Sunday, August 29, 2021

BLOG TOUR - The Orphanage


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 fiancĂ©, 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.


:   The Orphanage
Series:  Shilling Grange Children's Home #1
Author:  Lizzie Page
Publisher:  Bookouture
Genre:   Historical Fiction
Format:  Kindle ARC
No. of Pages:  365 
Date of Publication:   August 27, 2021
My Rating:   5 Stars

Shilling Grange Orphange had been a terrible place. The children were whipped, short on food and more. Clara Newton is now Housemother and her approach to the children that come through the doors is completely different from the nuns who once ran it. She shows a level of love and compassion to deal with children orphaned from the war. 

However, Clara did not start the job with an altruistic nature. She had lost her secretarial job and was very short on funds. She just needed employment, especially one with accomodations, thinking of this job as a place-saver, just something until she can train again for something else. However, from the smallest child to the oldest, Clara soon had a change of heart. There was little Rita, who continually asked about her mother. Then there was Alex, misunderstood by most, but a wonderful child nonetheless. Another child that touched my heart was Maureen, the oldest girl, and the issues that plagued her. And I just have to mention the adorable twins Billy and Barry.

This emotional story was not only about Clara and the children. There was next door neighbor Ivor and the nun who stayed on at the orphange, Eunice. I was also touched by the town's doctor and his assistant. All of these characters played pivotal roles in this touching read. Will this only be a temporary stop for Clara? While it proved extremely challenging, Clara did her best for the children. Problems faced the orphange more than once and I loved how Clara, with Ivor's help, fought to keep these children safe at such a difficult time in their lives. This touching book has a compelling story, rich with fabulous characterization, and ends with a wonderful conclusion. I love that it is the first book in a series and cannot wait to see what is next for Clara and her charges. 

Many thanks for Bookouture and to NetGalley for this ARC for review. This is my honest opinion.


Lizzie Page is the pseudonym of Sam Lierens, a mum of three, who (for some reason) got a puppy this year. Sam has lived and worked in Paris, Tokyo and London and loves combining her love of history with fiction.

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