Ireland, 1924. For thirteen-year-old Nora Doyle every day is a fight for survival. In the rural Irish village she calls home, she is no stranger to funerals or feeling the cold wind blowing through the windows of the small cottage where she lives with her family. Somehow Nora manages to keep smiling, but she longs to escape the poverty surrounding her.
One day, Nora’s life changes when her sense of adventure leads her and her best friend, Kitty, through a hole in the wall of the huge house on the top of the hill. In the secluded, carefully tended garden they discover on the other side, Nora and Kitty meet Edward, the young boy who lives there, and they instantly form a strong bond.
Soon Nora is spending every moment she can spare in the secret garden. But in escaping from her life in the village, Nora is going against the wishes of her family, who have forbidden any contact with the big house. Because Edward holds the key to a family secret that will change Nora’s life forever, and force her to make an impossible choice between her family and her future…
A heart-wrenching story of love, loss and the power of friendship during unimaginable hardship. This book is perfect for fans of Orphan Train and The Girl With No Name.
Whilst this maybe a women’s fiction novel, there is a simplicity about it that I know young adults will adore also. Especially as we follow Nora as a child, into her teens.
The story feels like a coming of age one. I loved the setting of Ireland in the small village as we get to know Nora and her best friend Kitty. Both characters are like little old women. I loved the banter between them both and whilst they maybe children, they really do seem wiser than their years.
The era it is set really comes across with how the characters speak and their actions. There is an air of innocence through out the novel that at times really tugged on the heart strings. Nora’s relationship with her brothers, as well as her friends but especially Eddie, more than made my emotions go into over drive.
The Orphan’s Daughter is a wonderful and tender read. I had a fair few teary moments whilst reading as the characters took hold of my heart. The author has a wonderful way with words that make her books instantly compelling and unputdownable reads. Loved it.
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’s Daughter is available to purchase from Amazon. (Please note that link used is an Amazon Affiliate link).
Sandy Taylor grew up on a council estate near Brighton. There were no books in the house, so Sandy’s love of the written word was nurtured in the little local library. Leaving school at fifteen, Sandy worked in a series of factories before landing a job at Butlins in Minehead. This career change led her to becoming a singer, a stand up comic and eventually a playwright and novelist.