Today I am thrilled to share the Cover for the latest novel
from the wonderful 🇨🇦 author Genevieve Graham.
The Forgotten Home Child
Releasing on March 3, 2020!
The Home for Unwanted Girls meets Orphan Train in this unforgettable novel about a young girl caught in a scheme to rid England’s streets of destitute children, and the lengths she will go to find her way home—based on the true story of the British Home Children.
At ninety-seven years old, Winnifred Ellis knows she doesn’t have much time left, and it is almost a relief to realize that once she is gone, the truth about her shameful past will die with her. But when her great-grandson Jamie, the spitting image of her dear late husband, asks about his family tree, Winnifred can’t lie any longer, even if it means breaking a promise she made so long ago…
Fifteen-year-old Winny has never known a real home. After running away from an abusive stepfather, she falls in with Mary, Jack, and their ragtag group of friends roaming the streets of Liverpool. When the children are caught stealing food, Winny and Mary are left in Dr. Barnardo’s Barkingside Home for Girls, a local home for orphans and forgotten children found in the city’s slums. At Barkingside, Winny learns she will soon join other boys and girls in a faraway place called Canada, where families and better lives await them.
But Winny’s hopes are dashed when she is separated from her friends and sent to live with a family that has no use for another daughter. Instead, they have paid for an indentured servant to work on their farm. Faced with this harsh new reality, Winny clings to the belief that she will someday find her friends again.
Inspired by true events, The Forgotten Home Child is a moving and heartbreaking novel about place, belonging, and family—the one we make for ourselves and its enduring power to draw us home.
And now a little word from Genevieve Graham:
I’m so excited to share this very important book with Canadians – and everyone else, of course. As you know from my earlier books, my passion lies in researching and writing exclusively Canadian Historical Fiction, and this story about the British Home Children is definitely that.
I first learned about the British Home Children a few years ago, when I stumbled upon an article about them online. The article said that starting in 1869-1948, 100,000-130,000 destitute British children between the ages of three and eighteen were taken from England’s streets, orphanages, and Homes, then shipped across the ocean to work in Canada, where it was thought they’d have a chance to lead better lives. The trouble was that once the children arrived here, there were few to no checks and balances in place. What could go wrong? Plenty. Some of the children did quite well. Those were informally adopted and their lives improved unquestionably. Unfortunately, most of the children did not. The majority became indentured servants, working as farm labourers and domestic servants. And approximately 75% of those children experienced neglect and abuse. Thanks to the recent fascination with genealogy, it has since been determined that 12% of Canada’s population is now descended from these children. That’s over four million Canadians! And most of them have no idea they might have a British Home Child in their family tree.
About Genevieve Graham
Genevieve Graham is the bestselling author of Tides of Honour, Promises to Keep, and Come from Away. She is passionate about breathing life back into Canadian history through tales of love and adventure. She lives near Halifax, Nova Scotia.
Photograph (c) Janice Bray