Cover Image: The Love Child

The Love Child

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Member Reviews

This superbly written book set in 1917 London, sheds light on two topics not usually written about in this time period: adoption and females entering the medical profession as doctors. 

Firstly, until 1927 there was no such thing as legal adoption in the UK. This book begins with a newspaper cutting asking for “respectable married couples wishing to adopt” to apply to a post office box. We follow a lovely couple who, fearing judgement from their peers for their ‘illegal' activity, quietly adopt a little girl and claim she’s a deceased relative’s child. The book continues with Irene’s story and search for her birth mother. 
Secondly, Alice began medical training in the final years of WW1, thirty years before the creation of the National Health Service and at a time when medical schools were barring women. Readers discover that medicine was an exceptionally challenging career for women. Hore explains that in order to succeed as a hospital doctor, women needed to pretend to be an honorary man! After graduating, Alice can only accommodate the roles of wife and mother because she sets herself up as a general practitioner rather than following her husband as a surgeon. 

“You ladies are here on sufferance. It’s only because you come with the highest recommendation that you’re to be tolerated at all. Simply your presence here is going to disturb. I must ask you to dress as much like the men as you can.” ~ the dean of the biggest and oldest teaching hospital in London

When Alice does her practicum as a doctor, she has the opportunity to help with a birth. As she’s reaching the baby to the mother, a colleague questions, “I expect you can thread a needle? You ladies should be good for something.” 

You’ll love this captivating story about two strong women who refuse to let societal expectations place a ceiling on their accomplishments or happiness. Alice faces enough setbacks that could be used as excuses to abandon her dream, yet she allows the experiences to make her more compassionate towards others. Both women had their lives turned upside down and were left facing directions their parents had never dreamed for them. This is their story of overcoming, finding their inner strength and defying the odds. 

The beautiful writing style and the sensitive manner in which the author approaches topics appealed to me. She managed to appeal to my emotions and get me invested in the story. The icing on the cake was discovering an author who doesn’t dumb down her prose! I LOVED learning new words: querulous, charabanc, soubriquet, fripperies, prevaricate, besoms, groyne, and hoyden.

Obtaining Rachel Hore’s backlist is next on my agenda!

I was gifted this advance copy by #rachelhore #simonandschustercanada and #netgalley and was under no obligation to provide a review.
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I throughly enjoyed reading this novel. The author portrays the story, as well as the characters emotions, perfectly. I felt as if I could feel what the characters themselves where feeling. Good job!
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4 stars for this book! 
What a delightful read this book was. I seem to gravitate to anything historical fiction and that is exactly what this novel was. This book for me was extremely easy to read. It wasn’t a couldn’t put it down book but it was smooth in the sense you could pick it up at anytime and remember what was going on. 
I really enjoyed the characters in this novel. However my only critique is I wanted more depth from them. This meaning I wanted a little from the relationships the author forms in the book. 
A well written novel that I would recommend to anyone who loves easy reading historical fiction.
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Set during the years of 1917 through 1937, this marvelous book is written beautifully and hauntingly with elements of rare joy.  Much of it is enmeshed in heartache and sorrow but the author also writes in fragments of hope and love.  

The first timeline is 1917 and a bit later when Alice's fiance died in the war and as a result is not aware of his wee daughter.  Alice is forced to give her up but not one day forgets her precious Stella.  A couple adopts the wee girl and names her Irene.  Irene's new father is besotted with her but her new mother usually finds her a hindrance and shows strong preference for their biological son.

The second timeline describes Irene's new life, loss and love.  She has grown into a lovely young woman who is seeking answers about her past.  Everywhere she goes she discovers secrets.  She also wants a future.  We are told about various relationships throughout the book and everything intermingles wonderfully and seamlessly, which to me seems challenging to do.  But the author does it brilliantly.  Melding together the subplots is one of my favourite aspects.  Love the ending, too.

The Love Child was my first book by Rachel Hore but it has compelled me to investigate other books she wrote.  Any Historical Fiction reader would surely fall in love with this gut wrenching yet stunning story.  I love the historical information, especially about female doctors and medicine.

My sincere thank you to Simon & Schuster Canada and NetGalley for the privilege of reading the e-ARC of this breathtaking book.
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The Love Child is the incredible story of a young women named Alice who was forced to give up her love child after the death of her solider Fiancé. We also follow Alice’s daughter Irene through her life after adoption. I found myself throughout this book praising Alice for how she worked so hard to become  a doctor and wondering if it had been indeed the right decision to give up her child . She ended up doing so much with her life and becoming so successful. On the other hand I was torn thinking Alice would have been such a great mom to Irene growing up then her adopted mom . 
This book had me at the first page , I tore through it wanting to know what was going to happen to these characters. 
This book will most likely be one of my 5 star reads for this year . I didn’t want the story to end . 
Rachel Hore wrote a fantastic book that I will be recommending to everyone I know that is looking for their next great read!
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The Love Child is a beautifully written historical novel based in England between 1917 and 1937. Here we meet Alice. Alice is smart, strong, independent and mourning the loss of her child who she was forced to put up for adoption. This child is Irene, who we meet as a baby and watch her grow into a young woman who is also smart, strong and independent. We watch these two women’s lives bloom, and we grapple with women’s rights in the 20th Century. 

Throughout the novel, several charming characters are introduced and described so well, that you feel like you know them. Rachel Hore is a meticulous writer and each and every word has purpose, description and emotion without being too flowery. 

This was the first of Rachel Hore’s books that I have read and it won’t be my last. It was completely emotional, engaging and exquisitely written. 

A sincere thank you to Simon & Schuster Canada and NetGalley for the digital ARC. 

5 Stars
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I enjoyed this story because of its two prespectives and two timelines. The story starts with the couple Edith and Philip Burns adopting a baby girl, Irene during 1917. Growing up, Irene feels different from her family and takes the journey to find her birth mother, Alice. Alice, a 19 year old, becomes pregnant and is forced to give up her baby by her father and stepmother. However, Alice can't forget her child, and she too takes the journey to discover herself through the medical career. 

The book told the story of a mother's sacrifice, love, and family bonds through the decades. Overall, the book was very well written and depicted the difficulties and hard times during the time periods of the war.
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