Thursday, March 12, 2020

Review: The Orphan House by Ann Bennett

As she looks at the baby wriggling in her father’s arms, a bolt of recognition goes through her and she takes a step back. And it’s in that moment that she begins to protect her father’s secrets.

1934, Weirfield-on-Thames. Connie Burroughs loves living in the orphanage that her father runs. Exploring its nooks and crannies with her sister, hearing the pounding of a hundred pairs of feet on the wooden stairs, having a father who is doing so much good. But everything changes the day she sees him carrying a newborn baby that he says he found near the broken front gate. A baby she recognizes…

Present-day. Arriving at her father’s beloved cottage beside the river, Sarah Jennings is hoping for peace and quiet, to escape her difficult divorce. But when she finds her father unwell and hunched over boxes of files on the orphanage where he was abandoned as a child, she decides to investigate it herself.

The only person left alive who lived at Cedar Hall is Connie Burroughs, but Connie sits quietly in her nursing home for a reason. The sewing box under Connie’s bed hides secrets that will change Sarah’s life forever, uncovering a connection between them that has darker consequences than she could ever imagine.

A heartbreaking but ultimately uplifting tale inspired by the lives of the children who lived at the author’s great-grandfather’s orphanage. Fans of Before We Were Yours, The Orphan’s Tale and The Orphan Train will be hooked.

 Kindle, 322 pages
Expected publication: February 28th, 2020
by Bookouture

This is my first time reading anything by Ann Bennett, I thought the synopsis sounded like a great read.  With so many great reviews I hunkered down to read about an old house, secrets and this baby Connie recognized so clearly.

The Orphan House is a multi-POV story that centers around an old house with secrets to share. Told from the perspective of 3 women it was the past storylines that I was really drawn to. Connie goes back and forth in time as she sits in a nursing home, her story was interesting enough and piqued my curiosity.

Sarah is running from a marriage that seemed fine one day and the next in shambles, I would have loved to be privy to more details along the way about what happened. I struggled to come to grips with this storyline at times, it felt a little disjointed at times.

The concept for the book was great but I wasn't as captivated as I usually am with dual time period mysteries, it didn't have the same emotional impact.

My thanks to the publisher for an advanced copy (via Netgalley) in exchange for an honest review.

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