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The Throwaway Children

(The Throwaway Children #1)

4.20  ·  Rating details ·  9,059 ratings  ·  821 reviews
Rita and Rosie Stevens are only nine and five years old when their widowed mother marries a violent bully called Jimmy Randall and has a baby boy by him. Under pressure from her new husband, she is persuaded to send the girls to an orphanage, not knowing that the papers she has signed will entitle them to do what they like with the children. And it is not long before the p
Kindle Edition, 496 pages
Published August 1st 2015 by Head of Zeus (first published April 10th 2015)
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Average rating 4.20  · 
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 ·  9,059 ratings  ·  821 reviews

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Ruby Tuesday
May 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2015
Wow! What an unexpected goodie this turned out to be? I loved it, it had me in tears in parts. There were so many parts to the story where I felt that I knew what was going to happen next but willing it not to. Just so tragic that I actually cried in places. This would make a fabulous made for TV drama. I read somewhere that the author had written books in the 80's then raised a family and has returned to writing. I think that the author is a superb writer of post war family sagas and hope she w ...more
Jackie White
May 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved it loved it loved it! Couldn't put this book down & read it in under 24 hours.
Such a sad but 'real' story with some happy parts to balance it out.
Brilliant book - I'll now be downloading other books by Diney Costeloe & have high expectations !!
May 21, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: frogged
Don't waste your time

I am not sure why so many people loved this book. It was not well written, the author wrote like a beginner still in public school. Maybe that's harsh but I am seriously disappointed in spending money on this book.The language is simple, no description. It's like a piece a student in junior high would write.

The plot is simple enough: two girls are abandoned by their mom when she remarries and has a new baby. The grandmother cannot take care of them, the abusive stepfather wi
Feb 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing
After the war, many children in England were orphaned and needed a place to live. Rita and Rosie were not orphans but ended up in an orphanage when their mom remarried and her abusive, violent husband forced her to sign them away to the government since he had no desire to bring up someone else's brats. Mavis' mom, Lily was horrified that her daughter would do this and she volunteered to have the children live with her and that way they could still see their mom.

When tragedy befalls the family,
Hazel Went
While this story was initially compelling, towards the end (without giving anything away) I started to lose patience as it felt as though the author was trying to impose disaster upon disaster on the protagonist(s). This resulted in a feeling almost of farce towards the end, which I am sure was not the intention. There was redemption, both for the story and the main character, and perhaps in a different mood I might have interpreted the book differently, but I was left with a less positive impre ...more
May 19, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I can't quite understand how this is rated so highly. Maybe it's just not my style, but to me it read like a soap opera in book form. I found it a struggle to keep reading. ...more
Kelly-louise Charter
I cannot tell you, how many time I sat with a lovely glass of red and cried while reading this book. With some inspirational characters it definitely made me want to read on... I need to find out what happened for Rosie and Rita. You never truly imagine just how bad things are going to get for these two little girls.

Heartrenching, tear jerking and absolutely beautiful.
Mar 23, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Just... no. I started out intrigued, and then everything slowly went downhill. It was like the author wanted to use every cliche that existed. All the caretakers were evil and terrible people. the pacing was so odd. Everything just felt... bad. Anyway, didn't like it very much. ...more
Sep 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book really tore at my heartstrings with a situation I'm sure was more familiar than people realized after WW II. A story that shows love can overcome the worst situations life delivers and some children can persevere, becoming stronger. Others, however, are not so fortunate and can't acclimate to the life they were delivered to. The last 3 chapters were so moving there were many tears shed. Really enjoyed reading this one -- 9 out of 10. ...more
Dec 01, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Imagine a world where children are not wanted, where they are given away by their parents and they are sent away halfway across the world. Sadly this world exists, this novel is not based on true events but inspired by them.

Rita and Rosie Stevens are nine and five when their mother is persuaded by her new husband to give her children away, not realising she is signing away her rights as their mother. The girls are sent to an orphanage in Australia, this novel follows their journey into early adu
Nov 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Brenda Nystrom
Jul 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is undeniably in my top three books of all time. A story so heartbreaking but so wonderfully done. Only a true story teller can tell such a story. I admire that Diney Costeloe has the skill to write such an amazing and inspirational book. Her characters are beautiful and truly represent the strength of human spirit.
Robbi Leah  Freeman
Hard to rate, more 3.5, because it will keep your interest, so read rest of review:
No children were ever meant to be throwaway children. Diney Costeloe writes the heart wrenching story of Rita and Rosie, two young girls put into the orphan system in England and sent on to Australia.
The story set after WW2 in England explains how a mother will do the unthinkable and turn her back on her daughter's. It's too much for the mother Mavis when being a single parent with two little girls finds out she
Aug 08, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I had hoped this book would be more historical fiction with factual information on why and how the British social services decided to send orphans and children to Australia after WWII. Will have to look for something non-fiction. This is the story of Emily Vanstone a self-serving, wealthy spinster, with too much time on her hands looking for a way to feel good about herself deciding to basically ruin the lives of hundreds of kids in England and Australia. The main characters, Rita Stevens and he ...more
Candace Worrell
This book was beautifully written but if I read another page I would have to call a suicide hotline. This isn't a tragic story of life, where some things are bad but there are a few bright spots. This is unremitting misery piled upon horribleness.

I was listening to it during my commute and found myself finding excuses to delay turning it on. I couldn't bring myself to give up, because it is a well-written, engaging book. Then I realized I was about eight hours in with eight more to go. I read s
Apr 25, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
How horrible to think you are unwanted by your family. This is what two little girls thought when they were put in a children's home just after the war. But really they were wanted by their gran but an unfortunate set of events meant they got sent to Australia instead and were told a pack of lies instead. A sad but probably realistic tale had me in tears at certain points but certainly worth the read. ...more
David Danielson
Jan 16, 2016 rated it did not like it
The writing is good. But I was so distressed with how the young girls at the orphanage were treated that I couldn't sleep. I had to stop reading about a quarter of the way through. I understand that it may reflect how children were treated. And I know there are places in the world today where children are treated even worse. But it bothered me too much to continue reading. Because of that I can't recommend it. ...more
Julia Sandler
Jun 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was one I couldn't put down. It was captivating & heartbreaking, even quite distressing at times. I became completely engrossed in the lives of sisters, Rita and Rosie, determined to see their story out. Expect a lot of tears. A really great novel that will really steal your heart. ...more
Apr 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I found this book by accident on OverDrive. What a surprise! This was very well written. It was sad and maddening at parts but I do believe it was true to the story and no other outcome could have worked for certain characters. I will absolutely be looking for more books by this talented author.
Mary Pat Van Schyndel
This was one of the best books I have ever read. I loved the story even though at times it seemed a bit too easy to find Rosie. Loved the characters and the situation the story was about.
Jan 28, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Heart wrenching story of two little sisters sent off to orphanage. Some of the events were painful to go through. Not for the sensitive hearts
Apr 14, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was very interesting to me as I knew nothing about growing up in an orphanage in 1940. The fact that it takes place in Australia is irrelevant. I found it very compelling and very hard to read in other places. I gave it 4 1/2 stars instead of 5 only because I felt the ending was very rushed
Oct 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Throwaway Children by Diney Costeloe is a historical tale of love and loss, heartache and disappointment, bravery and courage. Set just after World War II and spanning nearly twenty years and two continents The Throwaway Children is a marvellous read. It made me smile, it made me cry and it made me angry.
The book is not called The Throwaway Children for nothing. It is a tale of unwanted children. Children who are thrown away because they are inconvenient. There were many orphans following th
Janet C-B
Well written historical fiction novel about 2 children placed in an orphanage when the mom signed over guardianship due to social, and financial circumstances. This book was an eye-opener to me about orphanages in post war England, as well as the practice of moving children from England to orphanages in Australia during that same time frame. For me, it was incredibly sad to read about the series of tragic events that happened in the lives of the sisters, Rita and Rosie. At times, it was hard for ...more
Gillian Michelle
One of the best books I've read since As the Crow Flies over a decade ago. I was immersed in the story, living in Rita and Rosie's world from the very first page. I've been on an emotional roller coaster since starting this book and I'm terribly sad it's over. Books like this don't come around often.

It is wonderfully written with no filler or fluff. So much happens, but it all happens at the exact pace it needs to.

My only wish is that Betty's story would be addressed one more time, but I'll jus
Jan 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I would give this book ten stars if I could. Beautiful and so heartbreaking. Two little girls aged 5 and 9 find themselves put into care when their widowed mother marries a vicious man who wants nothing to do with them. The orphanage is one that gives social services it's bad name and the girls are shipped out to Australia without family consents. The sisters try hard to stay together but of course they get separated when one of the girls finds adoptive parents. A fabulous read and while it may ...more
Mar 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was a beautifully written and poignant story set after the second world war, in which 2 young sisters are given up to the state and institutionalised. Despite their Grandmother's desperate efforts to have them returned to her care Rosie & Rita are shipped off to Australia, as part of the dreadful British migration policy that saw thousands of children sent overseas during the 20th century, to harsh conditions and all too often to terrible abuse. The story details the trials faced by the gir ...more
Jan 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Oh wow. I am not even sure where to begin. What a thoroughly heart breaking book. If you are in an emotionally unstable place in your life, wait to read this until you are more secure. It details depravities that most of us will never encounter and do not want to know about. It does offer glimpses into the resiliency of the human spirit and the kindness of strangers, but mostly you read about lowest form of human life and the cruelty that they inflict on others without a care in the world. I am ...more
May 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a gem! My first and definitely not my last Costeloe. Many emotions, the wonderful story starts in the aftermath of WWII where a young woman loses her husband and is overwhelmed by taking care of her two girls. In comes a horrible bloke, as the English call them...the girls are put up for adoption and there are many "adventures." I listened to this on hoopla, amazing!😍 ...more
This book deserves all the credit it has been given. So emotive and warming, I simply felt every emotion going! The characters are so brilliantly described and you become so attached to Rita, the older sister. I would advise anyone to read this book just bring your tissues!
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Encouraged by my publisher father, I have been writing all my life. When I was five, he took my first effort to his office and brought it back in a cardboard cover with the label, 'Tom's Party'written by Diney, published by Daddy.
I've never looked back and always have some writing on the go.
To date I have written 10 romantic novels under the name of Diney Delancey (I liked the shape of the name an

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31 likes · 7 comments
“Thrown us away, more like. I haven’t even had this baby yet, but I know I could never, ever, part with him or her. Still, I suppose it’s all water under the bridge now and it’s no good going on hating you. David says hatred twists your soul. I think he’s right. So, I don’t hate you any more. From your daughter, Rita Harris” 1 likes
“Dear Mum, I expect you’ll be surprised to hear from me after all these years. You didn’t want me and Rosie, well, not enough anyway, and maybe you don’t want to hear from me now. I expect you’ve got lots of other kids now, but I only know about” 0 likes
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