The Love Child by Rachel Hore

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One young mother’s ultimate sacrifice. One child’s desperate search to uncover the truth.

London, 1917

When nineteen-year-old Alice falls pregnant, she is forced by her father and stepmother to give up the baby. She simply cannot be allowed to bring shame upon her family. But all Alice can think of is the small, kitten-like child she gave away, and how the father, a young soldier, so beloved, will never have the chance to know his daughter.

Meanwhile, Edith and Philip, a couple unable to have children of their own, secretly adopt a baby girl, Irene, given up by a young unmarried mother. Irene grows up knowing that she is different from other children but no one will tell her the full truth.

As two extraordinary stories intertwine across two decades, will secrets long-buried at last come to light?

My Review

Interweaving storylines of two generations of women from the same family that were separated at birth as they find their places in the world and ultimately finding their way back to each other.

Set in a time where having children out of wedlock was a mortal sin that lead to ruination of the entire family, this is where we find a heartbroken Alice. Nineteen, pregnant and single, following the death of her fiancé, Jack. Alice had been working in France as a Voluntary Aid Detachment nurse where she meets and falls in love with Jack. Unfortunately the war rips their futures away from them when Jack is killed in action, leaving Alice heartbroken as well as pregnant. At the insistence of her stepmother Alice is sent away to have the baby in private and adopted by a loving family.

Left adrift after the birth and subsequent loss of her daughter Alice is unsure what direction to take in life, wanting to jump straight back into nursing but forbidden by her parents she makes the decision to study medicine and become a doctor, A profession that is entirely male she struggles to forge a path for herself. Told from two opposing view points and dates it follows the lives of both mother and daughter, separated at birth but interwoven none the less.

Switching between Alice’s past and present as well as  Irene’s story this is a multiple threaded story spanning years as the two women find their places in the world and ultimately finding their way back to each other. Even with the multiple switches the transitions are well polished and easy to follow as is the threads weaving everything together.

In Irene’s search for her birth mother Alice it reminds you how much you take the internet and things like Facebook search for granted. Their journeys are neither easy or plain sailing but entirely heartwarming. An easy read that delights and inspires and is one of her best books to date.

Prepare to be swept away as you follow Alice and Irene on their emotional journey of discovery in a predominantly male world.

The Love Child will be published on 05 Sep 2019 and is available for pre order now

A massive thank you to the author Rachel Hore, publishers Simon and Schuster UK and NetGalley for my copy of this book in exchange for an honest and independent review.

 

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