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The Love Child

4.29  ·  Rating details ·  196 ratings  ·  53 reviews
The UNMISSABLE brand new novel from Rachel Hore,Sunday Timesbestselling author of LAST LETTER HOME, a 2018 Richard and Judy Book club pick

‘A gorgeous and deeply absorbing story’ TRACY REES

A young mother's sacrifice. A child's desperate search for the truth . . .
London, 1917

When nineteen-year-old Alice Copeman becomes pregnant, she is forced by her father and stepmother
Kindle Edition, 448 pages
Published September 5th 2019 by Simon & Schuster UK
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Average rating 4.29  · 
Rating details
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Jul 09, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
Alice is working as a nurse in France during the war and falls in love with a soldier.
She becomes pregnant and is forced to give up her baby girl for adoption.
This is a historical novel that shows the attitude towards women at that time and the struggle they had to achieve a better life.
Thanks to NetGalley and Simon and Schuster for my e-copy in exchange for an honest review.

Jul 28, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley, kindle
This lovely story takes place in the period between the two world wars. Alice, a young adult from a well off family gives birth to a little girl. She's forced to give the child up for adoption.
Little Irene ends up in a family of good standing, but throughout her childhood she's the odd one out.
She survives, but the urge to belong drives her on a search for her birth mother. Will she find her?

Having read more books by this excellent writer, I knew this would be good. The story flows naturally, is
Laura Young
Jan 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
BLOG TOUR **********
Thank you to @darkroomtours @simonandschuster & @rachel.hore for my copy of The Love Child.
This is a historical fiction set during 1917-1940. It’s based on the story of Alice who is forced to give up her baby and subsequently Irene and the struggles she faces being an adopted child. The relationships are extremely well portrayed and developed. Both female characters grow throughout the book dealing with the shame of Alice’s choice. There is
my bookworm life
I was very kindly sent a copy of this book from the publishers and Dark room tours over on Instagram, all views are my own as always.

This seemed like quite a different kind of book for me, while reading it i just kept thinking it would be more up my Mum's street than mine, even though i did like it because the writing drew me in and kept my attention throughout.

It's a story full of emotion, well written and the amount of detail for the surroundings the story is set in make it so you feel you
Aug 17, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thanks to netgalley for an early copy in return for an honest review
Have read a good few of this author's books and always good to read an excellent summer read wee bit slow and lacking a bit of oomph.
Megan Jones
Oct 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
When nineteen-year-old Alice Copeman becomes pregnant, she is forced by her father and stepmother to give up the baby. She simply cannot be allowed to bring shame upon her family. But all Alice can think about is the small, kitten-like child she gave away, and she mourns the father, a young soldier, so beloved, who will never have the chance to know his daughter. Edith and Philip Burns, a childless couple, yearn for a child of their own. When they secretly adopt a baby girl, Irene, their life ...more
This is not a novel I would traditionally pick up to read - but I have been lucky enough to have the opportunity to read it and it is delightful. It has all the emotions - and I did have a little cry at various points - but what was so important about this story is the strength of the female characters. Sometimes, in the past, society dictated an outcome but there were always those who believed that their future could be their own and would fight against some of the boundaries. Beautiful!
Sandra McKenna
Sep 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A very moving and compelling read.

I have read all of Rachel Hore's books and this one did not disappoint.
This is a very moving and compelling read about love and loss.
In 1917 Alice is forced to give up her daughter; almost two decades later, that daughter begins a search for her natural mother.
A very emotional journey.
Jenna Nelson
Jan 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book is just beautiful. I have never read a book that has been written so well and turned out better than I hoped. At first I didnt think this was a book it would read but it definitely changed my mind. A mother forced to give up her child and keep the secret forever but soon the child wants to know where she came from and soon the story starts to unfold. I loved the characters, the settings and the ending of course. I loved how everything all came together without even realising it. You ...more
When I first heard about The Love Child I was excited. It is exactly the sort of story I cannot get enough of. I love historical fiction, I love stories where a mystery unfolds and I love one with a dual narrative that flits back and forth between several time periods. Added to that the fact that I am particularly geeky about anything set in the interwar years and have a real soft spot for anything involve tidbits of medical history. Quite simply this book could have been written for me.

Emma Crowley
The Love Child by Rachel Hore is a story of how one woman copes with the fallout and long lasting affects of a decision forced upon her but also how this decision has an effect on the person at the centre of it. In January 1918 in the family home in Hertfordshire, Alice Copeman is made to feel so much shame for the situation that has befallen her, one which was born out of love. She finds herself pregnant and her stepmother Gwen believes the family will never get over the shame and unhappiness ...more
Breakaway Reviewers
Oct 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A wonderful story of women’s struggles in the early part of the 20th century.

I have read five books by Rachel Hore and I have loved them all so was very excited to receive her latest book to review. I was not disappointed as yet again this was an enthralling story. The author has a knack of drawing you into her stories and making you totally empathise with her characters.

The plot revolves around two strong women, a mother and her daughter, who are separated at birth and their totally different
Aug 23, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Alice falls in love with a young soldier who soon after dies on a wartime battlefield. Unknown to both, Alice has conceived his love child. Her father and step-mother are shocked by Alice’s gay abandon and recklessness; they sternly force her to give up her child for adoption. They cannot face the stigma of a child born out of wedlock, the knowing glances and the turned up noses are not for them. Alice would really like to keep her child but has no option but to sign the adoption papers, knowing ...more
Juliet Bookliterati
Sep 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I always look forward to a new book from Rachel Hore, so it has been a delight to read and reviewThe Love Child. Set in the first half of the of the twentieth century the book follows Alice Coperman who had a baby she was forced to give up for adoption in 1917, and Irene, her daughter as she grows up knowing she is different in her family and how this effects her. As the lives of these two characters intertwine, and the rights of women begin to change, the consequences of their actions continue ...more
Nicola Smith
Sep 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
I love Rachel Hore's books and it's been far too long since I've read one so I was really keen to read The Love Child.

Alice Copeman is a young woman who, as the story begins, is about to give birth to a baby girl. Unfortunately, she is unmarried and this is 1917 when single motherhood was an unthinkable scandal. She is forced by her father and overbearing stepmother to give her baby up for adoption. Sadly, the father of the baby, Jack, has been killed fighting in the war and Alice has no choice
Jo Barton
Sep 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Seventeen year Alice has no choice but to give up her baby for adoption as to bring up an illegitimate baby in 1917 is near on impossible especially when Alice cannot rely on her well-to-do parents to support her choice. This decision will affect Alice as she goes through her life and she never forgets the tiny baby she gave away.

Irene grows up knowing that she doesn't quite fit with her family and although she is cared for by her adoptive parents she senses that something just doesn't quite
Jeannie Zelos
Sep 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
The Love Child, Rachel Hore

Review from Jeannie Zelos book reviews

Genre:Women's Fiction

Moan: women's fiction – why alienate potential readers? Men write books enjoyed by women and men alike, and they read the same.

Anyway, having enjoyed many of Rachel's stories before I knew I'd love this. Its an intense read, very emotional at times, and shows just how much ladies struggled back in the early-mid twentieth century.

Alice is nursing in WW1, at time when no-one knew if they'd see tomorrow, and
Debbie Littley
Jul 27, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interweaving storylines of two generations of women from the same family that were separated at birth as they find their places in the world and ultimately finding their way back to each other.

Set in a time where having children out of wedlock was a mortal sin that lead to ruination of the entire family, this is where we find a heartbroken Alice. Nineteen, pregnant and single, following the death of her fiancé, Jack. Alice had been working in France as a Voluntary Aid Detachment nurse where she
Jul 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a truly stunning and beautiful book the love child is by Rachel Hore . A tale of love and loss, of struggling to find your place and ending with redemption and forgiveness. This wonderful story begins with Alice who always fascinated by medicine at only 19 lies about her age and is nursing in France during ww1. There she meets jack an injured soldier whom after nursing back to health, Alice falls deeply in love with. Certain that they will marry after the war has ended Alice and Jack give ...more
Jan 06, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

As is usual in Rachel Hore novels, The Love Child has a dual time-line. In 1917, while nursing in France, Alice falls in love with Jack. He is killed before they can marry and she discovers she is pregnant. With no choice but to have the baby adopted, Alice still finds it hard to forgive her step-mother, Gwen. Unusually for a woman at that time, Alice goes on to become a doctor. She never tells anyone about the baby she had to give away, even her husband Fergus.
The baby, meanwhile, is adopted by
Sep 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019
This is my first introduction to the work of Rachel Hore and I totally fell in love with her story telling.
The Love Child is an exceptional family saga with substance. The author cleverly entangles you into her web of words and you become emotionally involved with the characters and storyline.
This is a story starting in 1917 when young women were encouraged to help out with the war effort and were also seen to take on jobs that were previously only undertaken by men. The war brought a time of
Noemi Proietti
Oct 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is such a beautiful read. Set between the two World Wars, it’s the story of two women and the challenges they have to face. Alice Copeman was a nurse in France during World War I when she meets and falls in love with a soldier. Forced by her stepmother to give up for adoption the baby they conceived, Alice throws herself in her studies and in her work. Irene Burns always felt she didn’t belong in her family and she feels different from the other children. As time goes by, Alice works hard ...more
Deborah Carr
Jul 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Alice Copeman is only nineteen and having lied about her age to join the VADs, is nursing in France towards the end of the First World War. She discovers soon after the death of the man she loves that she is pregnant with his child and has to return home to deal with the shame and disappointment of her father and step-mother. She's made to give up her baby girl for adoption and believing she has no other future, studies to become a doctor.

Irene always believed she was the adopted child of her
Jan 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An endearing story of love and loss in the interwar years. In 1917 Alice, a VAD in France, falls in love with a wounded soldier. Meeting again on leave in England they consummate their love and Alice falls pregnant. The soldier is killed in action and Alice faces the stigma of bearing an illegitimate child. Her parents force her to give the baby up for adoption.
Alice forges a new life for herself as a doctor, marries and has three sons. But she never forgets her secret child.
Irene is adopted
Jan 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This compelling story is so beautifully written and was such an emotional and heartfelt read. The Love Child is a novel about love, family, separation, despair and hope.

This story follows mother and daughter who were separated at birth through defining moments in their lives. I loved reading both of their perspectives. Both of these characters are very real, imperfect individuals and I wanted to know more about them. Both Alice and Irene were portrayed as strong women determined to overcome
Elizabeth Currie
Aug 05, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Having never read anything by Rachel Hore, I had no idea what to expect from this book, but loved this beautifully written historical novel set between the two World Wars. It tells the story of Alice, who gets pregnant and is forced to give her baby up for adoption - the book interweaves her story with that of her adopted daughter, Irene, as they both struggle to find their way in the world and ultimately find their way back to each other.

Hore does an excellent job of switching between the
Jan 11, 2020 rated it really liked it

The love child is a heartbreakingly wonderful book featuring 19 year old Alice who falls pregnant out of wedlock and is forced to give her baby up for adoption. The book follows both Alice and her baby Irene over the years as they grow to wonder... What if?

This book hit me straight in the feels, I mean I'm not usually one to get emotional over books but just reading Alice and Jack's story had me welling up! I'm a sucker for a good forbidden war romance in general but my gosh my poor heart! I
Fabulous Book Fiend
I absolutely love tales about children searching for their birth parents and families searching for each other and so I knew I had to read this book sooner rather than later. It was an absolute page turner and I read it in one long lovely sitting.

I love the fact that this book takes place over two different story lines, we have Alice's story and we have Irene's story and we cover an extra ordinary length of time. Both of these women are strong independent women who are striving to make the
Shiva Patel
Dec 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Emma L
Aug 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is another great read from Rachel Hore that examines the social constraints people endured one hundred years ago, and the heartbreaking consequences of adhering to them.
In 1917, Alice find herself pregnant after falling in love with a soldier she treats while serving as a nurse during the First World War. After being forced to give up her daughter, she succeeds in becoming one of the few women to study medicine and quality as a doctor. Meanwhile, her adopted daughter Irene lives a loveless
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Rachel Hore worked in London publishing for many years before moving with her family to Norwich, Norfolk and turning to writing fiction.

Rachel is the Sunday Times bestselling author of The Dream House (2006), The Memory Garden (2007), The Glass Painter's Daughter (2009), which was shortlisted for the Romantic Novelists' Association Novel of the Year 2010, A Place of Secrets (2010), which was a
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