Keeping On

How I Came to Know Why I Was Born

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Pub Date 03 Nov 2020 | Archive Date 04 Jun 2021

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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 who appeared on The Keepers, the 2017 Emmy-nominated Netflix docuseries that soon had the rest of the world asking that same question, too. Sister Cathy’s life and death have both deeply inspired and haunted Gemma in a number of ways, and she’s made it her life’s purpose to uncover what really happened on that November night in 1969.

In Keeping On, Gemma takes readers on a journey of her life, from her childhood and her time as Sister Cathy’s student at Archbishop Keough High School through present day. She reflects upon the experiences that have shaped her, including her own experiences as a teacher, grassroots investigator, and fierce advocate for truth and justice. With candid prose and unyielding honesty, Gemma openly and honestly continues not only the global conversation about the truth behind Sister Cathy’s murder, but also reflects upon how Sister Cathy’s life profoundly touched those who knew and loved her.

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...

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Average rating from 17 members

Featured Reviews

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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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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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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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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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 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 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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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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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 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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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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