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The Secret Orphan: A gripping historical novel full of secrets from the USA Today bestselling author

4.24  ·  Rating details ·  1,360 ratings  ·  110 reviews
Keep her secret

Keep her safe

On the 14th November 1940, Hitler’s bombs rain down on Coventry. From the rubble of a bombed-out family home, a young girl is saved … but at what cost?

This is a stunning and memorable page-turner of love, loss and resilience for fans of Orphan Train and The Secret Wife

As the Nazis’ relentless bombs fall during the Blitz of Coventry, six-year-ol
Paperback, 400 pages
Published December 18th 2018 by HarperImpulse
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4.24  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,360 ratings  ·  110 reviews

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Shirley Revill
The night of 14th of November 1940 was one the people of Coventry will never forget. 515 German bombers targeted the city a bombers moon their guiding light. The city was devastated with a great loss of life,this however did not daunt the brave people of Coventry. They remained determined that Britain would be forever free.

The story starts with the air raid on Coventry in 1940. Rose was only six years old at the time now she is celebrating her 85th birthday. Rose is sat at the piano and her moth
beverley ann
Nov 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved it

November 1940 Coventry England. Rose after her mummy Victoria dies in a bomb blast in stephenson road is only seven year's old. Her adoptive parents elenor and Jackson move to Cornwall then canada. On roses eighty fifth birthday she goes back in time to tell her family the story, that hold a secret elenor has kept for many years.I loved this book full of love family secrets that you won't expect to happen from start to finish
Oct 25, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: net-galley
I did NOT want the story to end. I was so invested in this story. I was so caught up until the last paragraph. I even exclaimed NO! I want more. I want to know more when they moved.
This is truly one of the best historical novels I've read. I actually felt like I was there. I was rooting for the young heroine. I love how she grew up quickly. I love how she took on the orpan and made her own. I love how she fought for her.
The story starts right before the WWII and into the WWII. The author drew me
Nov 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A fabulous story that pulls you in and a lovely mix of charactors.Elenor goes to stay with her Aunt Maude and becomes entranced with Rose the daughter of her aunts housekeeper.To say there is a gripping plot is an understatement.I would recommend you read this book it is worthy of the 5* and more i loved it.
Nov 07, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An ARC was provided to me for free by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

During the Blitz, when German bombs rained on parts of England, little six-year-old Rose Sherbourne finds herself orphaned. She becomes the ward of Elenor Cardew, who is determined to protect Rose at any cost - especially when Elenor discovers a devastating secret about Rose.

I loved this book. I love WW2 narratives, and this one was absolutely great.

Although the synopsis focuses on Rose, the real s
Kimberly Mussell
Oct 28, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is what historical fiction is all about! We see a bit of current day and then it goes back to the 1940's. During, before and after the Blitz. I love the character of Grace. Such a sweet little child who goes through so much heartbreak. Elenor is a character that I love reading about, strong and willful!
Nothing but praise for Glynis Peters! I am hoping that she either continues this story or gives us more of her imagination and style in another great novel.
Thank you NetGalley and HarperImpu
Nov 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved this book!! I enjoyed everything about it- the characters, story and writing style. Loved reading about Elenor and I felt like I was right there with her. She was amazing-- running the farm by herself, her love of Rose, and how she treated everyone, especially those who helped her on the farm. Tom, Susie and Dottie were great additions to the farm and loved how they joked about Dottie's donkey laugh. Jackson was the perfect charming pilot. The story was not what I expected and I would neve ...more
Kayla Garcia
Nov 01, 2018 rated it liked it
We start out, as the reader, being introduced to the character Rose, as she is in the midst of Nazis bombing the city of Coventry, England. We then jump back before the war began and follow the storyline of Rose and Eleanor as their lives intertwine and the war creeps into their lives from there. There’s a secret about Rose threatening to become known and Elenor risks everything to ensure it stays hidden.

❝For the first time in her life, at nearly seven years old, Rose understood the pain of war
Y.I. Lee
Feb 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I like historical novels and this was really good. The way the story started was riveting.
Poor little Rose caught in the bombing of Coventry. It was a bit like a story of two halves. It begins with Rose and then we meet Elenor. It was clever how the author pulled it all together.
I really enjoyed the story. It's well written with great characterisation. I loved the way it ended.
Kathleen Gray
Nov 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A good old fashioned read. Set during WWII, it's the story of Rose and Eleanor. Who really rescued who during the Blitz? Both characters are well drawn and oh so sympathetic. There are some ups and downs and the secret, well, can't spoil it for you. Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC. I know others would like to see the story continued but I think it's perfect the way it ends here.
One of THE best historical novels I have read in a long time...not a genre that I normally read but one I will look for more books...
I instantly fell in love with the story line, I became invested in each character but Elenor and Rose were the primary characters that you felt the most emotions. When I started reading I didn't want to put my tablet down but life trickled through to my reading and I had commitments to uphold.
I'm not one that likes when a review gives up the story so I won't do th
Nov 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
My favorite genre is WW II historical fiction. Glynis Peters has written “The Secret Orphan”, which I found to be an exciting read. It is set in Coventry, England during the war. Rose Sherbourne is a little girl living with her mother and dad who are employed by Maude Matthews.

Elenor Cardew who lives with her brothers on a farm n Cornwall, England is required to go to her Aunt Maude in Coventry to care for her in her terminal illness. Since the Sherbourne’s do most of the domestic work, Elenor t
Georgina Troy
Dec 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Excellent Book. The Secret Orphan began dramatically with young Rose being caught in a bombing raid and her life changing forever. She is rescued and cries for Elenor. We then see eighty-five year old Rose looking back at her life and how her life became entangled with Elenor's and what happened before and after the terrifying bombing raid. I was instantly absorbed into Rose and Elenor's worlds from the first page. Eleanor's life of drudgery looking after her brothers on the family farm in Cornw ...more
ray kesner
Feb 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
WWII, From an England Perspective

It is especially interesting to read what World War II was like for someone living in England. The war was a historic and tragic event and The Secret Orphan gives a unique, dramatic, and spellbinding insight into European life during the war. Peter's is a gifted and interesting writer. Her ample research and dedication to historical accuracy and enjoyable reading are both evident throughout this historical novel. I very much enjoyed reading her work and look forw
Andi Miller
Nov 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Wow! What a fantastic book!
From the first page I was hooked, I loved Elenor, her passion, her character and her loyalty. I would love to have her as a friend.
I loved the intrigue and the history that Glynis Peters researched.
I struggled to put it down, and had to slow down the reading as I didn't want it to end, how bonkers is that? Really enjoyed the different direction that this WW2 story took.

Looking forward to reading Glynis Peter's next.
Thanks to Netgalley, Glynis Peters and Harper Impul
Cristie Underwood
Nov 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kindle
This story was amazingly written and I didn't want it to end, as I became so invested in Elenor and Rose's journeys. This was historical fiction written at its best. I will definitely be seeking out more by this author!
Norma Orr Miller
Wonderful Book

This book was suspenseful,encouraging,and a wonderful book on family and love
. This was also a wonderful take on the war and the hardships of the English during WW11
Katherine Young
Feb 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Couldn't put the book down from cover to cover! Highly recommend this book if you are looking for a book where you can fall in love with the characters and never expect where the story will take you.
Nov 19, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviews
During World War II, Coventry, England was bombed several times by the German Luftwaffe. The most devastating of these attacks occurred on 14 November 1940. On that evening, 515 German bombers carried out a coordinated attack, code-named Operation Mondscheinsonate (Moonlight Sonata). After the bombing, Coventry lay in ruins.

It is during this attack that the novel, The Secret Orphan, by Glynis Peters, begins. Bombs are falling, and the world of six-year-old Rose Sherbourne comes crashing down. ..
Nov 04, 2018 rated it liked it
The synopsis for THE SECRET ORPHAN had immediately grabbed my attention, and judging by the first chapter, it sounded like a book I would really enjoy. Chapter two – which should have been the epilogue – is dated November 2018; thankfully, from then on, the story follows a linear pattern, going back to 1938. I found the book description somewhat misleading, because the “secret” part really begins only in the last seventy percent of the story. Before that, it’s mostly about Elenor’s life in Coven ...more
Marlene  Moore
Nov 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I thoroughly enjoyed this storyline.
There was romance, mystery, tragedy, trials and a happy ending. Everything one would want in a book. I will be following this author as I greatly enjoy her writing.
I hope there is a second book that will follow the characters from the end of this book.
Jan 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
The Secret Orphan is by Glynis Peters. This book is set in England beginning in 1940 during World War II. It also skips to the present, nearly sixty years later, where a woman is dying and she begins to relive her life.
Elenor was summoned to her Aunt’s home and reluctantly went. At least she was getting away from being a slave to her brothers. The only affection she had had was when her Mother was alive. Their Dad had a very stubborn opinion that women were only there to take care of their man.
Sally Stackhouse
Nov 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
A well written novel set in Cornwall and Coventry, England beginning just before World War II. At the beginning of the book Elenor is a downtrodden young woman, an unpaid skivvy for her older twin brothers who run the family farm in Cornwall.

Her aunt in Coventry requests her company to look after her as her health begins to deteriorate. Aunt Maud is an elderly acerbic character whose real character begins to emerge as she and Elenor develop their relationship. The housekeeper and her husband ha
Dieter Moitzi
Jan 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Straight historical romance is not really my cup of tea, to be honest – I'm rather into M/M gay romance, fantasy, or dystopian fiction. But when I learned Glynis had released a new book, I immediately purchased a copy as I've loved her previous novels a lot. And what can I say? She did it again. Draw me into her world, that is. After a somewhat confusing start, the plot unravelled with good pace and lots of sighs from my part (love is love, or as Countess de Lave in Cukor's The Women would have ...more
Darlene Schnatz
England during the blitz.

Interesting story. I think the character development could have been done better. I found the writing stilted and some things went totally without explanation.
There was a mention by Jackson that he had received a picture of a plane from Rose asking about the plane he flew. Rose said she did not send that. The matter was dropped there rather than used as a hint that Rose's father had ulterior motives.
Elenor left servants she did not like nor trust in charge of her home an
Lois Strecker Howry
This is one of the best and most absorbing story I have read. I gave it four stars for two reasons: 1) the whole first chapter about Rose at 85 years old is too complex and is a real spoiler for the entire book. I was so confused by all the information and then the story jumps back a generation to Coventry in WWII. I could do with a shorter and less detailed prologue that is not a spoiler. 2) it ended too precipitously. The whole decision to go to Canada (which was in the Rose chapter spoiler) h ...more
Angela Corley
Feb 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A story of a orphan whose life was changed because someone dared to do the right thing.

The story begins right before the beginning of WWII, and Eleanor who has only been shown love for a brief period before her mother died is left with her twin brothers who she means nothing more than a maid for them. She is made to go live with her Aunt, which at the time she believes is the worst thing that could possibly happen, and it actually turns her life around in all areas. The characters are so develop
Ann Aldrich
Feb 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A bit of romance, with intrigue along with several surprise twists.

As the first book I understand of this author this was an enjoyable read set during WWI I, as Hitler was invading many countries and bombing England. Loved the main characters story, following her growth from a abused daughter and sister to a competent woman talking on the responsibilities many would run from. Needed a bit more proof reading , however didn't detract from the plot and story. Add several unexpected twists and turns
Anne Whiting
Feb 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Stunning- quite different.

I really loved this story set in Cornwall and Coventry.

What a resourceful young woman Elenor was. I admired her so much. Thank goodness she found Aunt Maude who turned out to be her saviour.

My heart was in my mouth for Elenor and Rose towards the end of their time at the farm. I'm sure they had a good life in Canada with Jackson. A new start. I wondered if Elenor and Jackson had any children of their own. I don't think Rose mention any.

Maybe there is another story there
J. Crawford
Jan 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another historical romance by Glynis Peters

I thoroughly enjoyed the cast of characters which were interesting and well drawn. This WWII novel is set in England just prior to and during the war. It is important that everyone remembers the suffering and struggles of those heroes both fighting and left behind during that period of time. The only confusion was the author names cities that are copied by immigrants when they landed in their new homes. Such cities are all over the U.S., especially in N
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I write historical novels, and live by the sea in Essex.

Rep'd by Kate Nash Literary Agent.

HarperImpulse / HarperCollins

Author of The Secret Orphan

USA TODAY bestseller
Globe and Mail bestseller

Amazon UK and USA #1 bestseller