Cover Image: Christmas is for Children

Christmas is for Children

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Member Reviews

A superb insight into how poverty was in those days. Very aptly written and the author gave us a real feel for the characters. Such a good writing style and I am now off to devour this author's collection.
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This was a wonderful, sad, heart breaking and heart warming story of a British neighborhood during the Depression.  It tells of the many different struggles and crises endured by its residents and does so in such a way that you can almost feel the cold, the fear, the disappointment and the sheer joy and gratefulness of these characters.  Rosie Clarke is a wonderful writer and I would pick up any book with her name on it, because they are always so, so good.  Very strongly recommend.

Thank you to Netgalley, the author Rosie Clarke, and the publisher Aria, for an ARC of this beautiful story.  This is my honest opinion.
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December 1930 and depression has hit the East End of London. 
This book portrays beautifully the rallying around attitude of neighbours and family to provide for those worse off and to try make Christmas special for the children. 
The characterisation was brilliant and the writing style and setting hooked me straight in to the story.
This book has heartbreak but its also heartwarming.
A perfect read that when you put down and look around makes you realise how lucky you truly are!.
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I love Rosie Clarke’s books, and was so delighted to read this new one.

As always, it captivated me right from the first page. The book is set in the East End of London at the time of the depression in the thirties. It’s a tough time for the characters.

Robbie is a widower, struggling to bring up his two children. There’s very little work around, and there are days when they are genuinely starving. His son Ben, who’s only ten, is very enterprising and manages to get little jobs from the neighbours, which might be enough to buy a bag of chips. He’s a really sweet child, who just wants to help his family.

Flo is another lovely character, she’s gentle and kind, and even though she runs a shop and looks after her father and daughter, she still finds time to help out elderly neighbours and keep an eye on Robbie’s children. She’s a character I really wanted the best for, I really wanted things to work out for her.

It really strikes you that some of the people in this area, in a time before benefits and the NHS, had so little. But what little they had, they shared. There’s such a great sense of community and caring.

This is a lovely, heart-warming and festive novel. It reminds us of what is important about Christmas. Completely captivating, highly recommended.
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What an amazing book. So easy to read. It shows you what life was like through the depression and that even when people has hardly anything that they were prepared to help others. We could learn a lot about human kindness from this book
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This story is a "snapshot" into the lives of several people living in/around the docks of London in 1932. It is a tale of how the 1929 stock market crash in the U.S. effected Europe/England.
The main characters are a man, Robbie, and his two children, Ben and Ruthie, along with Flo, her sister Honour, and their father. The story shows how a strong sense of community is what keeps these main characters, and the people they interact with, strong in the face of job scarcity, starvation, illness, and a multitude of other daily hurdles.
I felt that this was a very well written story and the characters are well developed; tugging at my heartstrings. I kept wanting to find out what was going to happen next. The author wrote in a way that made me "see" the different housing, the long lines of men waiting for a job, smell the cakes being baked at the bakery. This is a wonderful story that reminds the reader of what the Christmas season is all about ... "it's not what we get it's what we give..."
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December 1930 East End London, the depression is biting hard into the pockets of men and women alike. Standing in breadlines daily is common and fills the community people with shame. The children back then were much more mature and understanding of their situation than the children today. They understood they wouldn't get anything for Christmas because of their parent's poverty and accepted it without complaint. Sad but true fact. The author really sets the tone of the story line realistically. No one likes to see poor children doing without. It's very hard on our hearts but it's not all sad, things do pick up. Even though these people are dirt poor if their neighbor is sick or lonely they are there for them, their neighbor needs food they share what little they have with each other. Very heartwarming to see that their dire situation did not turn them bitter or against each other.
Very good story I could see rereading in the future.
Pub Date 04 Sep 2018 
I received a complimentary copy from Aria through NetGalley. All opinions expressed are my own.
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A beautiful Christmas story taken place in London during the depression. A time when neighbors looked after each other because they really cared for each other. The author brought the characters to life with such vivid descriptions. I could picture the streets of London, the bakery and the men waiting for jobs on the street corners. Highly recommended for anyone who loves a feel-good historical novel.
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Christmas is for Children by Rosie Clarke carries readers back in time to November of 1932 in the East End of London.  Robbie Graham is a widower with two young children.  Dock work has slowly been drying up since the beginning of the Depression and, after Robbie defended a man, he has been blacklisted.  The kids miss their mother, are hungry and their clothing is worn out and too small.  Robbie needs to find a way to provide for his children and, with Christmas fast approaching, he would like to do something special for them.  

Flo Hawkins owns and operates a cake shop with the assistance of her daughter, Honour.  They also take care of their invalid and demanding father, Ernest.  Since Ernest had his second stroke that confined him to bed, his attitude and language have taken a downturn.  What no one knows is that Honour is Flo’s daughter.  Flo fell in love with Honour’s father, but he did not stand by her when she told him about the pregnancy.  Flo spends her Friday evenings helping at Reverend John Hansen’s mission.  They provide a meal everyday to the poor and on Friday evenings they have games and raffles.  The money they earn from the raffles helps provide something special for Christmas for those in the East End.  Flo and Honour would like to do something extra this year for the kids in the area.  Life is hard for those in the East End, but they have each other.  Neighbors, friends and family come together to help each other out especially during the holiday season.  What happens when someone attempts to thwart the special Christmas plans they have planned?  

I found Christmas is for the Children to be a well-crafted novel.  The author takes the time set up the story.  We are given descriptions of the East End, the docks, the shops, the homes and the people.  Many of the inhabitants live in dilapidated homes that need to be torn down.  Some do not have running water or indoor toilets.  Work is scarce making it hard to provide for families.  Ms. Clarke paints a realistic picture along with well-developed characters.  I only summarized a small portion of the story above.  We get to see things from a working man’s point-of-view along with a shop owner, children, a vicar, a nurse and an elderly couple.  I like that we get different perspectives.  It is heartwarming to see how they help each other and share what little they have with others.  There was so much hardship, suffering and hopelessness.  It was nice to see the characters develop as the story progresses.  The pace is gentle.  It is not fast nor is it slow, but it does suit the story.  We see the importance of having hope, a good heart, and knowing right from wrong.  Rosie Clarke created a novel that draws in the reader and keeps their attention until the very last word.  Christmas is for the Children will leave you with a positive impression, a smile on your face, and happiness in your heart.
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I’ve been a fan of Rosie Clarke’s evocative and enthralling sagas for years. A writer who gets better and better with every book she writes, her latest saga Christmas is for Children is a captivating and poignant tale that continues to cement her standing as one of the genre’s most talented writers.

Christmas is fast approaching, but in the East End of London in the 1930s, there isn’t much cause to celebrate. The Depression is leaving its mark upon the city’s poor and underprivileged, the future is looking distinctly bleak, money is tight and keeping the wolf from the door and everybody fed, clothed and watered gets more and more challenging as the days go by. The Depression has hit everybody hard and nobody knows this better than poor Robbie Graham. The widower is not only out of work, but he also has to raise his two motherless children, Ben and Ruthie, single-handedly. But with no job, next to no money and no prospects or opportunities, Robbie is left wondering how on earth he is going to be able to provide for his family. Having endured so much heartache and anguish, Robbie will not give up until he sees a smile on his children’s faces. Will a Christmas miracle make his wish a reality? Or is another disappointment in store for the Graham family?

The thought that some children will have a miserable Christmas breaks local shop owner and single mother Flo Hawkins’s heart. The children of the East End have had their fair share of hardship in the last couple of years and Flo is determined to give them a Christmas they will always remember. With her daughter Honour by her side, Flo comes up with a terrific idea to give these poor kids a wonderful Christmas. However, little did Flo realise that the best gifts are the ones you never expected as she finds out when she is the one who ends up getting the greatest gift of all.

Will this Christmas mark a change in fortune for the Graham family? And will Flo realise that the best gifts in life are free?

Rosie Clarke is on top form as always with a terrific saga that will touch your heart and bring a tear to your eye. A book that will make you believe in all that is good in the world, Christmas is for Children is a wonderfully emotional read about family, community, hope and second chances written with flair and heart. Rosie Clarke never shies away from writing about the grittier side of life in her sagas, however, she does so with great humanity and compassion.

A writer who never fails to deliver an outstanding saga, Rosie Clarke has penned another winner with Christmas is for Children.
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Review: Christmas for Children was such a delight to read.

I really enjoy settling down getting all cosy with a Rosie Clarke book especially one that is set at Christmas time.

Its 1930 and times a tough. Robbie is facing Christmas without his wife and the mother to his two children and Flo who puts others before herself despite facing tough times herself decided to help these poor children. 

I really enjoyed this plot and reading about all the characters who despite facing troubles still found hope to help each other. Rosie Clarke creates characters that have many emotions that you can clearly feel while reading. Reading the scenes with the children really pulled at my heart-strings. 

This book really highlights the true meaning of Christmas. A must read as the nights begin to draw in a Christmas fast approaches.
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London’s East End, 1930.

Robbie has two children named Ben and Ruthie. He’s really struggling to keep his children fed, warm safe and happy and also is still severely affected by his wife’s death. Of his two children, Ben is the one who helps his dad get more money for the family by doing errands so they can be fed. Ben is putting money away into a fund in an effort to help further.

Flo works works in the areas’s sweets shoo with the help of along with Honour. Honour thinks she is Flo’s sister, when really she is Flo’s daughter. Flo has been working at the shop her whole life and when her dad suffers 2 strokes she finds her time further filled with caring for him. He’s got a bad temper on him though which sometimes makes this harder but she’s upbeat.

The Depression means Britain is steeped in misery and poverty but some people do what they can to ease suffering. There’s a soup kitchen and minimal health services which nmeans a lot at a time when the National Health Service did not exist.

People are just trying to survive and move on as best they can. Christmas has not been able to be celebrated because of the poverty in the area. But that is something that Flo and Honour are determined to change. For everyone but especially for the children. Will they succeed?

The Depression is very well portrayed here and there is so much hardship. Rosie Clarke is not a new author to me as I reviewed all her Mullberry Lane books and enjoyed every one. She is a master at writing historical fiction that really makes you think and feel. I liked Robbie and his family as well as Flo. The atmosphere in the book is represented in a way that’s second-to-none and I felt transported to the time period. Despite all the suffering, the Christmas scenes and how people come together is magical.

Thanks to Rosie Clarke and Aria for my ARC in exchange for an honest and voluntary review.
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I thoroughly enjoyed this story and it genuinely touched my heart!

I loved the characters in this story, they are very well developed and their interaction is completely on point.  The setting and location is excellent and the writing style is so vivid at times I was completely immersed in the story.

One of my favourite authors of this genre and period – her books are a complete delight and a real treat for me to read – five stars from me, another lovely story from Rosie Clarke!!
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This book started a little slow but it got better. it was definitely worth finishing it. love a happy ending.. this is the first book I have read by this author. I will definitely be reading more by her in the future. not quite chrismassy enough for me, would have liked christmas from the very first page.
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I really loved the main characters and the brilliant plot.  I read this book in one sitting and could not put it down.  I would highly recommend this book to anyone.
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I have been a fan of Rosie’s for quite a while now.  I absolutely love her books and I dive straight into each new book that she releases.  So imagine my excitement when I heard that she was due to release a new book called  ‘Christmas Is For Children’.  On second thoughts best not.  Needless to say that I was really, really looking forward to it.  I was not to be disappointed as I absolutely loved reading ‘Christmas Is For Children’ but more about that in a bit.
I loved and took to most of the characters in this book.  I really felt for the characters of Robbie, Ben and Ruthie Graham and if I could have leapt into the pages of this book to give them a hug then I would have done.  Robbie is a single parent, who lost his wife much too young and he has had to battle his grief as well as bring the children up.  Robbie is embarrassed by his situation because as was often the case for men in the Thirties, he found himself without a permanent job and instead he had to make do with taking work when he could find it irrespective of how low paid and revolting those jobs might have been.  Robbie queues up each morning at the docks in the hope of getting work but because he has fallen foul of those who run the docks, he doesn’t get much if any work from them.  This leads to him not being able to feed or clothe the children adequately and he feels a deep sense of shame that he can’t provide for his own children.  Ben and Ruthie love their father very much and are aware of their current situation.  They are both far more grown up than children of their age should be.  Ben is 10 years old and he is trying to earn money to bring some pennies into the house.  His father doesn’t make him do it but Ben feels that he has to help out when he can.  Whenever Ben and Ruthie are going past the local bakery/ sweetshop, they look in the window and almost start to drool over the window display.  They would love to have a treat from the window but they simply can’t afford it.  The owner of the shop, Flo Hawkins, knows of their situation and gives them various cakes and things saying that they might as well have them because they are going stale.  Of course that’s a little fiberoonie.  Flo is the ‘sister’ of Honour Hawkins but in actual fact she is her mother.  Flo’s mother came up with the ‘sister’ explanation to avoid scandal being brought on the family.  Flo’s mother assumed the responsibility of being Honour’s mother.  Not everybody is convinced though- the chief one being Flo’s father, who I could have quite cheerfully poked in the eyes with a sharp stick.  He is simply horrid to Flo and Honour and he is very demanding.  He is an abusive bully in all senses – he abuses Flo and Honour financially, mentally and emotionally.  I wouldn’t have been surprised if he had physically assaulted them too.  Flo and Robbie know each other from way back and there is definitely some history between the two of them.
‘Christmas Is For Children’ is beautifully and sensitively written.  I became addicted to reading it from the moment I opened the cover.  It didn’t take me long at all to get into the story.  To the end of the first page was all it took for me to become addicted.  The characters and their situations were so realistically written that they seemed to come alive and seemed just as real as you or I.  I found myself thinking of certain characters as friends and I couldn’t help but hope that things would work out for them.  I binge read this book in a matter of hours but I hadn’t realised because I was enjoying reading the book so much.  I was most disappointed when I turned the last page over.  I wanted the story to continue on and on.
For me, ‘Christmas Is For Children’ is a real ‘CPID’ (can’t put it down) book.  The book wasn’t exactly glued to my hand but it might as well have been because it came everywhere with me.  I just couldn’t bear to be parted from the book and if I did have to put the book down, then I counted down the time until I could pick the book up again.
Reading ‘Christmas Is For Children’ did put me through the emotional wringer somewhat.  I was so into the story and I cared so much for certain characters, that I couldn’t help but go through the emotions that they were going through.  I shared their hopes, frustrations, worries and well you get the picture.
It’s fair to say that I loved reading this new book by Rosie Clarke and I eagerly await her next book.  Here’s hoping that we don’t have too long to wait.  I would definitely recommend this book to others but in particular to those people who enjoy reading historical saga type books.  The score on the Ginger Book Geek board is a very well deserved 5* out of 5*.
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What a superb read! Set during the time between two world wars when poverty abounds, this is one to give you the true meaning of Christmas.

Flo Hawkins runs her shop in the east end of London with the help of her sister, Honour. The girls work hard, baking and creating treats for their customers as well as looking after their bed-ridden father but they know, with the majority of bread-winners having no work, that it’s going to be a bleak Christmas for most of their friends and neighbours.  Although the family keep their heads above water, life hasn’t always been easy for Flo and she does her best to ensure that Honour has more freedom than she had in the past. When an old friend comes back to the area, it bring back memories of happier days for Flo.

True to the period it’s set in, this is a delightful and entertaining read. It’s definitely a wake-up call to the the luxury the majority of us live in today. This tale shows all of human nature both at best and worst, and it is a truly wonderful read. The characters, as always with this author, are beautifully created; both well-rounded and flawed but always realistic. The details are stitched together into a vibrant and irresistible story, and one which most definitely left me with a festive glow. Community spirit shines throughout. And the cover? Absolutely perfect! Recommended strongly for your reading list this Christmas!

My thanks to publisher Aria for providing my copy via NetGalley. This is my honest, original and unbiased review.
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I have come to enjoy Rosie Clarke books.  Christmas is for Children was a captivating tale of extreme hardship and an underlying romance during the 1930s depression.  A tale of family tragedy with a young girl becoming pregnant which her mother tried to hide by claiming the child as her own.  I was touched by Robbie and his sons true grit in trying to make money to put food on the table. As the truth began to unravel would Robbie and Flo continue the love they once had many years ago.  It was sad at times but I didn't want to put the book down. Another great book from Rosie.
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This is a first for me by this author but it won't be my last!!!

This is a Truly magical Christmas tale of hope and courage during the depression in the East End of London and docklands where this fabulous story is centred. 
The Depression means Britain is steeped in misery and poverty but people do what they can to ease suffering by helping each other and pulling together as a community.

Robbie is a recently widowed father of 2 children... Ben and Ruthie... they are just adorable... Ben does lots of odd jobs to help his father who is struggling to find work to keep food on the table and warm their home.

Flo is the local baker and runs her shop with Honour, and between them they take care of their ailing father who has had 2 strokes... he's not an easy man and has a bit of a hard tongue to go with his bad temper... he doesn't make it easy for the girls... but Flo will not see her father go to the Infirmary.

Mr and Mrs Waters... an adorable elderly couple who lost both their sons to the war... friends with Ben and Ruthie... Mrs Water falls ill and Mr waters struggles to take care of her on his own... but he's stubborn and ends up having a 'little to do' as Nurse Mary called it... the community rally round... Robbie brings their beds downstairs to the parlour to make things easier and everyone plays their part to get them well again.

People are just trying to survive as best they can. For most Christmas has not been the best because of the poverty in the area, many children going without... but as a community with the local missionary John Hansen, puts on a wonderful Christmas meal for those without and with Flo and Honour's sweet gifts for the children the day is enjoyed by all, except the man who 'thinks' he can just take what he wants.

The Depression is very well portrayed here and there is so much hardship. 
The atmosphere in the book is represented in a way that's second-to-none and I felt transported to the time period

Despite all the suffering, the Christmas scenes and how people come together is absolutely magical. 

I can't say enough about this book... I highly recommend it.
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Delighted to have an early copy from net galley in exchange for a honest review of Christmas  is for children .
This is Truely magic Christmas tale of hope and courage through the harsh winter's during the depression in the East end of London and  docklands where this fabulous  story is centred. 
Robert a young widower left with Ben and Rosie to care for try to hold down any work he could get as like so many there was the odd few hrs here and there they never starved  had a warm bed at night and the greatest love from there dad   with Christmas  coming  soon  he was  worried but he wasn't alone the kindness of neighbours  was great and the two sisters  who owned the bakery  had taken a great shine to his kids   this book has everything you need for xmas love laughter tears but above all compassion  you are drawn in from page one and see this story unfold life is never straight forward  I can't praise this book highly enough would definitely recommend  to friends and family xx
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