The Forgotten Home Child

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 03 Mar 2020

Member Reviews

I want to start by saying that this was a super easy and enjoyable reading. This book is absolutely amazing in every sense! 

Firstly, it’s beautifully written, the story flows extremely well and, most importantly, it lights a shadowed part of Canadian History. 

I was moved by how the author so sensibly wrote about such a sensitive subject, it was like I could feel the pain and all emotions along with the characters. It got me crying in so many parts but still I am so happy I got to read it and learn about such a history as the one o The Home Children. 

Congratulations to the author for writing such a beautiful piece and for the great research work involved in the process. I’d give this book ten stars if possible!!
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I was captivated by this book from the very beginning.  First of all, I was unaware that there was such a thing as the British Home Children until I read this book.  Before I review the book, I want to be sure to thank the author for including all the background and information regarding the program and participants in a Note to Readers.  While the story itself is fiction, it is based on some of the actual happenings to the children who were involved in this program.  The story is told through the character Winny as she relates her long-hidden story to her granddaughter and great-grandson.  The author writes a story based on five young children who were living on the streets of London and formed their own “family unit” to help each other survive.  The boys and girls were separated when placed in  an orphanage and then into the British Home Children homes, but had made vows to find each other again when they were released from the program.  Following the lives these children lived and how they moved on from the abuses they endured is  both heartbreaking and moving.  The descriptions of the families where they were placed makes a reader wonder where the good people were....but we soon find out that they are there in the story too.  The author develops the characters of the children-turned-adults in a way that keeps the reader believing in them and wanting happy endings for them all.  I did not want to put this book down once I began reading it....I felt invested in the lives of Winny, Mary, Jack, Edward and Cecil as well as Charlotte, a friend that Winny had made while in Barkingside, the girls home of the British Home Children in London.   The past is revealed as Winny realizes she needs to tell her story.  The ending of the book has both happy and bittersweet moments.  I really didn’t want the story to end.   Thank you to NetGalley and Simon and Schuster for the ARC of this book in return for an honest review, which this has been. #NetGalley #SimonSchuster.
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What an excellent read!! I instantly fell in love with the characters and was caught up in their story. There were many parts which left me breathless.  Before reading this novel I had been completely unaware of British Home Children.  The author's notes and pictures at the end of the book were greatly appreciated. I would definitely read more books by this author.
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This was my first book by author Genevieve Graham but it will not be my last. I have already added her previous books to my TBR list because she just has a way with words. The story is captivating and left me haunted, scouring the internet to learn more about these Home Children I had previously heard nothing about.

This story alternates from present day Winny, an old woman eager to tell her family the secrets of her past. How she got here, what she endured as a child, and why she hasn't ever talked about it. Telling the story will be tough. Old wounds will be opened and heartaches will occur once again, but it is a story she is determined to relive so that her family can know where they come from.

Characters and scenery of the past were well written and the characters immediately likable. A group of abandoned kids, living on the streets in filth, given a chance for a better life. The intentions of the British and Canadian governments were good, but the plan and followup went very wrong, leaving these children in the hands of monsters with no checks and balances for their safety. 

Although some parts of the story were sappy and predictable, I couldn't stop reading. After finishing, it was a story that haunted me for a couple days as I searched the internet for anything I could find on this subject. Guilt slowly set in, as I had never heard of this part of history and I wanted to share it with anyone who would listen to me. This part of history should never be forgotten. 

Thanks to Netgalley and Simon & Schuster Canada for allowing me eARC to read and give my honest review.

Genevieve Graham's The Forgotten Home Children is set to be released March 3, 2020 for US readers. Please pre-order this novel as you will not be disappointed. A 5 star read for me!  

Happy Reading!
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The Forgotten Home Child follows five poverty-stricken children from England as they make the journey overseas to Canada to start a new life in the young country. While the children expected to have greater opportunities and a better life in Canada, the reality was quite different. Years later, 97-year-old Winny has to confront the horrors of her past when her relatives question her about a mysterious old trunk in her possession.

This book has all the makings of a great historical fiction novel. Bringing to the foreground a lost part of Canadian history, Genevieve Graham delicately and respectfully paints a picture of the real-life experiences of British Home Children. She accurately depicts the horrors that many of these children lived through, showing the multiple levels of abuse and prejudice that the kids experienced.

Genevieve Graham perfected the dual narrative, crossing over multiple characters' perspectives and timelines seamlessly. She finds a way to make each character, in both the past and present-day narratives, to be original and multi-layered. Everyone contributes to the storyline in their own way. Often, in multi-narratives, authors aren't able to make all of the stories equally valuable and interesting - Genevieve Graham, however, excels in this matter.

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this novel and I am grateful to Genevieve Graham for introducing me to a part of Canadian history that I had never heard of before!
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This is a part of history I've only recently learned more about, so I was interested in reading this book. I haven't read any where the children were sent to Canada prior to this story.

Characters are well-developed, and the prose quickly pulls the reader in. 

If you're a fan of Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate, you'll likely be interested in this, as it tugs at similar heartstrings.

This is a memorable book about children who should not be forgotten.
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Oh my goodness, what a book! The Forgotten Home Child is a beautifully written and compelling story of survival. Wow can Genevieve Graham ever write! Blown away. I was captivated on page one and couldn't put it down. 

This is why I have such a love for historical fiction based on true events. A history lesson from our past. A lesson that is so incredibly important, powerful ... everyone should read this story. 

Told in dual timelines between 2018 & 1936 (and on) Winnifred aka Winny, tells the story of her life, along with her best friend Mary, and her brother Jack. The story takes us on a difficult and often heartbreaking journey during a time in Canada's history. 

All the stars for The Forgotten Home Child! The best book I've read so far this year!

A huge thank you to Simon & Schuster Canada for my review copy.
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This was a hard book to read, though I’m very glad I did. 

The Forgotten Home Child by Genevieve Graham chronicles the events and lives of the British Home Children. This organization began as a way to get rid of homeless orphans and what they called “forgotten children”, those with at least one parent living but unable or unwilling to care for them. The scheme was to round them up, send them to orphanages and children’s homes. From there they would be sent to Canada, New Zealand, and Australia where they would become indentured servants until adulthood. Over  100,000 children became part of this scheme from 1869 to 1948, many of them coming to Canada.

A man named Dr. Barnardo began this scheme with very good intentions. He hoped to help these unwanted children by finding them homes in the new lands where they would hopefully thrive. The idea was good on paper. In reality it became a nightmare for thousands of children who found themselves in a distant land that did not want them, being basically sold to people who only wanted them for labor, and totally at the mercy of these folks since there was no monitoring once they were placed.

This book tells the story of a group of these children who came to Canada in 1936. It is told through the eyes of Winny and Jack from the time they were picked up in the streets of London, England to present day. The story is heartbreaking. It will make you cry. You will become enraged, but I believe you will also be comforted to see that many of these kids survived and did manage to overcome the trauma to live fulfilling lives. In spite of the horrors mentioned here, the book is uplifting because it is a story of survival and hope.

The Forgotten Home Child is what I like to call a fictionalized true story. Winny, Jack and their friends are fictional characters, but the events that happened to them in this novel are true. Ms. Graham did an excellent job of researching the British Home Children. She talked to many of the descendants of the actual Home Children, and used the events she was told about in this novel.

Everyone should read this book. Not only is it an excellently written novel, this is a part of our history. The history teacher in me says that we should not let events like these, as dark as they are, fade from our memories. 
A history forgotten is often a history repeated. 

I received an ARC from NetGalley and Simon & Schuster for an honest review.
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A young girl  is caught in the scheme to rid England's streets of destitute children...

This book is based on the true story of the British Home children.

Winnifred Ellis,  97 is dying but knows her shameful secret will be buried with her so she doesn't fear death..

At a young age she runs away from her abusive stepfather and lives on the streets of London, where she is taken in by Mary and 3 boys: Jack Edward & Chad.  After being caught stealing the children.are rounded up and taken to Dr Bernardo's receiving home (9 a home for orphaned and unwanted children).

The children are educated and then taken to Canada  where they are promised new lives.  The girls are ""adopted" by different families and the boys are""adopted""  together..

Instead of the living homes they thought they were going to, they have been sold to the families as indentured servants.

Their living conditions are horrible and all are beaten with the boys receiving the most horrible beatings of all.

Winnie finds Mary and learns that she is a servant as well but Mary's master impregnates her.  Mary is forced to give up her infant son at birth  Upon returning to the farm she is once again at her master's sexual advances and it becomes too much for her to bear and she commits suicide  In a note to Winnie she asks Winnie to find her son and raise him as her own.

Winnie goes to school and eventually earns a nursing degree.  She finds Mary's son (Billy) and adopts him.

When one of the "home boys "is badly beaten the others decide to run away and get medical help for him.  They are taken  in by a doctor and his wife but unfortunately their friend  dies .from  his beating.

Jack gets his freedom and joins the war, when he is injured her is sent home and becomes a patient at the hospital where Mary works..  They fall in love ,marry and have a daughter of their own.  He learns the truth about Mary and loves her son an vows to protect him.

When Billy is 18 , e joins the army and earns the truth abut his parentage when he doesn't have id papers to produce upon enlisting.  This makes him very angry and he has n contact with his father and Mary until a long time (after Jack has died and Mary is dying.

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I brilliant book about a more hidden period of Canada's (and the Commonwealth a large's) history.
I was drawn to this because it said it was for fans of The Home for Unwanted Girls and as a person who lived in Canada for a number of years but who no longer does. It's also nice to read historical fiction that isn't WWII centric.
As I read this in a day, I'll likely be hand selling this and certainly recommending it to my regular historical fiction customers who I know are sick of WWII centric books.
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This story. What a heartbreaking story. I had never heard of this story before. For 79 years children from Canada were being shipped off to other areas of the world and being told they were orphans to go work on farms and for wealthier families. They often went through abuse and neglect. This story pulls at your heart strings and makes you hopeful. I truly enjoyed reading this and the note to the readers at the end from the author is educating and makes you appreciate the story even more. My words truly won’t do this story justice. If you enjoyed Before We Were Yours - this will be right up your alley.
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Thank you to Simon & Schuster and NetGalley for an advance copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

The thing i love about Genevieve Graham's books is the that the backbone of them is based on true events in history. I always leave the book wanting to know more about the history revolving around her story. In this case it tells about the lives of the British Home Children sent to Canada. Their lives were suppose to get better once they were received into the homes of Canadian families and in a lot of cases this wasn't the case. Many were treated as little more then slaves with inadequate food, clothing and shelter.

In this story we are introduced to siblings Jack and Mary, siblings Edward and Cecil and young Winny. Five children living on the streets of London, England surviving any way they can. They are eventually caught and sent to an orphanage and later to homes run by by Dr Thomas Barnardo. The boys are separated from the girls and don't see each other for many years until one fateful day they are all to sail to Canada on the same ship. Unfortunately the lives they are told they will live are not the ones they experience. The boys are sent to the same farm but the girls are sent to different farms. Each live through terrible hardships and abuse that will scar them for life. We learn of their pasts from Winny as she finally reveals her past to her granddaughter and great grandson who had no idea of the struggles she lived through.

I was brought to tears many times while reading this and days later am still contemplating the horrors so many of these children were forced to endure. This is a great book for anyone interested in the history of Canada and Britain for an event that i was not aware of before being introduced to it in this novel. 

Another superbly written book by Genevieve Graham!
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I don’t even know where to begin! This is one it takes days to digest and I’m still doing that. So much research went into this book. It was written beautifully. The topic, I believe, is not well know. The home children went through terrible, terrible situations in their childhood. These things should never happen to anyone. So grateful for Genevieve Graham for enlightening the world to these happenings. If I could give this millions of stars ratings I would!
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The Forgotten Home Child is historical fiction based on well-researched facts regarding a little known part of Canadian history. With the best of intentions, Britain gathered destitute, homeless children and arranged for them to be sent to Canada to be placed with families, with the hope of a better life. Unfortunately, most of these “home children” ended up as indentured labor for Canadian farming families, all too often living a harsher life than the one they left behind.

Narrated by 97-year old Winny to her granddaughter and great-grandson, The Forgotten Home Child follows Winny and her five friends, all “home children,” detailing the story of their lives and their experiences, both in London and subsequently in Canada. We learn of their hopes and dreams versus the harsh reality of their existence. As adults, Winny and her husband, out of shame and anger, never shared their traumatic pasts with their family.

While heart wrenching in its subject matter, The Forgotten Home Child is very engrossing and kept my interest throughout. The author includes “A Note to Readers” at the end, describing the extensive research she undertook in preparation for writing this novel. She met and interviewed descendants of British Home Children to learn about the hardships and shame experienced by their ancestors.
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First of all I want to thank the publisher and NetGalley for a copy of this book. From the beginning till the end I was captured by this extraordinary story about the Home Children I'd never heard before. Wonderful characters in a historial fiction book that kept me on reading for hours. I highly recommend this book to all my friends and family members. And to you, reading the reviews before asking for a copy. I'd give 6 stars if possible.
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This book really tugged at my heartstrings. I am a sucker for a tale of hardship based on history, and this one is particularly well written. It's hard to imagine that this kind of thing could have ever happened to children, and I appreciate the amount of historical detail the author put into this work. Many thanks to the publisher for the chance to read this.
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This fantastic read deserves more than 5 stars.  This Historical Fiction book is based on the British Home Children who were children sent from England to Canda to clear out the orphanages and sold as indentured servants.   In 1936, 15-year-old Winnie runs away from her mother's abusive boyfriend who lives with them and often beats all of them.  She meets up with Mary and her brother Jack, brothers Edward and Cecil and together they live on the street and steal to survive.  When they are caught, Winnie and Mary are put in Dr. Bernard's Barkingside Home for Girls and the boys are put in the home for boys.   After 2 years, they all ship out to Canada at the same time supposedly to work for families and have a better life, but that is not what happens.  The story then goes to present day when Winnie is a 97-year-old widow living with her granddaughter, Chrissie and her great-grandson, Jamie.   One day, they ask her about the trunk from her childhood that she has brought with her and about her past which she has kept a secret for all these years.  This is such a heartbreaking and moving read and I highly recommend that you keep some tissues nearby.   The author, Genevieve Graham, did a very thorough job researching the history of the British Home Children.  Thank you NetGalley and Simon & Schuster for the ARC of this very moving story.  I highly recommend this book.
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The Forgotten Home Child by Genevieve Graham
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Thanks to Simon & Schuster for letting me read an advance copy of this book. I would highly recommend it as a wartime story with a different slant. It is an historical fiction which the author did her research on. I did not realize that children in GB had such a struggle during & following the war. They were farmed out to Canada on work projects. I am Canadian and am horrified at our treatment of them While heartwrenching at times it is an amazing story of the resilience of these children. How they overcame the challenges and obstacles was uplifting to read.

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I didn’t like the beginning of this book, and I almost quit it.  “Let’s sit down after dinner each night and get great grandma to tell us her life story.”  Zzzzz.  But it got better, and I rounded 3.5 stars to 4.  

Usually when I read historical fiction, I am motivated to read up on that part of history, but this book didn’t do that for me. However it held my interest and was a quick read. Thanks so much to net galley for this ARC!
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Genevieve Graham is a wonderful author that pulls you in from the beginning and doesn't let you go. I've had the great privilege of hearing her speak on several occasions and her passion for her characters and story breathe extra life into her words. Not to brag (maybe a little), she lives in my province and I am absolutely proud to recommend any of her titles to our customers. This book will not disappoint.
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