The Love Child
By Rachel Hore
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The unmissable new novel from Rachel Hore, Sunday Times bestselling author of Last Letter Home, a 2018 Richard and Judy Book club pick. 'A gorgeous and deeply absorbing story' TRACY REES London, 1917 When nineteen-year-old Alice Copeman becomes 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 about is the small, kitten-like child she gave away, and she mourns the father, a young soldier, so beloved, who will never have the chance to know his daughter. Edith and Philip Burns, a childless couple, yearn for a child of their own. When they secretly adopt a baby girl, Irene, their life together must surely be complete. Irene grows up knowing that she is different from other children, but no one will tell her the full truth. Putting hopes of marriage and children behind her, Alice embarks upon a pioneering medical career, striving to make her way in a male-dominated world. Meanwhile, Irene struggles to define her own life, eventually leaving her Suffolk home to find work in London. As two extraordinary stories intertwine across two decades, will secrets long-buried at last come to light? Brilliantly evoking the changing attitudes of the time, The Love Child is a novel about love, family, separation, despair and hope, full of tenderness and deep feeling. 'Simply stunning . . . I savoured every moment of this moving story of love, loss and, ultimately, forgiveness. The Love Child is an absolutely beautiful book and, in my view, Rachel's best so far' DINAH JEFFERIES 'This tender account, spanning two generations, reveals how the loss affects mother and child across the years. A story that stirs the deepest emotions' WOMAN amp; HOME 'A poignant story, rich in period detail' SUNDAY MIRROR 'An emotive and thought-provoking read . . . My heart went out to both these two women as they faced such difficult personal decisions that would change their lives forever' ROSANNA LEY 'Rachel's stories are always absorbing and intricately woven and The Love Child is no exception. This is a wonderfully moving tale of love and loss, hope and eventual reconciliation, and I very much enjoyed it' BARBARA ERSKINE 'I found her writing warm, compassionate in this story about one girl's search for her true identity amidst the secrets and dynamics of her adopted family. It had a realism about the poignancy of illegitimacy in this prewar setting' LEAH FLEMING 'The Love Child is a hugely compelling, poignant and moving read. Rachel has great skill as a storyteller and readers are sure to be engrossed and swept away by her clever double-stranded tale' JANE JOHNSON