Sunday, 24 May 2015
The Throwaway Children - Diney Costeloe
This is another new author to me. I came across this book through an online book group and what a little gem it is.
It tells the moving story of two sisters, Rita and Rosie who once had a loving family but their father is killed during World War 2. Their mother Mavis is struggling to cope without a man and starts a relationship with a violent bully named Jimmy Randall. When Mavis falls pregnant with Jimmy's baby he agrees to marry her on one condition; 9 year-old Rita and 5 year-old Rosie have to go. In a time when single mother's were frowned upon Mavis chooses her man and this puts in to motion a tragic chain of events which leads to her daughters being shipped half way across the world to an orphanage.
I found this a compelling read and sometimes difficult as the young girls are thrown from one dilemma to the next. Just as you think things can't get any worse, they do. Don't let this put you off reading this book though as it's not all doom and gloom, it's also a heart-warming tale of families over-coming the odds.
My one criticism, and it's a small one, is that I would have liked to have the author to have added some notes at the end of the book telling me where she got her inspiration for the story and if the practise of sending orphan's to Australia was a common occurrence during this time after the war.