11 October 2020

The Lost Orphan - Book Review


The Lost Orphan: A Novel by Stacey Halls
Publication date: April 7, 2020
Pages: 352 pages
Genre: Historical fiction
Rating: 3.5/5 stars ☆☆☆
Strengths: Story, characters, background
Weaknesses: Could have used more historical details

Bess Bright gives birth to her daughter and knows she can't support her yet. The baby's father is not named or available, and a baby not only doesn't contribute, it would keep Bess from being able to do her job as a hawker to help feed her father and herself. She takes the small baby to the foundling hospital just hours after its birth, and is lucky enough for the baby to be deemed healthy, and get one of the infant spots available. The baby will be raised in the country, and then brought back to the foundling when she's a bit older to be trained for a job. Bess also makes sure to confirm that she can pick her child back up once she's able to reimburse the foundling hospital for her care while Bess is away.

But when Bess shows up a little more than six years later, they tell her that she picked the baby up only the day after she left her. What's a poor, uneducated, single mother to do to try and get her child back? A lucky coincidence reveals to Bess where her daughter is, but not how she got there. Bess creates a fake name and persona to work as a nursemaid, caring for her own daughter. What will a mother do to be able to love and care for her child?

The story itself was so sad. Lots of women had to leave their babies with the foundling hospital. Hopefully not too many found their child claimed by a fake mother, though. Learning about Bess, and the only mother her daughter knew before Bess returned was interesting. The sincerity and compassion with which Bess addressed and treated those around her was heartwarming.

Overall, I'd give this book 3.5 out of 5 stars. It was an enjoyable read for someone who enjoys historical fiction.

Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for my copy of this book. Receiving the book for free did not influence my review. 

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