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The Orphan's Daughter

4.50  ·  Rating details ·  48 ratings  ·  28 reviews
Ireland, 1924. For thirteen-year-old Nora Doyle every day is a fight for survival. In the rural Irish village she calls home, she is no stranger to funerals or feeling the cold wind blowing through the windows of the small cottage where she lives with her family. Somehow Nora manages to keep smiling, but she longs to escape the poverty surrounding her.

One day, Nora’s
Kindle Edition, 348 pages
Published February 5th 2020 by Bookouture
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Average rating 4.50  · 
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Feb 14, 2020 rated it liked it
3.5 Stars rounded down to 3

Anytime I see a new book available from author Sandy Taylor, I grab it. I was swept away by her brilliant The Runaway Children and later, The Little Orphan Girl. Her books take place in Ireland and England, and they have a "quiet" quality of naturally flowing writing that ensures a comfortable read. They usually take place during much simpler times, which is another appealing aspect.

In this outing the book begins with our main protagonist Nora Doyle who is best friends
Feb 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2020, arc, blog-tour
A tender and touching tale of friendship and family. Sandy Taylor’s exquisite storytelling completely transported me to 1924 Ireland. Nora is a young girl living in a small village in Ireland with her loving family. She spends her days exploring with her BFF Kitty. One day the girls discovered a hole in the fence to the big manor on the hill. Nora has always been warned against approaching the big house, but she cannot resist. While investigating the grounds they run across a boy their age named ...more
It was 1924 and thirteen-year-old Nora Doyle and her best friend Kitty were happy with their lives and families in the small Irish town of Ballybun in County Cork. Nora had her Mammy, Daddy and two brothers, Stevie and Malachi at home, with her grandparents not far away. And she had Kitty. The girls spent all their time together in the holidays and one day they discovered a hole in the fence of a big property on top of the hill. Nora’s Mammy had forbidden her to go anywhere near the house, so it ...more
Dec 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
Whilst this maybe a women’s fiction novel, there is a simplicity about it that I know young adults will adore also. Especially as we follow Nora as a child, into her teens.

The story feels like a coming of age one. I loved the setting of Ireland in the small village as we get to know Nora and her best friend Kitty. Both characters are like little old women. I loved the banter between them both and whilst they maybe children, they really do seem wiser than their years.

The era it is set really
Jan 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
It’s 1924 in Ballybun County Cork. Thirteen-year-old Catholic girls Nora Doyle and best friend Kitty Quinn are gossiping like two old women about a funeral possession that has just gone by. When they talk about Bretton Hall a big mansion where one day they hope to work. Kitty has discovered that the fence has broken that leads to a beautiful secret garden. Kitty wants to go there but Nora has been told by her mother not to go there. Something happened there when she worked there. But to Nora’s ...more
Susan Johnson
Feb 04, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: net-galley
Somewhere along the line this title got changed from "The Girl from Paradise Alley" to this one and I don't understand why. It literally makes no sense as she is not an orphan nor are her parents. In fact, it's the strong family unit that is the heart and soul of this story.
Nora Doyle is a 14 year old girl and with her best friend, Kitty, likes to attend funerals and rate them on a star system. Living in the small town of Ballybun in the County of Cork, this is what passes for entertainment.
ʚϊɞ Shelley ʚϊɞ
Jan 30, 2020 rated it really liked it
Sandy Taylor is one of those authors whose books I eagerly wait for and pick up without even reading the blurb - she always delivers. With this book she has raised the bar already set so very high with her previous stunning stories. This story is exquisite perfection. Well crafted, beautifully written, emotional, poignant and immersive. I lived every word. The sense of time and place is, as with all her books, just perfect. All the characters come alive on the page. I felt for both Nora and ...more
booklover BEV
Jan 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Oh my word what a book i loved reading this witty enchanting that will definitely pull at your heartstrings. Irish Catholic Nora Doyle and best friend kitty Quinn both thirteen years old its 1924 in ballybun county cork. Both have hopes of working in Bretton hall enchanting place with a secret garden and form a friendship with Eddie who is not who he seems. And kitty's mam wants her no where near the place for some reasons. This is a must read for family saga readers i highly recommend it from ...more
Robin Loves Reading
Thirteen-year-olds Nora Doyle and her friend Kitty Quinn sneak through a hole in a wall of that leads to Bretton House and that is forbidden to them. One of their forays is to witness a a funeral from a distance and poke a bit of fun at the attendees. When Nora meets Edward, who lives in the big house, the connection is instant. Nora spends more and more time there, especially in a garden where Edward can name every flower and plant. As drawn as Nora is to Edward, the house and the garden, she ...more
The Orphan's Daughter is my first book by Sandy Taylor and it was a thoroughly enjoyable story. Set in Ballybun, Ireland in 1924, it tells the stories of Nora Doyle and Kitty Quinn for whom every day is a fight for survival, and their coming-of-age.

One day, the two thirteen-year-old's sneak through a hole in a wall of that leads to Bretton House, the huge house on the top of the hill that is forbidden to them. When Nora meets Edward, who lives in the big house, their connection is instant.
Lee Husemann
Jan 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Wow, this is another great book that really deserves more than 5 stars. It is a heartwarming as well as a heartbreaking story all at the same time. Nora Doyle and Kitty Quinn are two thirteen-year-olds growing up in Ballybun, Ireland in 1924 who are best friends and seem to be joined at the hip. As the girls mature and finish school, they begin their careers. Kitty goes to work at Bretton Hall and Nora leaves for Dublin to work in a book store. The story takes on a lot of different threads which ...more
Patricia Romero
Jan 30, 2020 rated it really liked it
The setting is Ireland in 1924. Nora Doyle is a thirteen-year-old girl, living in a rural area where the struggle for survival is very real.

She and her family live in a small cottage that is cold and cramped. She wants to escape being poor, but she doesn't let it stop her smile.

One day as she and her best friend, Kitty, are watching another funeral procession they notice the big house on the hill. Nora really wants to see the place where her mother worked at one time and has now forbidden Nora
Colleen Maclennan
Dec 31, 2019 rated it really liked it
A story about friendship and supporting your family in rough times.This book takes place in a small Irish village where families are needy but rich in love and faith. The story depicts the coming of age of childhood friends Kitty and Nora. Their every days lives are vividly described and the reader sees their deep commitment to living righteously even when others are not. The theme of love prevails in this book whether it be brotherly, husband and wife, sisterly, courtships, friends and ...more
Feb 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Oh my word Sandy Taylor! What a gem of a book this is! Not only did I absolutely love it, but it made me yearn to get on a plane and head straight to Ireland for a long-overdue visit. If ever a book as evoked a feeling of such heartfelt longing to be somewhere then this is surely the one!

It’s 1924 and Nora and her best friend Kitty are in their early teens, living in the County Cork village of Ballybun. Times are difficult and every day seems like a struggle, but they have each other, and their
The book starts when Nora and Kitty are thirteen, best friends and have slipped through a hole in the fence to the grounds of Bretton Hall, the big house in their little rural corner of County Cork. The two are gossiping and mimicking the attendees to a funeral procession, and in breaking in to be closer to the place they both hope to work in the future, they meet Edward, the groom’s son. Full of adventure and a bit of the forbidden, the three see the walled garden, learn about the plants from ...more
Maureen Moyes
This was a new author for me. I am not a huge fan of historical fiction but I find they can be nice break from modern day romance and/or crime fiction. The cover was the first thing to catch my eye and I am pleased to say that I found myself surprisingly hooked from the first page. Once I started I was unable to put it down and devoured this truly enthralling tale in a single evening. Beautifully written, well researched story set in the 1920’s. It is a heartwarming yet heartbreaking tale of ...more
Feb 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2020
We meet 13 year old Nora Doyle , her best friend Kitty, and Nora's family in the small Irish village of Ballybun. Nora and Kitty share adventures together and one day discover a hole in wall surrounding the big house on the hill. The house where Nora has been forbidden to go. But, the hidden garden and the boy, Eddie, that they find once through the hole in the wall proves to be an instant draw and Nora can't stay away. As her relationship with Eddie develops, she finds a connection she can't ...more
Dec 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
Review coming soon.
Dec 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is the sequel to The Little Orphan Girl and yet again it is an excellent read by this author. I was engrossed in the story right from the start. It is a very easy read but one which has a great storyline and really good characters. I loved the friendship between Kitty and Nora.
Diane Secchiaroli
Jan 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Based in Ireland in 1924, we are introduced to Nora Doyle. 13-year-old Nora lives in a small town in County Cork. Forbidden to go near Bretton Hall, the big manor house in the town, curiosity gets the better of Nora and her friend Kitty. There they meet Eddie who works there, and as they become friends, he teaches Nora about the flowers and the birds. But Eddie appears to be hiding a secret…

I’ve read books by this author before and have found them to be heart-warming yet thought provoking reads.
Monica Mac
Jan 30, 2020 rated it really liked it
Life was very different for Nora in the 1920's than it is for a young woman of the same age now, and I found it really interesting reading. The author had clearly done a lot of research into that time period.

Nora and Kitty were best friends and the trials and tribulations of their teens and young womanhood are the basis of this book. A small village in strictly Catholic Ireland, a century ago, was the setting and the girls were in quite childish and yet forced to grow up quickly, at the same
Feb 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing
1924 & in the village of Ballybun Nora & her best friend Kitty are nearly at the end of their school days. They have had happy childhoods. Money is scarce but love isn't. One day they explore a hole in the hedge of the 'Big House' & come across a secret garden. Although Kitty isn't so interested Nora is enthralled by the place. They meet a young lad, Eddie, & with him Nora starts to revive the garden back to its former glory. When this is discovered she has to promise not to go ...more
Christina J.
Feb 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A beautiful book

I adore this book! I didn't want it to end. First, I loved the banter and conversation of Nora and Kitty. I would find myself chuckling out loud. Knowing that Sandy Taylor's son Bo had died, you can tell in the text when the mood of the book changes. The clever conversation and wonderful story continued, but it took on a more thoughtful and deep narrative. I loved all the characters and the way the story evolved. You were guessing until the end what Nora's decisions would be
It was a moving and engrossing read that I couldn't put down.
I loved the setting, the fleshed out cast of characters and the well crafted plot that kept me hooked till the end.
It's the first book I read by this author and won't surely be the last.
Highly recommended.
Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for this ARC, all opinions are mine.
Feb 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This was a laugh out loud story that I fell in love with. This was a story drenched in family and friendship and I could not put it down. I loved the pacing and the characters and the story. I couldn't put it down and I can not wait for more.
Sheila Ashton
Feb 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Another lovely story by Sandy Taylor. I have read and enjoyed all her books
Karen Macedo
rated it really liked it
Feb 10, 2020
Barbara Paterson
rated it it was amazing
Feb 08, 2020
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