1952, Clara Newton’s orphanage is the victim of a campaign of upsetting incidents: stolen bikes, broken windows, and other little attacks. Has Clara made an enemy and are the children in danger?
The Children Left Behind is the 4th book to feature Clare Newton and her children’s home. I have not read the previous books but I feel it would be beneficial to read the books in order due to the mentions of previous inhabitants and relationships.
An important thread throughout the book is the on-off relationship between Clara and Ivor. He proposes but she isn’t ready. Clara feels that she has a vocation and a duty towards the children in her care. She isn’t ready to conform to the norms of the time and become simply a housewife. The author mentions in her note at the end that she has kept Clara and Ivor’s relationship hanging. She admits that some people find Clara a bit irritating and this is what I felt. Clara and Ivor should have just sat down and talked about how to continue the children’s home and worked out how to compromise!
There is plenty of mystery as Clara muses on who could be responsibile for the incidents at the orphanage. She contemplates her own circumstances and responsibilities as well as the safety of those she loves. There are several suspects who could have been upset for various reasons and I was kept guessing until the true culprit was revealed.
I enjoyed the use of real events to underpin the fictional narrative. In particular, the death of the King which was relatable due to the recent death of our own Queen, and the experience of the air crash at Farnborough which is local to me.
The Children Left Behind is an emotional historical book.
Book: The Children Left Behind (prev. An Orphan’s Hope)
England, 1951.In the aftermath of World War Two, Clara’s orphanage is all these children have left. Can she keep them safe and help them to heal? A heart-warming and emotional story of love and loss.
Clara Newton has dedicated her life to taking care of orphans who have nobody in the world but her. From affectionate Gladys, who desperately misses her older brothers, to traumatised Florrie who longs for her father and refuses to eat, Clara loves each of the children like they are her own.
But even though she has opened her heart to so many little ones, when brown-eyed war hero Ivor asks her to marry him, Clara is afraid to take a chance on love. Would married life prevent her from dedicating herself completely to her orphans?
Clara is soon distracted from the troubles of her heart when her beloved orphanage comes under attack. Someone throws stones through the window, and a threatening message is chalked near the door. Why would anyone want to frighten innocent children? And as the attacks get worse, can Clara keep the orphans safe?
Desperate to protect the little ones in her care, Clara takes the children on a day out. Away from the orphanage, Clara hopes that she and the children will be able to put their worries behind them. But when a terrible accident happens, will they all make it out alive? And will it be too late for Clara to tell Ivor how she really feels?
An utterly tear-jerking, heart-warming and unforgettable historical novel, set in the aftermath of World War Two. Perfect for fans of Before We Were Yours, Diney Costeloe and The Orphan Sisters.
(PREVIOUSLY TITLED: An Orphan’s Hope)
Lizzie Page loves reading ALL the books, and she’s always loved reading the adventures of women in the past so it seemed natural to her to write historical fiction.
Lizzie lives with her family by the sea in South East England. And with her dog. How did she forget her dog? She enjoys traveling and lived in Japan for several years. Lizzie has had lots of different jobs from waitressing and teaching to admin and bingo-calling – but being a writer is her absolute favourite.