"The Orphanage Girls reunite in the second installment of a moving saga series about an orphanage in London’s East End, from the bestselling author of The Jam Factory Girls, Mary Wood.”
Abandoned by her father for the second time, left scarred from the orphanage, Ellen finally finds happiness and hope – reunited with her long-lost gran. But it cannot compensate for being torn apart from her beloved friends Ruth and Amy. When a devastating encounter leaves Ellen broken and desperate, she is forced to fight her past demons.
Ruth has found peace, building a new life as an actress surrounded by new friends. But still, she longs to be with Ellen and Amy after everything they endured together in the orphanage. Amy was shipped to Canada with hundreds of other orphans, what hope have they of finding her?
One wish comes true when Ruth’s acting career leads her to Ellen. No sooner has the dust settled, war is on the horizon. Friendship locked them into each other’s her hearts forever.
Will they find Amy? Can The Orphanage Girls ever unite?
Genre: Historical Fiction
Format: Kindle ARC
No. of Pages: 432
Date of Publication: December 8, 2022
My Rating: 4 Stars
Friendship knows no bounds for Ruth and Ellen even though they were separated after being together in an orphanage. For Ellen, abandonment is nothing new to her, but she gets another chance at life when her awful father leaves her with her grandmother. Although not quite a teen, Ellen’s life has been one tragedy after another. Nearly broken after a brutal attack and great loss, Ellen needs more help than her grandmother could provide. In fact, her mental break was largely misunderstood at the time. As this book was set in the very early 1900s, this was very heartbreaking. However, this led Ellen to set major goals in her life.
Meanwhile, Ruth, a few years older than Ellen, had landed on her feet. Her job as an actress in a theatre production is how Ellen fulfilled one of her dreams to find Ruth. Shortly before Ellen went to her grandmother’s home, she briefly met a woman that reminded her greatly of Ruth. When Ruth and Ellen finally reunite, they realize that their bond went past that of dear friendship. In fact, they realize that they are half-sisters. They hope to never part again.
They are missing Amy, also at the orphanage while they were there, whom they heard was sent to Canada with other orphans. For now, Ellen and Ruth are finding their paths in life together, as friends and sisters, despite even more tragedy that befalls them. With war on the horizon, Ellen and Ruth do what they can for the war efforts. This keeps them together as their lives remain intertwined. Never once losing hope for the future, Ellen and Ruth show great strength, bravery, and kindness.
As I had not read the first book in the series, I had to familiarize myself with the bond that Ellen and Ruth shared and only hope that the third book in the series will bring Amy back into their lives. I definitely will be reading the first book in the series before the third book is released because of the compelling nature in which Mary Wood writes this wonderful, although often heartbreaking, story.
Many thanks to Pan Macmillan and to Random Things Tours for this ARC for review. This is my honest opinion.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Born the thirteenth child of fifteen to a middle-class mother and an East End barrow boy, Mary Wood's childhood was a mixture of love and poverty. Throughout her life Mary has held various posts in office roles, working in the Probation services and bringing up her four children and numerous grandchildren, step-grandchildren and great-grandchildren. An avid reader, she first put pen to paper in 1989 whilst nursing her mother through her last months, but didn't become successful until she began self-publishing her novels in 2011.
Her novels include All I Have to Give, An Unbreakable Bond, In Their Mother's Footsteps and The Breckton Novels.