The Orphanage: An absolutely heartbreaking and unputdownable historical fiction page-turner

· Bookouture
20 reviews

About this ebook

What an emotional read!At parts I found myself shouting “no”. At others I just criedAbsolutely loved it.’ Goodreads reviewer ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Shilling Grange Orphanage, England, 1948. She was their only hope. Now they are hers. A gritty, heartbreaking and unforgettable story of love and hope in the darkest of times.


Clara Newton is the new Housemother of Shilling Grange Orphanage. Many of the children have been bombed out of their homes and left without families, their lives torn apart by the war, just like Clara’s. Devastated by the loss of her fiancé, a brave American pilot, she is just looking for a place to start again.


But the orphans are in desperate need of her help. Funds are short, children cry out in the night, and tearful Rita tells Clara terrible stories about the nuns who previously ran Shilling Grange. Clara cannot bear to see them suffer, but what does she know about how to look after eight little ones?


Clara can’t get anything right, and then she accidentally ruins Rita’s only memento of her mother. Overwhelmed, she wonders if they’d be better off without her. But she’s not completely alone. Living next door is Ivor: ex-Shilling Grange resident, war hero, and handyman with deep brown eyes. He doesn’t trust Clara and she is fiercely independent, but he has a way with the children. And with his support and the help of other locals, Clara begins to find her way.


As she heals from her grief and adjusts to her new life, Clara wonders if she has finally found her home and family among the orphans. Can she find the strength to fight for them when nobody else will? And dare she open her heart to love again?


A heart-wrenching and totally gripping read. Fans of Before We Were Yours, Diney Costeloe and The Orphan Sisters won’t be able to put this book down.


Readers absolutely love The Orphanage:

My heart is full! Oh, I adored this book so much!… There were moments of pure joy and the book left me feeling uplifted and with a full heart.’ Motherhood for Slackers ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐


Exceptionalhits you for sixI am over the moon… brilliantly written and you fall in love… a feel good book that will make you cryoh my word I loved this.’ Goodreads reviewer ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐


Wow… this book is outstanding… I couldn't put it down.’ Goodreads reviewer ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐


I took to all the children with all my heart, such an emotional tale… full of love, compassion and humour… a truly remarkable touching story.’ Goodreads reviewer ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Absolutely loved thisI could hardly bear to finish it... Highly recommend!’ Jill Mansell ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

It took me about two pages to fall in love with Clara… this book just kept me wanting to know more.’ Goodreads reviewer ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

‘This book warmed my heart… Each character is so very special. You will laugh at their childish pranks, their little escapades and cheer at their successes… A delightful, heart-warming story.’ Goodreads reviewer ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐


‘All I can say is I can’t wait for book 2, I'm dying to know what happens next. The writing is gripping… As a child survivor of children’s homes I wish we had had a Clara!’ Goodreads reviewer ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Ratings and reviews

20 reviews
Larry “LC” Chapman
January 16, 2024
Very good, interesting characters in this book. Enjoyed Clara and her eight children at the orphanage. The stories of the children were very true to life and the challenges that Clara had in her personal journey brought love, pain, and joy to the story. A good read. I recommend if you enjoy learning about this type of history happening during and soon after WWIi.
Rachel Simons
August 27, 2021
Clara is the new housemother of Shilling Grange Children’s home in Lavenham. Twenty-four hours after she arrived, she tried to leave believing that she wasn’t cut out for the job. Missing her train, she returns but gives her notice. While working her notice she decides she can do so much and she really started bonding with the children and wants what is best for them. Throughout the book she always standing up for the children, more like a real mother than a housemother, she really does her best for all of them. Even when it means she might lose her job because of it! I really enjoyed reading The Orphanage, I liked Clara a lot and she is what I think everyone would have lived as a housemother back in the day rather than what most children were given and went through. I liked how each child’s character was so different and they all shined in their own way. One character I didn’t like from the start was Julian, the vibes he gave off were that he was a quite horrible person. I didn’t like his character at all. Halfway through the book, I was still feeling the same way. Then he did something that was absolutely shocking and I was right in my assumptions of him! The book was well written and really well detailed with the picturesque countryside and village. As I have lived in Suffolk all of my life and my parents lived in Lavenham and I have spent a lot of time there so this instantly piqued my interest. I do know Shilling Grange and have heard of Jane Taylor and the famous Swan hotel it also mentioned other places in Suffolk with which I am familiar. So this was a fantastic read for me, and Lizzie Page did a great job with the descriptions and little bits of history added to it.
Sherri Thompson
October 27, 2023
I actually enjoyed this far more than I thought I would. I loved Clara's strength and loved watching her grow to know and love the children and want the best for them.

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