Tag Archive | Bookouture

A Child For Sale by Pam Howes

Heart Wrenching

A Child For Sale by Pam Howes is a powerful, heart wrenching dual timeline novel that has its roots in fact. This novel will tug on your heart strings. It will make you angry at what happened and was deemed acceptable in the past. And it will make you feel grateful that we treat others with more tolerance today.

The action is set in1964 and 2015 in Cheshire and Manchester as we follow two couples who are celebrating forty nine years of marriage in 2015. One pair are childhood sweethearts, the other couple were thrown together by adversity.

In 1964 we follow the fortunes of the young girls who were unmarried mothers and found themselves admitted (by their heartless and judgmental families) to a home for unmarried mothers, run by Catholic nuns. We witness the daily cruelty and the harsh conditions as babies were whisked away to be adopted or sold. It was an abomination and one in which the girls (even if they had loving partners) were completely powerless.

For fifty years, hearts have remained broken, always searching, never healing. A gruesome discovery in 2015 (when renovations begin on an old house) re-open old wounds and a desire to find lost babies. Significant advances in DNA testing and social media re-ignite hope in long broken hearts.

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The Lost Diary by Rose Alexander

So Powerful

The Lost Diary by Rose Alexander is a powerful dual timeline novel that totally consumed me.

The novel is set during World War II in Berlin and the Sudetenland, and also in London in 1994 as Britain is preparing to celebrate the fifty years anniversary since the end of World War II.

People want to hear war stories from their grandparents/parents. Silence has been kept for nearly fifty years. Now it’s the time to reveal long hidden secrets.

We hear the stories of Katja and Lou. Hers is told verbally, his is in the form of a diary. Finally, a daughter hears her parent’s stories.

Seeing World War II from the point of view of a German girl is a different perspective and one I had not thought of before. We witness the effect Allied bombing had on lives and see that not all Germans were Nazis. “It was inevitable that ordinary people should reap what their ruler had sown.” The women and children, the old and the young were all caught up in a war they did not want.

Kind hearts do what they can. We witness the bravery needed to stand up against the Nazis. Trust was in short supply as neighbours informed on each other, and people disappeared.

Was disillusioned many. Some wounded soldiers witnessed first hand the futility of war, and did what they could to sabotage the Nazi war efforts.

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The Postcard by Carly Schabowski


The Postcard by Carly Schabowski is a powerful dual timeline novel that totally consumed me.

The action is set during World War II and in 1999 in a small town that straddles the German/Polish border. It is a heartbreaking read as we hear of the horrors that the Poles suffered. As the novel opens in 1937 life is carefree and there is a gaiety as Germans and Poles exist side by side. As war looms, the atmosphere becomes oppressive as the Poles are hunted down and persecuted.

There are those who cannot stand idly by. “I don’t want to be like the others. I don’t want to do nothing, say nothing.” Unfortunately, youthful enthusiasm fails to project forwards to anticipate the consequences of actions.

The reader travels to Bergen Belsen as we witness the absolute horrors of mans inhumanity to man. We ‘meet’ Janek, a brave Pole, who sees goodness even though He walks through hell on earth. He believes that as long as we take control of our minds, we can never be in captivity. The Nazis can take bodies but not minds, without permission.

Lives have been held captive by thoughts of bitterness and unforgiveness. One can never live in freedom until forgiveness is given.

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The Child Who Lived by Ellie Midwood

An Indomitable Spirit

The Child Who Lived by Ellie Midwood is a powerful historical novel that I just could not put down, and devoured it in just one sitting.

The book is the true story of a young women with an indomitable spirit, who against all the odds, fell in love and had a baby in Mauthausen. This is a baby and mother who both should not have lived. This is the mother’s story.

All the action is set during World War II in various concentration camps. All of them, absolutely horrendous – but despite this, a character has maintained a kind heart. “A rebel with a moral compass always pointing in the right direction in spite of the circumstances.”

To give in to circumstances would be to perish. One had to hold on to hope and believe that one day the end would come. “We ought to stick it out to the end just to annoy them with being alive.”

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