Cover Image: The Orphan House

The Orphan House

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Member Reviews

Pensive, tense, and emotive!

The Orphan House is an engaging, mysterious tale that sweeps you away to the idyllic village of Weirfield and immerses you into the lives of two main characters, Sarah Jennings, a young woman who, after heading to her father’s home to regroup after her marriage falls apart, finds herself taking care of her father, purchasing a historic home, and endeavouring to rebuild a new life in a house that needs a lot of work and seems to contain a lot of hidden surprises; and Connie Burroughs, an elderly woman who, after a recent fall and subsequent move to an assisted-living facility, decides to let the memories she’s been protecting and her father’s long-buried secrets finally come to light.

The prose is evocative and expressive. The characters are focused, troubled, and attentive. And the plot, set in both the 1930s as well as present-day, is a tender, heartfelt mix of life, love, family, friendship, self-reflection, history, abuse, power, negligence, community, new beginnings, and second chances.

Overall, The Orphan House is a hopeful, absorbing, reflective tale by Bennett that, with its compelling storyline and endearing characters, I’m sure glad I didn’t miss.
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Sarah, Connie and Anna.  Three different woman, three different backgrounds and three different t times in history but so much in common. 
Sarah buys Cedar Hall, a house  that was once connected to her fathers past… the house was adjacent to the orphanage, he grew up in.  Her father is terminal and wants answers to his past.
Connie wants to bury the past to protect her fathers secrets. 

A story with all the feels, so many secrets, lies and truths.  
I enjoyed this book a lot.  While it is my first read by this author, it will definitely not be my last !
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This is a book you will want to read without distractions. The story was very good but I really had to focus. I probably should have made the font bigger in my kindle and it would have been easier. It’s a heart tugging story of an orphanage that is bought many years after it closed and secrets are uncovered.

It was told from two POVs and the present and the past via a diary. I liked how the characters flowed together into this wonderful story.
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I absolutely love books with past/present timelines, especially when there is a mystery to be solved involving family secrets. And talk about a secret! The Orphan House by Ann Bennet was an emotional journey that had me glued to the pages—heartbreaking but ultimately uplifting. It is my first read by this author and will certainly not be my last!!!
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Secrets within an orphanage, travels to India, and much much more.   A young woman reeling from a scandal involving her husband returns to where her ailing father is living.  Mesmerized by an old home (site of a former orphanage), she soon becomes involved in old mysteries and sandals of the past.  Couldn't put down, I will strongly recommend.
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Lies and family secrets, past and present, are finally revealed  about Cedar Hall orphanage in this fantastic book. This one will keep you turning pages. Thanks to author Ann Bennett, Forever (Grand Central Publishing), and NetGalley for  providing a copy of this book for an honest review.
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This book has three points of view, Anna's diary in the past, Connie in the past and the present and Sarah visiting her father William in the present. Connie is the daughter of Reverend Ezra who runs an orphanage next to their home, Cetar Hall. Connie's father takes Anna in from India, Connie is in love with her father's driver, Tommy. Everything comes to a head and then a smashing conclusion.

I loved this story of history, secrets, love and family. The characters were well thought out and the plot was immersive. I just couldn't stop reading about Connie, her family and their past. Her father was a real piece of of work and the fake religious bullshit was so spot on. I loved reading Anna's diary the most, it was my favourite part of the whole book...what that poor girl went through. The reveal was one of my guesses and I loved that there were two possible outcomes, it kept the book interesting throughout because all I wanted to do was figure it all out, I needed to know...I love when I book can make me enjoy it that way. I highly recommend this to those who enjoy historical fiction with a bit of mystery.
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Sarah Jennings, on the verge of a divorce, inadvertently stumbles upon a buried secret when she attempts to find answers to her father’s lifelong quest. A little more digging reveals that 3 women are linked to the evidence she’s uncovered from 1934 and the trail of secrets leads from British India to Berkshire, England. Time is not on her side and the urgency to link the people, places and events consumes her. She purchases a worn and tired looking home close to her father’s place and begins fixing it up, hoping it provides the peace of mind she seeks. 

When Connie Burrough’s elderly sister dies and Connie is unable to care for herself after a fall, she moves into a nursing home. She has lived in Cedar Lodge with her sister for the past 90 years and putting it up for sale was difficult in more ways than one. Built next to an orphanage, the family home is full of secrets. Worry that the home will reveal the truth is foremost on her mind. 

Anna Foster, the wife of a British Army officer returns to Berkshire from India in the early 1930s with a letter in her pocket. Heartbroken, she hopes the promise in the letter will provide an answer to the burden she’s carrying. 

This atmospheric and tragic story consumed me. It has a little bit of everything; mystery, adventure, relationship issues and lost love. It held my attention with the exotic descriptions of India and the chilling discoveries in Berkshire. The memorable characters and the plot will stay with me for a long time. Bennett explores how our family history shapes us and how some prominent people use their position to exploit others, thinking they’re untouchable. She also sheds light on the idea that we might not know those close to us as well as we think we might. 

The author was inspired by the life of William Carey and her great grandfather, Brice Bennett. William Carey, one of the first Baptist missionaries to work in India in the 19th century, lived on the street in Berkshire where she was born. Brice Bennett was the headmaster of a country school for pauper children in Berkshire. 
This memorable tale of greed, tragedy and lost love needs to be on your reading list!
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