encourage me to watch it
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I received this book in exchange for an honest review.

Keepin On delved a little deeper into the excellent Netflix documentary The Keepers. There were some very interesting insights into Gemma Hoskin’s involvement in the story and it was told in a conversational manner. I did skip a bit towards the end as Gemma listed all the people who were important in her life but enjoyed it overall.
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Thank you #Netgalley for the advanced copy!

I had not seen the Netflix documentary, The Keepers, and now I can't want to start! I appreciated Gemma's honesty about her life and career experiences and how i has evolved and how she became intertwined in the documentary.  Going to Catholic School all my life like Gemma, it was very easy to connect to some of the school commentary. Though we will never know the truth of Sister Cathy Cesnik's murder, I appreciate the time and effor Gemma and her documentary colleagues have put into solving/better understanding the mystery.
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Fifty years ago, beloved teacher Sister Catherine Cesnik was the victim of a violent murder that still remains unsolved. "Who killed Sister Cathy?” is a question Sister Cathy’s students, colleagues, friends, family members, and community have been asking for years. One of those people is Gemma Hoskins, one of Sister Cathy’s former students.

This is the authors very personal account on a very personal subject. The subject is moving but yet sorrowful and heartbreaking. The author has written the story well and you can see how much the story meant to her. Overall, 3.5 stars. This is a first for me by the author and one I enjoyed and would read more of her work. The book cover is eye-catching and appealing and would spark my interest if in a bookshop. Thank you very much to the author, publisher and Netgalley for this ARC.
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DNF. Unfortunately, this was a book I started multiple times but could just not get into. I very much respect what she is doing and think it is very admirable to find out what really happened with Sister Cathy Cesnik but this is more of a memoir of Gemma's life and at times felt hard to follow and a little disjointed. I appreciate having the opportunity to read this book, it was just not a good fit for me as a reader.
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This book, written by Gemma Hoskins, eases its way into the story of her former teacher, Sister Catherine Cesnik, who was killed back in November, 1969. Even though many years have passed since then, it remains an important issue to Gemma and as she learns, to others, to find out who is responsible for her death, and what really happened. The more that questions are raised about this, people begin coming forward about it, and it eventually opens the door onto other crimes. Was Sister Cathy becoming aware of crimes going on around her and threatening to blow the whistle? Was that why she was killed? Those who like true crime and mystery books may want to check this out. Advance electronic review copy was provided by NetGalley, author Gemma Hoskins, and the publisher.
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Thank you to Mascot Book and NetGalley for a D-ARC of this title in exchange for my honest review.  I am part of the True Crime Community, and I loved The Keepers.  Kudos to the author for her tenacity in trying to find justice for her former teacher.  The book reads in a conversational manner.  If you're looking for details or background about the case that we hadn't seen previously, you won't find it here.  It's described as a memoir, and it is that.  What's interesting is that I found the author's information about being widowed young (as was I) and her diabetes quite worth the read.  She often will refer to old friends, and others in her past who might be reading the book, and she says things like, "If you're reading this..." That was a bit off putting, because you weren't part of the story, so it was as if it wasn't directed at you, the reader.  That said:  Gemma is genuine, she is to be admired for her loyalty and determination in seeking out the true story behind Sister Cathy's murder, and she is someone I'd like to know.  Don't pick this up just because of the documentary, but rather because you're interested in someone else's stories and trials of their life.
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Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for the copy of this book! After watching the Keepers a few years ago, the mystery of Sister Catherine Cesnik has continued to interest me. This memoir was a very insightful look at Gemma's back story as one of Sister Cathy's students and her drive to seek justice and truth for her beloved teacher. The book was very easy to read weaving thorough Gemma's life from birth until present day illustrating Gemma's dedication to uncover the truth. This book is well suited for those who have watched the Keepers and are interested to learn more about Gemma. I am not sure if this would be of interest to those who haven't watched the show or heard of Sister Cathy. Overall I really enjoyed the memoir and I will continue to read, watch and listen to content that seeks to uncover what happened to Sister Cathy.
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I wish this story was more about Sister Catherine then Gemma.  I thought this story was about Sister Catherine  and what happened to her, but this book is more about Gemma, her childhood, her parents. I have no idea who Gemma is, I have never seen her show.
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