One of the reasons why I enjoy historical fiction is because it often gives me a chance to learn something new. In her upcoming book, The Forgotten Home Child, Canadian author Genevieve Graham opened my eyes to a part of Canadian history that I knew nothing about. She weaves historical facts from a darker part of Canadian/British history with a touching and engaging story that follows a small group of children who were some of the 100,000+ British children shipped to Canada between 1869 and 1948. These children were sent from Britain with the expectation that they’d receive a better life but sadly, the majority of this vulnerable group had vastly different experiences than the idyllic Canadian families and jobs they had been promised.
With historical accuracy and engaging characters, Graham brings readers into the issues and emotions of the time by putting a human face to the appalling cruelty, abuse and neglect that many, but not all, of these children experienced. The story is told in two time frames by Winny, one of the British Home Children, and jumps between 1936 when she was 7 years-old and 2018 when 97-year-old Winny relays her experiences to her granddaughter and great-grandson.
This is a poignant, thought-provoking and well-researched story that powerfully illustrates an overlooked part of Canadian history. The legacy of these Home Children endures in Canada since it’s estimated that a staggering 4 million Canadians are their descendants. WPL readers will recognize many locales in Ontario which will only make this story hit harder and may compel some readers to search out some of the Home Child monuments located throughout Ontario.
You can put this book on hold now at WPL to be ready for its March 3, 2020 release date!
— Laurie P.