ShortBookandScribes #BookReview – An Orphan’s Wish by Lizzie Page

An Orphan’s Wish by Lizzie Page is published by Bookouture and available now in paperback, eBook and audiobook. Thank you Lizzie for very kindly sending me a copy to read and review. ❤️

This is the final book in the Shilling Grange series and you can find my reviews of books 1-4 by clicking on the links:

The Orphanage

A Place to Call Home

An Orphan’s Song

The Children Left Behind

England, 1953. An emotional and heartbreaking story about children tragically orphaned by the war, and the woman who is determined to save them, whatever it takes.

When Clara Newton became House Mother of Shilling Grange Orphanage, it was only supposed to be temporary, a job to help piece her life back together again after the war had torn it apart. But five years on, Shilling Grange is more than just a job, it’s her calling. The orphans have given her a reason to live again, as has her handsome war hero neighbour Ivor, who is now her dashing fiancé.

As Clara starts to plan her perfect wedding, she is shocked to discover that the village expects her to leave Shilling Grange once she is married. They can’t imagine how she could possibly be a good housewife while working full time at the orphanage. But Clara is horrified at the idea of deserting her orphans who have no one else in the world.

Clara starts to consider who could possibly replace her if she left. Who would take care of precious Peg who has never spoken a word or known love from anyone but Clara? And who would protect timid Jonathan from his life-changing secret that only Clara knows?

But when a storm causes a catastrophic flood that risks the life of Ivor and the children, Clara is suddenly on the brink of losing everything once more. In this final heart-wrenching book in the series, will Clara and Ivor finally make it down the aisle? And will Clara find the strength to save the orphanage and stop it from falling into the wrong hands?

An utterly tear-jerking and unforgettable historical novel, set in the aftermath of World War Two. Perfect for fans of Before We Were Yours, Diney Costeloe and The Orphan Sisters.

I’ve loved all of the books in the Shilling Grange series by Lizzie Page but all good things must come to an end and so it is that An Orphan’s Wish, book five, is the final instalment. However, it couldn’t have been better and I closed the book with a very satisfied look on my face and a tear in my eye.

We return again to the children’s home in Suffolk where Clara Newton is the housemother. After a shaky start there in 1948, we’re now in 1953 and Clara is a dab hand (most of the time) at dealing with all that ‘her’ children throw at her. She’s also planning her wedding to Ivor (at long last!) but nothing ever seems to go entirely to plan for Clara and floods on the east coast seem, for a while at least, like they might derail the rest of Clara’s life.

I found myself thinking back nostalgically to book one, when Clara and Ivor first met, and the ups and downs of their relationship since. It’s felt like I know all the characters, the adults and the children. Little Peg with no speech (oh Peg!), tricky but charming Clifford (who I really hoped would reappear) – each child has had the opportunity to build up their personalities over the course of the series and so I was thrilled to read the “Where are they now” section at the end which made them seem even more real to me.

I LOVE Lizzie Page’s writing style. The wry observations never fail to make me smile and the characterisations are brilliant. I have been thoroughly immersed in 1950s Suffolk, the austere post-war years and I really felt for Clara with her dilemma of wanting to be a wife to Ivor but not wanting to give up her job at Shilling Grange.

An Orphan’s Wish is full of heart and soul, life and joy, heartbreak and love. I’m sad to leave it all behind but am so so glad I read these truly wonderful books.

Lizzie Page lives in a seaside town in Essex, England where she grew up. After studying politics at University, she worked as an English teacher, first in Paris and then in Tokyo, for five years. Back in England, she tried and failed various jobs, before enjoying studying a masters in creative writing at Goldsmiths College. Lizzie loves reading historical and modern fiction, watching films, and travelling. Her husband Steve, three lovely children, and Lenny the cockapoo all conspire to stop her writing!

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