A heartbreaking, unputdownable and utterly unforgettable story of two young sisters cruelly abandoned by their mother at an orphanage. Fans of Wives of War, Lisa Wingate and Diney Costeloe will lose their hearts to this stunning World War Two novel.
1929: Four-year-old Etty and eight-year-old Dorothy are abandoned at Blakely Hall orphanage by their mother, never to see her again. With no other family to speak of, the sisters worship their beloved mam – confused and heartbroken to be deserted by her when they need her the most.
1940: Etty and Dorothy are finally released from the confines of Blakely Hall – but their freedom comes when the country is in the grip of World War Two and its terrors. Amidst a devastating backdrop of screaming air-raid sirens and cold nights huddled in shelters, the sisters are desperate to put their broken childhoods behind them.
But trouble lies ahead. Dorothy must bid goodbye to her beloved husband when he’s sent to war and Etty must nurse a broken heart as she falls in love with the one man she can never be with.
Etty and Dorothy survived the orphanage with the help of one another and neither sister can forget the awful betrayal of their mother, which has haunted them their whole lives. But when a shocking secret about their painful childhood comes to light, will the sisters ever be the same again?
I have read some great books this year that are set in and around the world war and this is another one to add to the list.
What appeals most in this story is the relationship between Etty and Dorothy. I am sure most of us with siblings when we were younger, argued and fought like cat and dogs. Etty and Dorothy though are very close. Having been sent to an orphanage, they only have each other. The bond that grows between the two was so endearing and lovely to read.
As the girls leave the orphanage, we get to see what life was like for both of the young women, especially within the war itself. We see all the highs and lows and the turmoils that both sisters have to face. I have to say it makes for a page turner of a read as I was so engrossed in what was going on.
The Orphan Sisters is a compelling and emotional story that will tug on the readers heart strings. You really get a sense of the era that the story is set in with all the concerns and worries that the people had back then. I loved though with all that going on, the strength especially that characters like Etty have, to just keep on going and make the most of what life deals you. A superb read!
My thanks to Bookouture and NetGalley for an advanced readers copy of this book. All opinions are my own and not biased in anyway.
The Orphan Sisters is available to purchase from Amazon. Please note that link used is an affiliate link).
About the author
Shirley Dickson lives under the big skies of Northumberland with her husband, family and lucky black cat.
She wrote her first short story at the age of ten for a magazine competition. She didn’t win but was hooked on writing for a lifetime. For many years she wrote poetry and short stories and got many rejection slips. Shirley decided to get serious about writing novels when she retired and signed with Bookouture in 2018 for a two-book deal. She has written two stirring World War Two historical novels.
Shirley says she is a prime example of ‘never give up on your dream.’