Tuesday, 24 September 2019

New Release Spotlight & Review: Christmas Child by Carol Rivers

Christmas Child by Carol Rivers

The 2019 Victorian romance from the Sunday Times bestselling author.
A perfect Dickensian saga for Christmas.
Christmas Day, London 1880. Snow falls … a dying Irish girl clutching her new-born baby drags herself to the sanctuary of an East End orphanage and throws herself on the mercy of the Sisters of Clemency. The nuns raise little Ettie O’Reilly as their own, but the lives of the nuns and orphans are soon crushed by an unscrupulous bishop. The heart-breaking outcome turns Ettie’s life upside down and Christmas will never mean the same again.
Will Ettie ever find her friend Michael Wilson whose secret holds the key to their past? Will Ettie keep her innocence and survive the traumatic events that are about to erupt?

Amazon UK      Amazon US 

The spirit of Christmas past, as Christmas Child tells the story of Ettie the orphan.

Christmas Day, 1880 and Henrietta 'Ettie' O'Reilly arrival into the world is a tragic one when her mother dies shortly after giving birth to her. Somehow, the poor dying Irish girl with her newborn manages to find the way to the Sisters of Mercy, orphanage, a place she hopes will care for her baby daughter… Fourteen years later, Ettie's sheltered life at the orphanage comes to an end because the Sisters of Mercy have no money to care for themselves and the orphans. For Ettie, a job with board and lodgings takes her away from the East End of London to Soho. However, it isn't long before she comes to realise the outside world is full of danger.

I enjoyed how the author manages to capture the mood of the times with her vivid descriptions of life during the Victorian era; the feelings of abject disillusionment people suffer when they have very little to fall back on when life gets tougher than it normally is. In contrast, there's the enthusiasm and drive to succeed when a lucky chance offers a lifeline. It's both sobering and enlightening to understand the daily struggles Ettie encounters and how a naive young girl learns to adjust to life in an unfamiliar and somewhat hostile environment.

A saga full of drama, the narrative is full of dubious characters as well as charitable folk. It's an emotional and uncomfortable reading sometimes when Ettie's life takes a turn for the worse but oh so satisfying when her life gets back on track.

Woven into the story is Ettie and Michael's relationship and how against the odds they find each other again after he ran away from the orphanage. It's fascinating how their different backgrounds and experiences of their time at the Sisters of Mercy shaped their lives and attitudes.

Overall, It's a festive ending for two young people who deserve to be happy and for the reader, a delightful Christmas themed historical novel.

***arc received courtesy of the publisher via Rachel's Random Resources*** 

Were there’s muck there’s money!” If my family had a royal crest I’m sure those are the words that would have been hewn into the stone above it.
Mum and Dad were both East Enders who were born on the famous or should I say the then infamous Isle of Dogs. They were costermongers selling fruit, veg and anything else that would stand still long enough!

Their family were immigrants who travelled to the UK from Ireland and France, while others emigrated to America.

As a child I would listen to the adults spinning their colourful stories, as my cousins and I drank pop under the table.
I know the seeds of all my stories come from those far off times that feel like only yesterday. So I would like to say a big heartfelt thank you to all my family and ancestors wherever you are now … UK, Ireland, France or America, as you’ve handed down to me the magic and love of story telling.

Carol xx

Giveaway to Win Five dedicated signed paperback novels by Carol Rivers (Open to UK Only)
One winner will win the following signed books
Lizzie Flowers and the Family Firm”
Molly’s Christmas Orphans”
A Wartime Christmas”
A Sister’s Shame”
Eve of the Isle”
*Terms and Conditions –UK entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.