The Amazing Life of Cecelia Chattergee by Bernie Morgan #BookReview #ChronosPublishing #4.5*

As she lay on the bed, bruised and bleeding, she felt her strength come back, and her steely determination tightened inside. It was time to make a decision.

Cecilia Chattergee (1876-1947) was a woman who defied convention.

She was a lawyer in India, at a time when women didn’t have careers. She was a Parsee who married outside of her religion. She lived as a widow when Indian society ostracised widows.

She also endured unimaginable trauma and tragedy, yet never lost sight of her ambitions. Set against the backdrop of India’s struggle for independence, this is the story of one woman’s struggle for her own independence.

Her fight to live her life her way and improve the life chances of her children.

Bernie Morgan is Cecilia Chattergee’s great-granddaughter. She hosts the podcast, Amazing Women, Invisible Lives. She wanted to bring Cecilia’s amazing story to a wider audience and give her the recognition she deserves.

An Excellent Read!

What a fabulous story!

Cecilia Chattergee, born in India in 1876, was a woman who was committed to having it all; a husband, family and a career. Not only that, but she was set on becoming a lawyer at a time when women in India were not permitted to work outside the home. This is her story.

Cecilia was a woman way ahead of her time and it wasn’t so much that she was a strong woman but that she couldn’t afford to appear weak. She suffered unimaginable tragedies and still continued to get up and show up, determined to set a good example to her children by demonstrating the difference that education could make to their lives. She had, as the title says, an amazing life and I can fully understand why her descendant felt the urge to write this novel. This is a life which needs to be celebrated and Bernie Morgan has done a first-class job of writing a novel which keeps the readers attention all the way through. An excellent read, highly recommended and worth 4.5*.

My thanks to Taryn Johnston of Chronos Publishing for bringing my attention to this novel and providing me with a copy; this is – as always – my honest, original and unbiased review.

Tags: historical biography

Author Detail

Bernie Morgan is Cecilia Chattergee’s great-granddaughter. From early childhood, she was intrigued by the snippets she could glean of Cecilia’s story, but it was only when she researched it recently that she discovered it was much more eventful than she had imagined. She decided to write Cecilia’s history as a way of honouring her achievements and her memory. Piecing together her great-grandmother’s remarkable past and bringing it to a wider audience inspired Bernie to found Amazing Women, Invisible Lives website and podcast , as a way of recognising remarkable females who go unnoticed all too often.

Bernie was a stay-at-home mum for 14 years. Then she went to university for the first time and gained a Masters Degree. After just seven years in full-time work, where one of her roles was writing the design brief for the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Playground,  she became the first CEO of Responsible Finance leading the development of that industry in the UK. She took the industry’s worth to more than half a billion pounds in eight years, raising over £85m investment in the process. She was an advisor to HM Treasury and worked closely with a variety of government departments, including the Cabinet Office, DWP, DCMS and the Department for Business. She has appeared before two Select Committees. She also had an international role, guiding governments in financial policies that support vulnerable people and communities. She recently, after nine years, stepped down from the board of Nat West Social and Community Capital.

Bernie has also been a cleaner, a stand-up comedian and was, for five years, the owner of a chocolate café in Margate.  She has been a contestant on three national TV quiz shows, winning one of them.

She was born and brought up in Hertfordshire, has three children, four grandchildren and lives with her partner in Kent.


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