The Orphan’s Secret by Shirley Dickson

I’m so delighted to tell you about this wonderful book today. Thanks so much to Bookouture for the copy of the book and invitation to be part of the tour.

England, 1940: A tear-jerking wartime tale of an orphaned baby who needs a home, and the woman who risks everything to provide it. Fans of Before We Were YoursWives of War and Diney Costeloe will be utterly swept away by this heartbreaking – yet beautifully hopeful – World War Two page-turner.

With the war raging, Lily has learned not to take life for granted. In a time of such tragedy, every day is a gift. Her husband is a soldier, fighting to save their country, and she prays that she will survive – to one day welcome him home.

One sweltering July night, bombs rain down. Lily and her dear friend Ethel, who is nine months pregnant, seek refuge in a shelter. Miraculously, a baby girl is born to the sound of ear-splitting shrieks and explosions in the distance. Once the raid quietens, Lily races into the house to find the newborn a blanket. But then the unthinkable happens, planes thundering right over the rooftops…

When Lily rouses, finding herself amongst broken glass and crumbled brick, she is devastated to discover that Ethel has been killed – leaving little Joy behind. With tears rolling down her face, Lily makes a split-second decision.

To save the orphaned child, Lily must tell a heartbreaking lie, a secret that she holds close to her chest for years. But when the truth comes out, whose lives will be destroyed? And will she ever be forgiven?

My Review:

Oh what a gorgeous book this is! Shirley Dickson is a master of historical fiction that really tugs at your heartstrings, and this latest book is just a superb example of this.

The characters are marvellous, and I particularly liked Lily. She’s a woman ahead of her time, not wanting to just stay at home and be a housewife, and her war work is particularly interesting. I don’t want to give too much of the plot away, but she goes to work in the Women’s Timber Corps, to be a “lumberjill”, part of the Women’s Land Army. I had heard lots about Land Girls before, but never about the WTC, and I found it fascinating.

In the beautifully crafted plot we meet Ethel, who has her own sad story, and her and Lily’s lives will be forever intertwined after the fateful night of the bombing.

There is so much to this very rich and poignant story, there is heartbreak and loss, family and friendship and a secret that will change lives.

An emotional rollercoaster that manages to be both heartbreaking and also heartwarming, this epic novel will have you completely spellbound throughout. I loved it.

My Rating:

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Author Bio:

Shirley Dickson was born and grew up in the seaside town of South Shields. She left school at fifteen and can’t remember a time when she didn’t write. She entered her first short story competition in ‘School Friend’ when she was eleven. After Shirley retired from auxiliary nursing, she was able to devote her time to writing.

After living in various locations, she settled under the big skies of Northumberland and has lived with her husband in the same house for over forty years. Shirley has three daughters and four grandchildren and likes nothing better than family gatherings.

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