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The Orphan Thief

3.82  ·  Rating details ·  2,048 ratings  ·  202 reviews
From the international bestselling author of The Secret Orphan

When all seems lost…

As Hitler’s bombs rain down on a battered and beleaguered Britain, Ruby Shadwell is dealt the most devastating blow – her entire family lost during the Coventry Blitz. 

Hope still survives…

Alone and with the city in chaos, Ruby is determined to survive this war and rebuild her life.  And a cha
Kindle Edition, 384 pages
Published November 28th 2019 by One More Chapter
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Average rating 3.82  · 
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 ·  2,048 ratings  ·  202 reviews

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The era of this story is fascinating, set throughout the Second World War, and starting when Coventry was bombed by the German Luftwaffe in 1939. The only survivor of the Shadwell family is sixteen-year-old Ruby who starts to rebuild her life amongst the rubble and war-ravaged lives. The rubble is her salvation as she collects and restores items damaged during the bombing raids. Ruby acquires a business licence to resell the items and so begins a journey of interactions with various frien
Louise Wilson
Nov 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
Set in Coventry, England during World War II. Ruby was just sixteen years old when the Germans bombed her neighbourhood and killed her family. She is forced to break into other peoples homes to find herself something to eat. She spends her days picking up items left after homes and businesses had been bombed. She also meets and makes new friends, they are all survivors. John is a Canadian photographer who Ruby develops feelings for. Ruby sells the items she finds from a shop. But then the shop i ...more
Janet Newport
Thank you NetGalley and Harper Impulse & Killer Reads for this arc.

Set early during WWII in Coventry, England this is a story focusing primarily on Ruby. She's sixteen years old when her family home including her family are totally bombed out while she's away from home running an errand for her mother. Same story with her Grandmother and Grandmother's house. So she scrapes up a new family and manages to find another home (coincidentally one owned by her father, but occupied by her father's frien
Mark Porton
Nov 29, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: netgalley
Historical World War 2 Fiction, the hardship of the blitz and a blossoming love story – that’s what drew me to this book.

Author Glynis Peters is a historical romance author and has previously been shortlisted for the Festival of Romance New Talent Award (UK) in 2014. This story follows the life of teenager Ruby following the loss of her family and home after being battered during WWII by the Luftwaffe in Coventry, England. Young Ruby needs to pick up her life amongst the heartbreak and devastati
Deanne Patterson
Jul 09, 2020 rated it liked it
Recommended to Deanne by:
It's fascinating to travel through yesteryear through books.
This one too me through Britain as a 16 year old girl fights for survival after her whole family is killed by bombs during ww11.

Published November 28th 2019 by One More Chapter
I was given a complimentary copy of this book. Thank you.
All opinions expressed are my own.

★★★★ 4.5 stars

Glynis Peters is a new author to me and despite my ever-growing TBR list, I decided to take a chance on her because I'm a sucker for historical fiction. And I wasn't disappointed. THE ORPHAN THIEF was a delight to read from start to finish.

Set in Coventry between Christmas 1938 and May 1945, THE ORPHAN THIEF begins during the Blitz - a terrifying time for England when the Germans attacked large populated cities with constant air raids day and night. Coventry did not escape unscathe
Nov 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
It’s WW2 in Coventry. Hitler’s bombs are raining down on the city. 16 year old Ruby Shadwell comes home not only finds her home gone but, also her family too and a crater in the ground left in its place. With the shock of what happened she goes to her Grandmothers house only to find she also has had the same fate. Ruby still grieving but is determined to get on with her life and build a future for herself. Along the way she meets Fred, Beatty and little Tommy, her own little family. She builds a ...more
Oct 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I cannot express how much i enjoyed reading 'The Orphan Thief'. This must easily be one of my favourite reads this year! Loved the main characters, especially Ruby. It did bring back memories of stories told by my late parents who were slightly younger than Ruby when the bombs rained down. So true to life! Glynis Peters is an author whose books i shall be watching out for. A well deserving five stars from me. Highly recommended.

My thanks to Netgalley and the Publishers for my copy. This is my ho
Sandy Sullivan
Mar 08, 2020 rated it it was ok
Although this book dealt with World War II Europe, which I normally really enjoying reading about, this book just didn’t hold my interest. There were way too many coincidences that were not exactly believable. Someone else suggested that it was like a Hallmark movie and I agree. The book was definitely an easy read, but way too predictable for my taste.
DarkRaven Reviews
Nov 30, 2019 rated it it was ok
To be honest I found the plot thin and the characters were undeveloped. The style of dialogue did not match the times that the book was set in at all. Very disappointing.
Megan Byrd
Feb 06, 2020 rated it liked it
Was very confused the whole time as to why it was named the orphan thief. But it was a good story
Sandra McKenna
Oct 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A very emotional and moving story.

Set in Coventry during World War II, this very poignant story tells of the devastation, loss and suffering caused by the constant bombings of this city.
At the age of sixteen, Ruby loses everything, but is determined to survive on her own; however, she soon meets up with some people who will change her life.
A thoroughly enjoyable read which I can't recommend highly enough.
Jan 16, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
The War brought us all together.

Ruby is suddenly an orphan when her families home is destroyed by a bomb in England. As a young girl of 15, she slowly picks up the pieces of her life along with a family friend. Together Fred a father figure and Ruby meet others including Tommy a little boy that captures their heart. Tommy seems to be lost in this war and under the care of an uncle that poorly mistreats him. Ruby is encouraged to set up a store of recovered items that Fred fixes and she shelves
Amber ☁️ (bookswithamb)
The Orphan Thief is a heart wrenching tale set in World War Two Coventry during the blitz, focusing particularly on the effects of the attack on 14th/15th of November, 1940.
It follows a young girl who loses her whole family in the attacks, and it is a story of how she rebuilt her life in the wake of such devastation. It is a tale of found family, inter-generational friendships, and first loves.

The main character Ruby is fiercely independent, despite only being 16 at the beginning of the book.
Norah Gibbons
Nov 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
I received an ARC of this book to read through NetGalley in exchange for a fair review. The Orphan Thief by Glynis Peters is a story that takes place during World War II when Coventry, England was under siege from the Blitz. Sixteen year old Ruby Shadwell lost her entire family when a bomb hit the house they were living in. All alone in the world Ruby creates a family of her own with others who have been displaced by the bombing. Fred Lester her Gran’s neighbour becomes her honorary Grandfather, ...more
booklover BEV
Dec 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Another winner

As we join Ruby Shadwell story once again, it's Coventry 1940 and sirens are going off, enemy bombs were destroying the city, Ruby is rushing back to the shop Shadwell Groceries in eagle street after running an errand for her mother. Getting close to Christmas she finds the shop and her home flattened and her family all dead. In deep shock she flees to her grans in Kirby Road that has also been hit and fears at such a young age she will be put into an orphanage. This book is about
Jena Henry
Nov 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
When you read the first chapter of this book, you feel as if you are reading a dystopian sci-fi fantasy. A sixteen girl lives in a ruined, grey nightmare landscape, and survives by her wits, while avoiding capture by the authorities. But it’s not dystopian, this book is based on true events, and really is a historical romance. I prefer to call it a sweet fairy tale as it is a simply told, but lovely tale.

The book is set in Coventry, England. Coventry was bombed many times during the Second Worl
Kate Sloane
May 28, 2021 rated it really liked it
Very Hallmark feeling. Anything that could go wrong will but with a little love, everything is forgiven. Lots of eye rolls from this reader.
Apr 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
I enjoy historical fiction and I was surprised to find how quickly Ruby became a success story. Not that she didn’t overcome significant tragedy and loss after the Coventry Blitz, it was refreshing to read a happier storyline. I read it quickly- the last half of the book was more engaging. I was disappointed with the title and story line of the “orphan theif”. I felt Tommy should have had a larger character roll- the storyline seemed to wander away from him. Overall I enjoyed it.
Sharon Gust
Jul 16, 2020 rated it it was ok
I enjoy historical fiction but this book was a big disappointment to me. I found the storyline unbelievable especially in the beginning when she loses her entire family and moves on so quickly to rebuild her life and start a business. It just didn’t ring true to me. Where was the grief? At times I wondered if I wanted to finish reading it or not. Plot was very thin indeed.
Stories Unfolded (aka Danielle Olson)
When I first saw the cover and title of The Orphan Thief I thought it would be more about a girl helping orphan's during the war. But it's actually centered around a teenage girl named Ruby Shadwell going through her daily life after her city was bombed in the Blitz. 

The very beginning of the book was very good. I could feel the intense loss that Ruby was feeling when her entire family was killed by a bomb that hit their home. I could feel the shock she felt as she looked into the crater where h
The storyline was predictable and unimaginative. Everything was tied up in a nice happy ending
The Orphan Thief is a standalone book by Glynis Peters. This author is new to me but I wanted to take a chance on her because I liked the idea of the story.

I must admit that the book had less romance than I expected and I didn't really believe the chemistry between Ruby Shadwell and Jean-Paul Clayton (Canadian soldier). But that said, their stories, especially Ruby's were enough to make the book worth reading.

Set in WW2 the book starts with a shocked teenaged Ruby staring at a crater in the gro
Leanna Mattea
Nov 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is a very well written historical novel about the the bombing and devastation in Coventry England during WWII. 16 yr old Ruby Shadwell loses her entire family in the first bombings in that city. Her home is destroyed and she is alone. So starts the beginning of her effort to survive in a war torn town, as she struggles to keep moving, to avoid leaving the only place that she has ever known.
This is a story of struggle and hardship in an effort to survive the brutalities of war. It’s the unli
Jul 26, 2020 rated it it was ok
I wish there were half stars, I’d give this a 2.5.
This is pretty light reading, I think someone else compared it to a hallmark movie and I totally agree. You know in the end everything will work out, there will be a bad guy and a moment where it appears all hope is lost but then it turns around.
This would be a perfect book for an autumn weekend, a pot of tea and a comfy chair.

Title of this book could have been better, has very little to do with the story especially when there are so many orph
May 15, 2020 rated it it was ok
This book certainly stays in the shallow end of the pool. The depth of emotion portrayed for a war-time story with themes of loss, grief, trauma and resilience was seriously lacking. I did not find any of the characters to have been described robustly enough to identify with them, or advocate for the protagonist's cause. The antagonist character and situation seems unrealistic. Not sure what kept me going until the end of such a flat story. ...more
Jonna Nelson
Jun 06, 2020 rated it did not like it
I wanted to like it but - nope.
Oct 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
From the title of this book i thought it was going to be about some one stealing orphans but was surprised to read about Ruby,Fred,Beatty and Tommy of how they came to being together.I found this book told a story that was sad, and funny and of a determination not to be cowed by Hitlers bombs and the devistation of Coventry.I will highly recommend this book and well done to Glynis Peters 5*
Feb 21, 2020 rated it it was ok
This book did not do it for me. The premise of the story was good - a girl orphaned at 16 after the bombings in Coventry and her strength to survive and find a life for herself therafter - but if found it a boring read and skimmed many pages to get to the end.
Lucy Martinez
Did not capture my imagination.

I struggled to complete this novel about a 16-year old who loses her whole family in the bombardment of Coventry and how she survives the war.
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I write historical novels set in WWII Britain, and live by the sea in Essex.

One More Chapter / HarperCollins


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