THE FORSAKEN CHILDREN
BY NAOMI FINLEY
Publication Date: April 13, 2021
Series: The British Home Children, Book 1
Genre: Historical Fiction
A riveting tale of endurance and resilience, illustrating the spirit of a child and the bond between siblings.
It’s 1922. Fifteen-year-old Hazel Winters and her six-year-old brother, William, are placed on a ship by an organization that relocates British orphans and children of poverty to new homes in Canada. Arrivals in the new land are exported to distributing houses, where devastation and heartache greet the youngsters as headmistresses govern their fate.
The assurance of a better life across the ocean is far from what Hazel experiences. Through hardships and loneliness, she is determined to survive. Finding refuge in memories of the past, she clings to the dream of returning to her homeland while preserving a reunion in her heart.
In 1890, orphaned Charlotte Appleton and her sister Ellie were scooped up from London’s streets and sent to new homes across the ocean. Although mere miles kept them apart, Charlotte never knew her sister’s whereabouts until a chance interaction reunites them. Together the siblings vow to make a difference for the families and home children of an institution in Toronto, Ontario.
Can an unexpected guardian give Hazel renewed strength and resolve for a future of promise?
Based on the child emigration movement that occurred from 1869 through the late1930s, this poignant tale follows the lives of siblings who were burdensome byproducts of Britain’s poverty.
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AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE
The Winters family has lived in poverty since the death of fifteen-year old Hazel and six-year old William's father. Hazel and William try to do their best on the streets, but after their mother loses her position, she makes the decision to place Hazel and William in an orphan's home. The home, however, is in the business of shipping the children to other countries to be farmed out as indentured servants. Hazel and William are placed on a boat to Canada and separated. Hazel can't bear to be separated from William, but her placement in a home where the previous girl died suddenly does not bode well for Hazel. Luckily, Hazel's situation has caught the attention of two of the children's home staff, Charlotte and Ellie who were also separated in the system and were able to find one another later in life.
The Forsaken Children is an intimate look into the lives of two pairs of siblings who were separated in Britain's exportation of impoverished children. The point of view changes between Hazel and Charlotte who are both determined, caring and mentally strong. Hazel and Charlotte's stories are heartbreaking and emotional showing their fortitude in survival when everything is against them. I was especially engrossed by Hazel's time with the family that took her, the Gagnon's. Mrs. Gagnon was especially repulsive and I was amazed that anyone was able to survive her treatment. Hazel's story is a reminder of the strength of these children who were overcoming immense hardships and difficult living situations while keeping a state of mind for survival. The Forsaken Children is an in-depth look at an often overlooked time in history where countries were brokering impoverished children as slaves to grow their workforce and economies.
This book was received for free in return for an honest review.
Naomi is an award-winning author living in Northern Alberta. She loves to travel and her suitcase is always on standby awaiting her next adventure. Naomi’s affinity for the Deep South and its history was cultivated during her childhood living in a Tennessee plantation house with six sisters. Her fascination with history and the resiliency of the human spirit to overcome obstacles are major inspirations for her writing and she is passionately devoted to creativity. In addition to writing fiction, her interests include interior design, cooking new recipes, and hosting dinner parties. Naomi is married to her high school sweetheart and she has two teenage children and two dogs named Egypt and Persia.
For more information, please visit Naomi Finley’s website. You can also find her on Facebook, Instagram, and Goodreads.