The Home For Unwanted Girls Meets Orphan Train In This Unforgettable Novel About A Young Girl Caught In A Scheme To Rid England S Streets Of Destitute Children, And The Lengths She Will Go To Find Her Way Home Based On The True Story Of The British Home Children At Ninety Seven Years Old, Winnifred Ellis Knows She Doesn T Have Much Time Left, And It Is Almost A Relief To Realize That Once She Is Gone, The Truth About Her Shameful Past Will Die With Her But When Her Great Grandson Jamie, The Spitting Image Of Her Dear Late Husband, Asks About His Family Tree, Winnifred Can T Lie Any Longer, Even If It Means Breaking A Promise She Made So Long Ago Fifteen Year Old Winny Has Never Known A Real Home After Running Away From An Abusive Stepfather, She Falls In With Mary, Jack, And Their Ragtag Group Of Friends Roaming The Streets Of Liverpool When The Children Are Caught Stealing Food, Winny And Mary Are Left In Dr Barnardo S Barkingside Home For Girls, A Local Home For Orphans And Forgotten Children Found In The City S Slums At Barkingside, Winny Learns She Will Soon Join Other Boys And Girls In A Faraway Place Called Canada, Where Families And Better Lives Await Them But Winny S Hopes Are Dashed When She Is Separated From Her Friends And Sent To Live With A Family That Has No Use For Another Daughter Instead, They Have Paid For An Indentured Servant To Work On Their Farm Faced With This Harsh New Reality, Winny Clings To The Belief That She Will Someday Find Her Friends Again Inspired By True Events, The Forgotten Home Child Is A Moving And Heartbreaking Novel About Place, Belonging, And Family The One We Make For Ourselves And Its Enduring Power To Draw Us Home 3.5 stars2018Winnifred Winny , a former Home Child, is ninety seven years old and when asked by her grandson, Jamie, begins to talk about her life She has always been ashamed of being a Home Child and has never shared with her family what she or her late husband endured.1936Fifteen year old Winny has run away due to having an abusive stepfather, living on the streets by herself until she met brother and sister, Mary and Jack while living on the streets of Liverpool When they are caught stealing, they are sent to Dr Barnardo s Barkingside Home for Girls a home for Orphans, while Jack is sent elsewhere There Winny learns that she joins a group of boys and girls being sent to Canada to work.There she is separated from her friends, Mary and Jack and begins work as an indentured servant on a farm There she endures harsh conditions, works hard and keeps hoping that one day she will see her friends again.This book is based on true events HOME Children per Wikipedia was founded in 1869 and 100,000 were sent from the United Kingdom to Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and South AfricaThis book follows the life of Winny and her friends but mainly focuses on Jack and Winny Their lives are rough and sad They endure abuse, harsh elements, hunger, and improper sleeping conditions This book also shows not only the misuse of the children but how they were viewed by society They were not wanted and very little were helped.This book is moving and thought provoking The author sheds light on the real life plight of Home Children and characters were based on real life people The Author s note at the end was insightful and shed light on the Home Children and had me going on the internet to learn about the Home Children and the program.This book is getting raving reviews and I encourage everyone to read those as well This is a book that I initially gave a 3 star rating to but found the I sat and thought about the book, the I began to appreciate it and the message the author was conveying The children were separated from siblings, friends, and other loved ones, most never to know what happened to them Many were abused, worked hard, and not taken care of properly.Thank you to Simon Schuster Canada and NetGalley who provided me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review All the reviews are my own. Genevieve Graham writes important and absorbing historical novels, based on well researched Canadian past events I have been informed and entertained by factual events described in her four previous books During my 12 years of school in Nova Scotia, history lessons involved early world explorers, British history emphasizing past kings and queens, and much Ancient Greek and Roman history Canadian history was barely mentioned, and we mistakingly thought it dull Graham s past books were based on Canadas roles in WW1 and WW11, the Halifax Explosion, the Expulsion of the Acadians, and the Klondike Gold Rush I had known of these major stories in our history, but not from any history class in school I hope present day students are exposed to these events in school If so, Graham s thoroughly researched stories would be ideal supplementary novels Through realistic, believable characters and their connections with the above historical occurrences, Canadian history comes to life on the pages I have never heard of the British Home Children, which is the story featured in this book, but now will never forget this shameful part of our history The author through meticulous research, informs us that approximately 120,000 destitute British children were shipped to Canada between 1869 and 1948 They were between the ages of 3 to 18 They were lead to believe this was an opportunity for a better life Many were identified as orphans, but in fact, only 2% were actually without parents and had been temporarily left in group homes due to poverty Other children were surviving on the streets There were no checks on what was happening to them in Canada and the majority became indentured servants or farm workers There were cases of sexual abuse, suicide and boys beaten to death Some were adopted and their lives improved as a result It is estimated that 75% of the British Home Children suffered abuse and neglect As adults, they suffered from the trauma, and many kept what they considered their shameful past lives a secret The story about the suffering of many of the Home Children is all based on actual abuse and hardships discovered by the author I was shattered about the ghastly true story written about a 14 year old Home Boy In 1905 he was placed with a wealthy farmer He slept in the barn, and after 7 months his body was found buried in a manure pile He had frozen to death, and there was evidence of a fractured skull, and his body full of pitchfork holes This resonated with me, as we share the same family name In this story, 97 year old Winnifred has managed to keep her shameful past secret from her family Her great grandson, working on a family tree persuades her to reveal the truth He draws out her story about living on the streets of Liverpool with a friend, Mary, Mary s brother, and two other brothers They survived by snatching purses and stealing food When the gang is caught by police, the girls and boys are sent to homes for orphans and children from the slums Girls and boys are placed in separate homes to learn skills to prepare them for future employment Next, they are being shipped to Canada and told they will have a better life there Once arriving in Canada, Winnie and Mary are distraught as they are sent to different homes to work The three boys are placed on a farm to do hard labour We get the collective story of the unhappy plight of all 5 There is inadequate and unpalatable food, sleeping in sheds or barns in the cold, lack of adequate boots and clothing, beatings, rape, death, and endless hours of work They always promised that they would eventually find each other Winnie recounts the story of what happened as they reached adulthood Like many in real life, they suffered trauma, with feelings of inadequacy and shame About 4 million Canadians are believed to be descendants of the British Home Children Highly recommended Many thanks to NetGalley and Simon Schuster for this remarkable historical novel. The entire time I was reading The Forgotten Home Child, I could not forget that the events in the fictional story, happened to over 100,000 children during the decades that poverty stricken children were sent from England to live and work in Canada What was supposed to be a better life for these homeless orphans turned out to be a death sentence for many of them The majority lived in worse conditions than they left, working as slaves and indentured servants, starved, beaten, abused in every way, forgotten by the country they left and despised by the country that was supposed to give them a better life This story follows five homeless friends, Winny, Mary, Jack, Cecil and Edward and other children, sent from Dr Barnardo s England homes for orphaned children, to live with families in Canada Thinking that they were going to work as housemaids for families or to practice the trades they learned at the Barnardo homes, in reality, Winny sleeps on hay, in a sheep barn, often missing meals, being beaten, without proper clothes and shoes, and treated as worthless and unwanted except for the constant work she can do for the family that bought her Mary s fate is even worse, hard as it is to believe and the boys barely escape from their master , with their lives All these children live with the shame and stigma of being Home Children shunned by the people in their new country, with nothing at all to their name Many are just worked until they die, neglected and abused, with nowhere to turn Winny tells her story finally, at the age of ninety seven, when her granddaughter and great grandson start asking questions Winny has always been ashamed of her background and what had happened to her as a child, as if it was somehow her fault Now light is being shed on this part of Canada s past As many as a quarter of Canada s population can trace their ancestry back to Home Children that came from England This story puts faces to the plight of those children and what they endured Thank you to Simon Schuster and NetGalley for this ARC. This book reminded me of Orphan Train and Before We Were Yours Here, the children were sent from London orphanages to Canada It s based on a true story, like these books usually are, of a program that existed for over 70 years and covered over 100,000 children The book alternates between the present day, as 97 year old Winny finally tells her family about her history as a Home Child, and her earlier years There was a lot of abuse in the program, with many of the children being treated like slaves than family members To me, the most interesting part of the book was the shame that caused Winny and Jack to keep the secrets they did In much the same way as we have treated migrants, the Home Children were not well received or treated as equals That stigma caused ripples far down Jack and Winny s lives I will admit that while reading the book, it often struck me as melodramatic However, in the author s note, Graham states that each incident in the book is based on someone s real history According to her research, about 75% of the children who came to Canada experienced abuse and neglect As is often the case with historical fiction, I found the author s notes to be the most moving part of the book My thanks to netgalley and Simon Schuster Canada for an advance copy of this book. Wow This is one of those books that you sit down after you have read it and take a deep breath, it has so enwrapped your soul I cried, which is a hard thing to make me do Children who were shipped from England to other countries from 1869 1948 this one focuses on children sent to Canada England had an overpouring of orphans at that time and thought this would give them a family and a good life Sometimes this just wasn t the case This book follows the lives of a few of these Home Children Such a sad, horrible story written with such beauty. 4 heartbreaking and who knew starsThis one features the popular dual timeline story modern day and the past For modern day, we have 97 year old Winny, and her great grandson who wants to know about where she came from and his roots Winny decides it is finally time to tell her story to her family.In the past storyline, we have a cast of young teens who are living on the streets in England before being sent to an orphanage Some of the children truly were orphans but some were temporarily dropped at homes until their parents could find jobs and better opportunities Later many of them learn that they will join in a great opportunity a new life in Canada These children came to be known as Home Children in Canada and unfortunately were seen as free labor than children seeking a new home and opportunities About 25% of them found just that, a better life, and stability in Canada The other 75% were mistreated and some died as a result of abuse fascinating author notes at the end of this book.We learn about Winny s life and her closest friend Mary and her brother Jack They each go to separate farms once they ve arrived in Canada We follow each young person and their heart breaking path of hard labor, limited food, and physical abuse They sign agreements to work until they are 18 or sometimes 21 They are supposed to go to school as part of the agreement, but many families just use them as labor Times are tough during the Depression era Once they ve finished their agreements, many Canadians refused to hire them for paying jobs Most of them are not given enough food or other basics and treated as second class citizens.I will admit that this one made for a difficult read, especially knowing that much of this was based on real stories that the author found or heard in research Canada is trying to reconcile these past mistakes and some of the families are being reunited through Facebook groups, etc This one does have a hopeful ending Thank you to NetGalley, Genevieve Graham, and Simon and Schuster for a copy of this one to read and review This one is out tomorrow 3.3.2020 The Forgotten Home Child by Genevieve Graham based upon the author s research of British Home children, who were sent to Canada with the promise of a better life They are trusting, innocent and vulnerable Upon arrival in Canada, they were treated as indentured servants on farms These young children were despised by both the English and Canadians for no apparent reason The cruelty that was inflicted on them was appalling It is hard to imagine that less than 100 years ago, children were still considered chattel The author relates between 1869 to 1948 approximately 100,000 to 130,000 destitute children were taken from England s streets, orphanages and homes, and then shipped across the ocean to work in other countries.The Forgotten Home Child is a poignant story narrated by Winnie, who is now an old woman She has lived with the shame of being of a home child all her life and never told her daughter Now that her daughter is dead, Winnie decides it is time to share her early life story with her granddaughter and great grandson.She relates to them that she left home for the London streets with her mother s blessing at age 10 to escape an abusive step father She falls in with a group of other homeless children Jack and Mary Miller, a brother and sister, and two brothers, Cecil and Edward The five are very close but the boys are separated from the girls when they are arrested The girls end up in a home that was started by Dr Barnado, whose agency was responsible for a large percentage of the children who were sent to Canada In 1936 the five children, now teenagers, end up on the same boat headed to Canada The boys manage to stay together, but the girls are placed in different homes That is the beginning of the neglect and abuse of these children and several others they meet They were treated as less than human, but four of them were able to survive their indenture One of Winnie s friends from the home was lucky to be placed with a loving family Jack ends up bitter and unable to fully enjoy life for quite a while Although the boys were treated so poorly, they still proudly served in the Canadian forces during World War II.This historical fiction story was very educational and thought provoking I highly recommend it 5 stars It will be released on March 3, 2020, so be sure to put it on your TBR list Thank you to NetGalley and to the publisher, Simon Schuster Canada, and Simon Schuster, Inc for my advanced reader copy of this wonderful novel. Special thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for providing me with a free, electronic ARC of this novel in exchange for an honest review Expected publication date March 3, 2020 I have read a lot of books similar to this one as of late, and although I expected much of the same predictable yet powerful tear jerking drama, I got so much Winnie is one of many children sent from London, England to Canada during the Second World War, seeking a better life These forgotten home children were often placed on farms where they could be used as indentured servants, often neglected and abused, with no one to look in on them Winnie has kept her past hidden from her family, but when her granddaughter finds a trunk amongst her things and confronts her, Winnie realizes that there are some secrets she shouldn t keep hidden Winnie tells the tear jerking story of her life on the streets of London and the close friendships she developed there, her apprehension and subsequent placement into a London orphanage, and then her travels across the ocean for a better life in Canada that turned out to be not better at all The Forgotten Home Children is the newest historical fiction romance novel from Canadian author Genevieve Graham A Toronto based writer, Genevieve has divulged information in this novel that I, shamefully, was completely unaware of She makes note that this part of history is accurate, and yet not mentioned in any Canadian history books It is terribly sad, but I am glad to see novels like this rising to the surface and bringing history to life once again Winnie and her friends were all immediately likable, children left abandoned and neglected, forced to grow up on their own and make lives for themselves Graham details the amount of research she undertook to bring this bit of history to life, and it shows in the pages of this powerful novel Although there are sappy parts, and there are predictable parts, I couldn t stop reading Jack and Winnie s tumultuous relationship over decades, Mary s torturous life and untimely demise all of these plot points suckered me in from the beginning Obviously, I related to this book than some of my American friends may, as I recognized the names of towns, ports and cities, and I also felt horrible guilt that I had never heard of these children before I wanted immediately to learn , to research them, and to reach out and let them know that I hope the country I live in is a far better place than it was when they landed here For those who are on the fence about taking a chance with this novel worrying about its similarities to other novels of its type, I highly recommend taking the leap It is a novel that is addictive and powerful, that will teach you something, and will stick with you long after its conclusion. Thanks to NetGalley and Simon Schuster Canada for an egalley in exchange for an honest review One of my favorite days of the year is when I get to read the new Genevieve Graham historical novel and I am so pleased to review this one today In The Forgotten Home Child, Graham brings to our attention the overlooked history of the British Home Child Children who were living in poverty in their home country and were promised better lives in Canada, Australia, and New Zealand According to an article on canadahistory.ca over 100,000 children were sent to Canada from the UK between 1869 and 1948 It also states that until the 1980s, there wasn t much compiling of records of this event The author s note at the end of the novel is highly informative for any readers that want to further their understanding We first meet our main protagonist, Winnifred Winny Ellis in 2018, a 97 year old woman, Winny has recently moved in with her granddaughter and great grandson When her granddaughter finds a mysterious trunk of her grandmother s and questions begin to emerge, Winny realizes that she cannot hold her painful past a secret any We are then transported back to 1930 s Britain where a young Irish girl, living on the streets, finds a family with four other children Jack, Mary, Edward, and Cecil just like her They are soon taken to Dr Barnardo s Home and taught skills, such as, sewing and cobbling of shoes But when they begin working on their own trunks, they are told that they are headed to Canada a promised land that will take them out of poverty But as Winny s tale unfolds and chapters alternate between her story and Jack s the reality of the circumstances that surround the treatment of many British Home Children in Canada, is anything but a beautiful picture My two very brief encounters with the story of the British Home Children was with Dear Canada Orphan at My Door The Home Child Diary of Victoria Cope, Guelph, Ontario, 1897, written by the much loved Jean Little and Anne of Green Gables by L M Montgomery In the latter, fans of the book might recall that Marilla tells Rachel Lynde that Matthew suggested getting a Barnardo boy which I didn t know until much later was a reference to British Home children But that is what makes Genevieve Graham a masterful storyteller because she is introducing to Canadians parts of our national history that are painful and yet are very sharp reminders that we shouldn t forget As I mentioned above, what the characters in this book suffer is not a pleasant read, there are scenes of physical abuse and torture, rape, and verbal and emotional abuse But what we must remember is that is actually what many British Home Children experience and has been recorded It is certainly a story that is heartbreaking but also shows resilience among the characters as the years progress and the Second World War begins Winny was a memorable and compelling character that I won t soon forget and I don t think YOU will either.Goodreads review published 04 03 20 Publication Date 03 03 20 Thought provoking, heart wrenching, and significant The Forgotten Home Child is a powerful, impactful tale that sweeps you away to the mid 1930s and into the lives of the British children who through the Dr Barnardo s homes were sent from England to Canada with the promise of a better life, which in reality was likely to include forced labour, abuse, starvation, and violence.The prose is immersive and heartfelt The characters are vulnerable, scarred, and determined And the plot is an authentic, pensive tale of friendship, heartbreak, loss, love, hardship, self discovery, hope, courage, and survival.Overall, The Forgotten Home Child is a beautiful blend of historical facts, alluring fiction, and palpable emotion that transports you to another time and place and immerses you so thoroughly into the personalities, feelings, and lives of the characters you never want it to end It is a nostalgic, fascinating, affecting tale that highlights an important aspect of Canadian history that is unfortunately often unknown, forgotten or overlooked.Thank you to Simon Schuster Canada Genevieve Graham for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.
- 384 pages
- The Forgotten Home Child
- Genevieve Graham
- 13 February 2019 Genevieve Graham