What I’m Reading: The House Children

Before I get to today’s book review I thought I would pop a quick reminder here that book club meets here on June 1st.  As a reminder, this is our book…
The Last House on the Street by Diane Chamberlain.

Here is a quick synopsis…
Growing up in the well-to-do town of Round Hill, North Carolina, Ellie Hockley was raised to be a certain type of proper Southern lady. Enrolled in college and all but engaged to a bank manager, Ellie isn’t as committed to her expected future as her family believes. She’s chosen to spend her summer break as a volunteer helping to register Black voters. But as Ellie follows her ideals fighting for the civil rights of the marginalized, her scandalized parents scorn her efforts, and her neighbors reveal their prejudices. And when she loses her heart to a fellow volunteer, Ellie discovers the frightening true nature of the people living in Round Hill.    

Architect Kayla Carter and her husband designed a beautiful house for themselves in Round Hill’s new development, Shadow Ridge Estates. It was supposed to be a home where they could raise their three-year-old daughter and grow old together. Instead, it’s the place where Kayla’s husband died in an accident – a fact known to a mysterious woman who warns Kayla against moving in. The woods and lake behind the property are reputed to be haunted, and the new home has been targeted by vandals leaving threatening notes. And Kayla’s neighbor Ellie Hockley is harboring long-buried secrets about the dark history of the land where her house was built.

Two women. Two stories. Both on a collision course with the truth – no matter what that truth may bring to light – in Diane Chamberlain’s riveting, powerful novel about the search for justice.”

June 1st is the day I’ll be doing a review here with some discussion questions.  I hope you all join me.

Now to today’s post:

I was looking for a book as I didn’t have any on my device.  I was in a hurry so I quickly just picked the book The House Children by Heidi Daniele.  I found the book on Hoopla.  If I’m in a hurry, Hoopla is my go-to online library as I never have to wait for books from there.  I love it.

The book was set in 1937 during a time when being pregnant and not wed was a terrible taboo.  So terrible in fact, that mothers were forced to give their babies up for adoption.

I was pregnant before Kramer and I got married.  We had planned to get married the next summer after I finished college but a baby changed that.  We ended up getting married right away.

Because of that, I always have a special spot for books like these.  I can’t imagine the pain of not having been able to keep my baby.  I can’t tell how often I look at Kelli and am so thankful I didn’t live in those times.

About the book…it was very good and I recommend it lots.

Here is what Amazon has to say:
In 1937, Mary Margaret Joyce is born in the Tuam Home for unwed mothers. After spending her early years in an uncaring foster home, she is sentenced by a judge to an industrial school, where she is given the name Peg, and assigned the number 27. Amid one hundred other unwanted girls, Peg quickly learns the rigid routine of prayer, work, and silence under the watchful eye of Sister Constance. Her only respite is an annual summer holiday with a kind family in Galway. At the tender age of thirteen, Peg accidentally learns the identity of her birth mother. Peg struggles with feelings of anger and abandonment, while her mother grapples with the shame of having borne a child out of wedlock. The tension between them mounts as Peg, now becoming a young adult, begins to make plans for her future beyond Ireland. Based on actual events, The House Children is a compelling story of familial love, shameful secrets, and life inside Ireland’s infamous industrial schools.”

Amazon readers give the book 4.7 stars.   I would give it 4.5 stars.  The book ended quickly…I wasn’t ready for the story to end.  I’m guessing it was done that way to set it up for a sequel.

To date, the author doesn’t have any other books, I’m hoping she’s working on a sequel.  I’ll definitely pick it up if she writes it.

You can find the book HERE if you are interested.

1 thought on “What I’m Reading: The House Children”

  1. My dad was born out of wedlock in 1933. He wasn’t “officially” adopted. He was given away at birth to a couple who had children, but the children had passed away from childhood illnesses. It took me years of researching to find this out. This was also done in that time period. Sometimes the children were just given away or they were given to other family members and told their original parent was a “sister”, “brother”, or other family member. Interesting times back then.

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