Today it’s my turn on the BlogTour The Love Child by Rachel Hore. It’s a contemporary read, a story about love and the way certain bonds are there even if they aren’t visible to the naked eye.About the Author
Rachel Hore worked in London publishing for many years before moving with her family to Norwich, where she teaches publishing and creative writing at the University of East Anglia. She is married to the writer D. J. Taylor and they have three sons. Her latest novel, Last Letter Home, was a Sunday Times bestseller and a Richard and Judy Book Club pick for 2018.
About the book
One young mother’s ultimate sacrifice. One child’s desperate search to uncover the truth . . . – London, 1917
When seventeen-year-old Alice falls pregnant, she is forced by her father and stepmother to give up the baby. She simply cannot be allowed to bring shame upon her family. But all Alice can think of is the small, kitten-like child she gave away, and how the father, a young soldier, so beloved, will never have the chance to know his daughter.
Meanwhile, Edith and Philip, a couple unable to have children of their own, secretly adopt a baby girl, Irene, given up by a young unmarried mother. Irene grows up knowing that she is different from other children but no one will tell her the full truth. As two extraordinary stories intertwine across two decades, will secrets long-buried at last come to light?Review
It’s quite normal for an adopted child to feel different, especially if they are unaware of the fact they are adopted. A lot of them feel as if something isn’t quite right. That there is something missing. Outsiders often don’t understand their need to search for their roots in an attempt to learn more about where they came from. Why rock the boat?
I think in Irene’s case the feeling of not belonging is multiplied tenfold by the rejection and lack of love she feels from her adoptive mother. There is no bond and no instinct to protect and cherish. Obviously Irene hopes deep inside that her biological mother will make up for what she lacked as a child.
What becomes clear in the story, due to the time-frame it is set in, is how we all take the information flow of the late 20th and 21st century for granted. Given enough information and access to resources you can find anyone who has left a digital footprint. Whereas the search in this book is hindered by lack of records, finding people who know the truth, and then being able to locate someone with only the bare minimum of information.
The other side of the adoption coin is the woman who was forced to give up her child, and subsequently told to keep it a secret for the rest of her life. Alice turns her heartbreak and all the pain, and uses that internal drive to succeed in a career dominated by men.
Hore shows the invisible bond between the two women, who are meant to connect, despite the circumstances that drive them apart. It’s a sensitive subject written with gentle and understanding voice. It’s a contemporary read, a story about love and the way certain bonds are there even if they aren’t visible to the naked eye.