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To lose her family was unthinkable ...

To find them will take a miracle.

While working in Europe, nineteen-year-old Maggie never dreamed that her family would be ripped apart and scattered across the sea, with her young brother and sister sent to Canada as part of the Home Children Migrant Scheme.

Desperation sends Maggie on a search from England to Canada, with a harrowing shipwreck leaving her stranded on Sable Island. Eventually arriving in Halifax, Maggie is devastated to discover the trail to find her sister and brother has gone cold.

An offer of help from industrialist Thaddeus Tharaday seems like an answer to prayer, but is the wealthy Tharaday her benefactor or nemesis?

With the help of a dashing newspaper reporter, Maggie begins to unravel the web of deceit surrounding her siblings' disappearance. However, the closer she gets to the truth, the more dangerous her quest becomes.

With lives on the line and the threat of everything she loves being torn away, can Maggie entrust the scattered pieces of her heart to the one who will never leave?

Set in Victorian-era Nova Scotia, Scattered weaves together elements of mystery, adventure, faith, and romance to take readers on a journey of hope and courage that will resonate with their hearts today.

260 pages, Paperback

Published October 20, 2020

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About the author

Nola Lorraine

1 book37 followers
Nola Lorraine wrote her first mystery story in primary school. She used the word ‘suddenly’ five times and Mr Cuskelly circled every one of them. She’s come a long way since then, with more than 150 short publications, including fiction, poetry, devotions, true stories, magazine articles and academic papers. Her debut novel ‘Scattered’ was released in October 2020. She is also the co-editor of the Christian charity anthology Glimpses of Light under the name Nola Passmore.

She would love to connect with you. If you go to her website, you will find links to her Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest pages. If you subscribe to her monthly newsletter, through the website, you will receive a free 16-page sampler of her writing, as well as some exclusive content available only for subscribers.

When she’s not tinkering with her own writing, she’s assessing and editing other people’s manuscripts through The Write Flourish, a freelance business she and her husband Tim run from their home in southeast Queensland, Australia. She has a passion for faith and social justice issues, and loves weaving words that inspire others with courage and hope.

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Displaying 1 - 28 of 28 reviews
Profile Image for Dale Harcombe.
Author 14 books297 followers
August 19, 2020
While she is working in Europe, nineteen year old Maggie is distressed to learn her brother and sister were erroneously sent to Canada as part of the Home Children Migrant Scheme. Desperate to put her family back together, Maggie embarks on a voyage from England to Canada. She is employed as nanny to the Plowhurst family .Events at sea turn to tragedy. Maggie is rescued by the McDonalds and left stranded on Sable Island. By the time she can get off the island and get to Halifax, the trail to find her siblings, Jack and Emily, has turned cold. The offer of help from industrialist Thaddeus Tharaday seems like a blessing initially, but is it? Or is there far more going on that Maggie does not know about. Why doesn’t he want her talking to newspaper reporter Nash Halliwell? The closer Maggie gets to the truth of events, the more dangerous life becomes for several people. Will Maggie reconnect with her siblings? Will Maggie find more than she bargained for? What secrets will be uncovered in the process? How many lives will be in danger?
I was sucked into this story from the opening at sea and quickly became interested in Maggie and her plight to recover her brother and sister. From the dramatic opening, there is a lot of action going on throughout and just when you think she might be getting close there is another twist that makes the situation seem even more impossible. Maggie is a lovely caring person and so are Mrs McDonald who Maggie stays with on Sable Island and who finds her a home with her good friend Ada Simmons in Halifax. Nash Halliwell is also a great character. Some others are far from likeable and will do anything to further their own cause, no matter what.
Perhaps one aspect at the ending seemed like it could have done with a little more clarification and explanation. But all in all, this was a terrific story. I enjoyed it and lived every moment with the characters. There is a Christian element to the story that is subtly done and works well. Mystery, skulduggery, romance and adventure, with well-rounded characters and great setting, what’s not to like? A highly recommended read. My thanks go to the author for my copy to read and review. A pleasure to read such an engaging story that I never wanted to put down. I loved it!
Profile Image for Paula Vince.
Author 11 books99 followers
September 20, 2020
This is a really fun and impressive debut novel.

I'm in awe of the immense research undertaken by the author, who visited the Canadian Maritimes briefly in 2012, and came home certain she could spin a great story out of the sights she'd seen. It's intriguing that the novel is set in the same place and time as Lucy Maud Montgomery's Anne series, but by a 21st century Aussie author. (Halifax is one and the same as Kingsport, the University city where Anne, Gilbert and several of their children lived and studied at different times.) As we read, the Halifax of 1882 comes to life right down to landmarks, street names and news articles.

The plot, carefully grounded in history, is one of those desperate quests which absolutely must be fruitful. Failure would be devastating, yet it has the potential to meander off into wild goose chases at any moment. Maggie O'Loughlin is a lovely young woman who has lost track of her younger brother and sister. While she's busy trying to support her family financially away from home, their mother dies and poor Jack and Emily are sent off to Canada as part of the Home Children initiative. Many destitute kids from Britain were sent across the ocean to take up menial roles as domestic servants and farm hands, but in this case, they had a devoted sister who is now doing her utmost to find them. Maggie knows that with each passing day, their trails will grow fainter, and her first obstacle is a shipwreck from which she's the sole survivor. It grounds her for weeks on lonely Sable Island, before anyone can take her to the mainland at all.

Without revealing more of the action, it turns out that some people already in Halifax have good reasons of their own for wishing to prevent Maggie's reunion with her siblings. What follows is some extensive travel across that New Brunswick/Nova Scotia region, while characters unaware of each others' whereabouts make uninformed decisions, dodging people they should be approaching, and vice versa. There are plenty of secrets, making it difficult for characters to figure out who should be trusted, although we readers know, because all scenes are divvied well between heroes and villains.

The 'baddies' are quite the power couple, doing their best to appear awesome with the greatest PR of the day at their disposal, and it's fun looking forward to the form their downfall will take. Of course it involves clues of all the dodgy activities they've had their fingers in. Past actions tend to catch up with people in the most astonishing ways, and it's always good to see how Nola Lorraine uses her extensive research to make this pan out on the page.

Many thanks to the author for supplying me with a review copy.
Profile Image for Lynne Stringer.
Author 9 books321 followers
October 27, 2020
Scattered is an enjoyable debut novel from Nola Lorraine and should please lovers of historical Christian romance. Set in Canada in the late 1800s, I enjoyed the locations, the characters and the story. Things weren't always as predictable as these books can be, although some parts were, and certainly it was clear who the dastardly villains were and the protagonists were suitably likeable.
My only real criticism was that I thought it all ended a bit quickly, with some of the resolution happening a bit out of the reader's view. Other than that, it was an entertaining romp with some serious moments along the way.
Profile Image for Jeanette Grant-Thomson.
Author 9 books16 followers
September 12, 2020
Four and a half stars.

Congratulations, Nola Lorraine, on your impressive debut novel and on the amazing amount of research you must have done to reproduce the clear picture of society in the 1880s. Scattered is very thoroughly researched and the effect flows naturally into the background of the novel.

The story begins near Sable Island Nova Scotia, May 1882.
The opening scene is a shipwreck with the delightful, spontaneous heroine, Maggie, trying to look after some children and their ailing mother. Maggie is washed ashore and is rescued by some local people with the help of the lovely mare, Sapphire. She finds herself grounded on Sable Island for several weeks when she is wanting to be in Halifax, searching for her younger brother and sister. To her distress, these siblings had been mistakenly sent to Canada as part of the Home CHildren Migrant Scheme.

On Sable Island, Maggie is befriended and looked after by the kind McDonald family and other local people. She is a bubbly, warm-hearted girl, so she makes friends easily and we readers enjoy her company. She also grows fond of Sapphire, the mare.
When Maggie arrives in Halifax she boards with the kind, likeable Miss Simmons and resumes her search for her brother and sister. She is offered work by Thaddeus Tharaday - but what are his real motives? And where are her siblings?
Soon she meets and likes the quick-witted reporter Nash, who is fun and funny. Much of this part of the story and the characters unfold via sparkling dialogue. We enjoy mystery, romance and adventure as the vibrant, auburn-haired Maggie continues her search. We meet several unpleasant characters as well.

Some of the things I loved especially were the 'near misses', where Maggie, searching with all her heart for her siblings, so nearly coincides with them. Jack in particular. I held my breath over one of them at least.

Thaddeus Tharaday is a particularly interesting character. Like Dr Peters, he has a conscience - or the vague memory of having had one - and is a more complex character than one at first assumes. A sad character really.

The ending was perfect, including the last line.
This is a fast-moving story which will appeal to a wide range of readers.
Thanks so much, Nola, for giving me a copy to review.
Profile Image for Anne Hamilton.
Author 34 books145 followers
November 18, 2020
This is a lovely book with a strong plot and likeable characters. The historical romance elements are topped with a fine overlay of detective drama edged with pioneer adventure. The heroine finds herself the sole survivor of a shipwreck on the notorious maritime graveyard of Sable Island. She had headed out from England as a governess, determined to track down her missing sister and brother - who have been mistakenly sent out to Canada from a workhouse.

There's also a strong thread of crime and mystery to solve - Maggie finds herself in Halifax and subject to the attentions of the wealthy Thaddeus Tharaday as well as the journalist Nash Halliwell. Tharaday offers her a position in his factory and then suddenly changes his mind to give her a shopfront job. It quickly becomes apparent he's hiding many secrets but exactly what they are and precisely how much he's folded, spindled and mutilated the law in bending circumstances into his favour is not obvious at first sight. Tharaday, who was a partner in the venture with Maggie's deceased employer, makes a personal trip to Sable Island in an attempt to salvage some of the cargo. He doesn't find what he's looking for - however the astute reader will have picked up where it's hidden, if not exactly what it is - and that's part of the delight of this story. We know something none of the characters know.

Nash is determined to help Maggie in her search for her younger siblings. Of course, in spending time in her, he rapidly falls in love. But he's also on the trail of some illegal activities...

Loved the twists and turns - especially when the villains decide on a complete makeover of their reputations.
Profile Image for Mazzy Adams.
Author 2 books6 followers
September 2, 2020
What a delight it was to receive an autographed copy of Nola Lorraine's debut novel, 'Scattered', for my birthday. Nothing like having a legitimate excuse to chill out with a great book, and 'Scattered' - the story of Maggie's desperate search for her stolen siblings - did not disappoint in any way.

From the sincerity and believability of the characters whose story weaves through emotional ups and downs and plot twists and turns, to the easy flow of language and voice, 'Scattered' draws you naturally and confidently into the world of Victorian-era Nova Scotia, from the windswept wilds of Sable Island through the burgeoning hustle and bustle of Halifax and the gentrified (or anything but) expansion into the surrounding countryside.

But Lorraine's historically-situated characters are neither ancient, nor distant; their trials, actions and reactions are very present, contemporary, and real throughout their entire roller-coaster ride which traverses shipwreck and other dangers, mystery, passion and angst spiked by threats to family and friends, conniving conspirators, adventure and discovery, and faithful dedication to see love, justice and righteousness prevail. Not to mention the ultimate exposure of wickedness (and its consequences) and the unveiling of caring, generous hearts as genuine romance grows.

All in all, reading 'Scattered' made for a pleasant and inspirational way to celebrate achieving another birthday. I am happy to commend and recommend Nola's debut novel as an engaging, convincing, and inspiring offering of romantic suspense.
Profile Image for Jeanette.
Author 29 books131 followers
November 30, 2020
Scattered by Nola Lorraine is a delightful historical romance set in nineteenth century Canada - mostly on Sable Island, Halifax and surrounding country. Maggie is working as a governess on the continent to help provide for her family, when her mother dies and her younger siblings are sent to Canada as part of the Home Children scheme - without Maggie's knowledge. Maggie takes on a post with the Plowhursts so she can travel to Halifax and search for her brother and sister. She encounters challenges to her search with those like Thaddeus Tharaday, who attempt to thwart her search to protect his own nefarious interests, and others like Nathaniel (Nash) Halliwell, who are happy to help.

Maggie, Nash, the Macdonalds, Jack and others are great characters. Thaddeus and his partner in crime are villains we love to hate, yet I also loved the hints of the possibility of redemption in at least one of these characters. The attention to detail and research of setting and time added to enjoyment in reading without weighing down the narrative.
With a great setting, sweet romance, highlighting of social issue (such as the Home Children scheme, child labour etc), faith elements, lovely prose and plenty of twists and turns and a dramatic climax, Scattered was a satisfying read on a number of levels.

I enjoyed reading an earlier version of the book as a beta-reader and was delighted to read the published book in which all the changes took the book to another level.
Profile Image for Meredith Resce.
Author 33 books50 followers
November 20, 2020
Nola Lorraine has stepped out of her usual academia and editing mode and entered into the magical world of fiction.
Her debut novel, ‘Scattered’, is testament to her long-term passion to see the story well researched and well written.
I was interested to see Nola chose as her setting the Canadian town of Halifax—familiar to all Anne of Green Gable fans¬—and a similar time period to when Anne would have been wandering about the Lake of Shining Waters. Nola also chose orphans and home children (children who are taken by families to work in their homes) as another element. Unfortunately, we didn’t bump into Anne or Gilbert, but we bumped into another generous, honourable and determined young man, Nash. Nathaniel Archibald Sebastian Halliwell. With such atrocious middle names, it was a good job he decided to go by the acronym.
Our main character, Maggie, a young English woman, has returned from a working trip to Europe to find her mother has passed and her younger siblings have been apprehended by the Home Children program. Her 12-year-old brother, Jack, and 8-year-old sister, Emily, have been bundled up with other orphan children, and shipped across the Atlantic to Canada. The promotion for this program proclaims that these children will be placed in loving homes. The reality, a bit like our Australian Stolen Generation, is often far from the truth. Jack is forced to work long hours in a factory, and Emily is made to be a housemaid, treated unkindly at every turn.
Maggie finds work as a nanny with a retired Army major and his family, who agree to take her with them as they emigrate to Canada. Here is where the story opens—in the middle of a furious storm that causes their ship to wreck. Maggie is the lone survivor and is protected by a wild horse, one of the free-roaming horses on Sable Island. It is weeks before Maggie finds passage to Halifax in Canada, and when she arrives she is immediately greeted by a slimy character, Thaddeus Tharaday. She carries the fame of having survived the wreck, and Tharaday apparently hopes to help her find her missing brother and sister. In actual fact, Tharaday has other motives, which are part of the mystery, and instead of helping find the children, frustrates Maggie’s every effort.
I won’t go into the mystery—suffice to say, there is subterfuge, danger, heroism and romance that will satisfy any reader.
Nola Lorraine has done a sterling job of writing her first romance drama, and I congratulate her on the release of ‘Scattered’.
Thank you to the author for providing a free copy for the purposes of review.

Author 17 books14 followers
September 9, 2020
The plot in this story has to be one of the most intricate, brilliant weavings of circumstances and events I have ever read. The characters were great - complex and very real. Even the villain who did evil, and made obviously wrong choices was not completely evil and his choices, though wrong, were understandable. His motivation was clearly and cleverly shown.

Maggie was a warm, humble, lovable character. Her love for her family and genuine care for others made her a delight. I particularly enjoyed the way she connected with children.

The author clearly did a lot of research and has in-depth historical knowledge that she weaved into the story. She did it so well that it wasn’t invasive or distracting, but I came away realising I’d learned a lot about the time period and setting of the story that I hadn’t previously known. The story took me to another world – a place I have never been but now feel I have.

The start of the story was so gripping that I couldn’t stop reading. However, this also made the slower paced section immediately following, harder to focus on. This may have been a clever device used by the author to cause me to share the main character’s frustration and impatience during a period of waiting. I am also aware, now that I’ve finished the story, that this section was vital to the plot. It was well worth working through this small section.

This novel was a clean read and mentioned Providence and God but I felt it wasn’t a major part of the plot. I tend to prefer more overtly Christian stories where God and the character’s growth toward him is a central theme. This is a personal preference for me, not a criticism of the author’s skill or purpose in writing.

I found some of the events deeply distressing and traumatic. Especially when injury or harm came to children. This is probably because of my own personal triggers. I also felt as though much of the story was invested in everything going wrong. I found myself frustrated when everything seemed to be coming together and then another calamity meant a mystery I thought had been solved had to be re-solved. This again, shows very clever writing – causing me as the reader to be so involved that I felt the frustration the characters were experiencing.

I did feel the end came together too quickly considering all the emotion and time invested. I would have liked to share in the characters’ peace and joy a little longer. Again, this could be counted as a positive – the story was so well written and I connected so much with the characters that I didn’t want to say goodbye at the end.

In summary, I would say this was an exceptional novel from this debut author and I will definitely read any other novels she writes in the future.

Note: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
6 reviews1 follower
December 20, 2020
A beautiful novel with much more depth than many novels of the same genre. I thoroughly enjoyed reading the story of Maggie, and the people she meets as she searches for her younger brother and sister, taken from England to Canada as part of the Home Children Migrant Scheme. Mystery, intrigue, love and determination work together to create a compelling read. I look forward to reading more from this author, hopefully soon!
Profile Image for Chris.
52 reviews
January 12, 2021
Scattered is the first novel by Australian, Nola Lorraine, author, of many published short stories. A Victorian era, historical fiction novel, Scattered will also appeal to lovers of mystery, romance and young adult, “coming of age” novels. Set in Nova Scotia in the 1880s, Lorraine immerses us in the disturbing world of the British-Canadian, Home Children Migrant Scheme, with scenes evocative of a Dickens novel.

Nineteen-years-old English woman, Maggie O’Loughlin, is on a life and death quest to find her missing younger siblings. The recently orphaned children have been sent to Canada from a workhouse and she will stop at nothing to find them. The search tests Maggie in ways she didn’t anticipate, and yields some unexpected outcomes.

For the reader, Scattered illustrates the similarities and differences between our modern day experiences and that of the nineteenth century, not least of which are the challenges of finding a lost loved one in an age that didn’t have fast transport, mobile phones and the Internet.

Before pursuing her passion for creative writing, Lorraine was an academic whose research included the topic of children and adoption, so she is well versed in the fractured family aspect of her novel. Scattered bears no resemblance to an academic text, however. Lorraine’s writing is simple and a pleasure to read. The historical scenes are both well researched and a feast for the senses.

The protagonist, Maggie, is loveable in her naivety, whereas the antagonists are complex, dark individuals. The characters stayed with me long after I’d finished reading.

The narrative is fast-paced and packed with action, featuring many twists and turns. Scattered extracts a range of human emotions; loss, sadness, fear, hope, love, faith and trust, as you travel with Maggie on her desperate mission to reunite her family.
Profile Image for Susan Barnes.
413 reviews58 followers
May 7, 2021
Scattered is a historical novel mostly set in Nova-Scotia in 1882. Maggie’s parents both died from illnesses in England and she was separated from her younger brother and sister while she was working In Europe as a governess. Her orphaned siblings were sent to Canada without her knowledge as part of the Home Children Migrant Scheme to work on Canadian farms.

Maggie’s mission to find her brother and sister doesn’t begin well when the ship she travels on is caught in a wild storm and she is shipwrecked on Sable Island. Maggie eventually makes it to Halifax but encounters many obstacles including an over-attentive factory owner and an inquisitive newspaper reporter who turns out to be more valuable than he first appears.

This is an enjoyable story with many twists and turns as Maggie investigates the disappearance of her brother and sister. There is adventure, mystery and romance as Maggie is sometimes so close to locating them but at other times seems unlikely to ever see them again.

Nola Lorraine has crafted a well-written and well-researched story which moves at a good pace. It’s interesting to read about this period of history and appreciate the difficulties that many faced.

Overall a great read.
Profile Image for Melinda Jensen.
1 review9 followers
Want to read
June 5, 2021
Scattered is a gently but strongly written novel that's not afraid to look at life's dark side while never glorifying it or confronting the reader with disturbing and unnecessary detail. It's a feat few writers can achieve and much appreciated by this reader.

The plot is strong and moves you forward effortlessly from chapter to chapter, whetting the reader's appetite for 'more' of the story.

While it can be termed a historical romance, there is nothing of the saccharine sweet here, nor is there the tired bodice ripper theme of many historical romances. Romance takes a backseat to the plight of the main character, the delightful Maggie, whose strength and ingenuity shine throughout the book.

The Christian message is subtle and it's this very subtlety that makes the message so poignant - a young woman rediscovering that she really isn't alone and abandoned after all. I'll leave it to future readers to find out what I mean.

I would have liked to have known a little more of the younger brother's story. How did he make his way during the final few months in the lead-up to the book's conclusion? Perhaps, we'll find out in the author's next book, which I'm very much looking forward to.
Profile Image for Iola.
Author 1 book2 followers
December 23, 2020
Maggie O’Loughlin has taken a job as nanny to the Plowhurst family, who are emigrating from England to Nova Scotia. She needs to get to Halifax, because her younger brother and sister were taken there as part of the British Home Children scheme, which brought orphaned children from England to Canada to hopefully give them a better life.

While Jack and Emily are technically orphans, Maggie is old enough to work and care for them. They were shipped away while she was working for another family, and now she wants to find her brother and sister and reunite her family. But her quest is fraught with difficulties, from storm and shipwreck to lies and betrayal … and love.

Maggie is shipwrecked en route to Canada. When she finally makes it to Halifax, circumstances conspire to prevent the family’s reunion as Maggie finds both friends and enemies in unlikely places.

Scattered is an outstanding debut novel. The characters are compelling, the plot finely woven, and the writing excellent. It’s full of emotion, and is one of those novels I almost wanted to stop reading because poor Maggie just couldn’t get a break. But I also wanted to read it quickly to make sure it was going to have a happy ending, and read slowly to savour the writing. Scattered pulls at the heartstrings both in the initial premise, then in Maggie’s ongoing trials to try and find her brother and sister, especially as circumstances (well, a particular individual) continually conspire to keep them apart.

It’s obvious the author has spent a lot of time and effort researching the time and location, but this enhanced the plot and the writing, rather than overwhelming it.

Recommended for fans of Carrie Turansky, Julie Klaasen, and Dorothy Adamek.
54 reviews
October 28, 2020
I cannot believe that this book is Nola's debut novel. What a gift Nola has, the book was just amazing. It was so full of suspense, intrigue, romance, I could 't put it down, I just HAD to find out what happened. It was a novel that something was happening all the time, you never felt annoyed or as if there wasn't much substance. This book is full of substance with everything you could imagine you would want in a good book. For a first novel I cannot imagine what joy is around the corner for us readers when Nola writes another book. You will not be disappointed if you buy this book.
340 reviews3 followers
December 9, 2020
3.5 stars. A great book that moved at a good pace and kept me turning the pages. I was engaged in the story and enjoyed the characters. I found the story was a good length and didn’t drag on. Would definitely be interested in reading more from this author.
Profile Image for Ellen Carr.
Author 2 books2 followers
December 5, 2020
I very much enjoyed this story and I congratulate Nola Lorraine on writing such a wonderful debut novel. I was fully engaged from the start and the twists and turns of the story kept me reading.
Set in 1882 in Nova Scotia, Canada, this is the story of Maggie, a young English woman whose brother and sister have been taken to Canada as part of the Home Children Migrant Scheme of the time, after the death of their mother. Maggie's plan is to find them and take them under her care.
The ship on which she is travelling to Canada, as an employee of a family, is shipwrecked and Maggie is the only survivor. After some time on Sable Island she reaches Halifax and begins her search for her 12-year-old brother and 8-year-old sister.
Industrialist Thaddeus Tharaday initially seems helpful but turns out to be implicated in the poor treatment of the two children. Various leads fail to find the children but a newspaper reporter, Nash, takes on the case and finds out more. The cruelty of those involved in the Home Children scheme becomes apparent. There are confronting incidents and devious coverups.
A romance develops - no spoilers here! There are references to prayer and faith but it is touched on lightly and naturally.
I would have preferred a bit more detail in the end-part of the story which seemed more rushed than the rest. But, overall, this novel tells a riveting tale and is well worth the read.
1 review
November 16, 2020
I loved this book so much I have bought another copy for a friend's birthday. The characters are so real, Nola certainly has a way of keeping the book a page turner with the twists and turns (that I didn't see coming!) Maggie is a splendidly believable character on a heart warming mission.
I'm keen for the sequel!
1 review
October 30, 2020
Nola Lorraine's debut novel grabs your attention from the first page as you hold on while Maggie's ship tosses and smashes and finally sinks. Her survival and subsequent rescue on Sable Island are premonitions of the mixed fortunes and adventures that await her as she searches for Jack and Emily, her younger siblings, who have been mistakenly taken from Britain to Canada as part of the home children program. Nola skilfully weaves her intricate plot, incorporating a dashing and handsome hero, Nash, a ruthless and shifty villain, Thaddeus, with well researched snippets about the life and times of the residents of 19th century Halifax. A feel good story with enough romance and mystery to keep you turning the pages.
Profile Image for Adricrisuruta.
1,534 reviews2 followers
October 26, 2021
It was a bit of a long read for the development of the plot.
I think the author did go a bit overboard on the amount of personal misfortune for the two characters and that the same could have been captured in fewer chapters, however, I enjoyed the read.

I preferred to convince myself that being set in the 19th century things were slow because that's how it was at the time.

It wasn't your typical historical romance read and I liked that. Taking out the excess drama, I have to say that the shipwreck, the mischievous characters and Nash and Maggie's love, grabbed me.

I did miss an extended epilogue about everyone's future. After so much suffering it would have been nice to know, not imagine.
Profile Image for ZoraYuna.
136 reviews
October 31, 2021
Many chapters with too many and varied misfortunes, I couldn't help but wonder when a chapter ended: what calamity will the author invent now? And the ending resolves everything very quickly.
In spite of that, it wasn't a bad read.
Profile Image for N.R. Eccles-Smith.
Author 10 books25 followers
February 2, 2021
A lovely, well-written historical novel, woven with a great blend of seek-to-find mystery and romance.
Great setting, with a clear effort in research that helps breathe lush life into the Canadian locales and technologies of the time.
The protagonists shone brightly, paired well against the elaborate and conniving antagonists, with Nash Halliwell bringing a particularly light breath of fresh air with his happy, charming and playful personality (as opposed to my usual favourite: the pensive, mysterious and intense leading male).

Well worth a look if you enjoy historical romance with a faith-based flavour that does not overwhelm or preach.
Profile Image for Ruth Bonetti.
Author 19 books35 followers
July 10, 2021
This gripping historical romance is full of twists, turns and skullduggery, amid well researched period, language and landscapes. The heroine Maggie is a strong, intelligent and resourceful young woman who takes a position as nanny to reach Halifax, Nova Scotia, where she hopes to find her brother and sister who were whisked there while Maggie worked in Europe. (A minor quibble; where on that diverse continent? Do tell.)
The plot rattles along to a satisfying conclusion for the likeable characters, and suitably just ends for the heinous villain and his devious wife.
Highly recommended.
Profile Image for Elaine Fraser.
Author 6 books16 followers
January 14, 2021
Scattered, by Nola Lorraine is a fabulous debut inspirational historical fiction novel. Set in Victorian-era Nova Scotia the novel employs quite a few genre elements such as historical, mystery and romance. It has a bit of everything for every reader.

Maggie is on a quest. Her siblings have been sent from England to Canada as part of the Home Children Migrant Scheme and she is determined to find them. Facing many obstacles, including a shipwreck that leaves her stranded on Sable Island, Maggie is a heroine who has strength, beauty, and determination.

‘She had to get to Halifax. She had to find them. She put her hand to her heart.
Keep Jack and Emily safe, Lord. Keep all of us safe.’

What follows is a tale with many twists and turns. Dashing newspaper reporter, Nash befriends her and helps her in her quest. They are both thwarted at every turn by a villainous nemesis but they never give up.

A romance blossoms between Maggie and Nash, a heroic love interest who is honourable and full of integrity. Romance is never smooth sailing, of course and the romance has its own twists and turns.

‘She pressed her lips to his,
and he deepened the kiss until there was no doubt
where their future lay.

Side by side.
Breath by breath.

Nola Lorraine creates characters you will care about. Maggie, her siblings, and her love interest all inspired positive emotions.

Nola has done a wonderful job of crafting the pace of this novel–from the start, right through to the unexpected dramatic turn of events near the end of the book, it’s a page-turner.

Although the book does have a Christian basis, the author has handled this aspect with a gentle hand. The faith aspects are woven into the narrative with realism and a sense of hope and faith.

I can’t do this on my own.
Then she heard a voice. I’ll never leave you.

Scattered is a powerful story and beautifully written. There was a lot to love about Scattered. Nola’s writing is compelling and will keep you interested up to the very last page.

Scattered is comparable to When Calls the Heart by Janette Oke and would make a wonderful movie or TV series.

If you enjoy stories with a lot of twists and turns, likeable protagonists, villains you love to dislike, strong family bonds, lost treasure, an historical setting, gentle faith, and a love story, you’ll enjoy Scattered.
January 24, 2021
A love story tangled up in a mystery; a recipe for the perfect story. Nola Lorraine's debut novel had me intrigued the minute I read the blurb. I love a good historical fiction piece as much as the next person (maybe even slightly more), but I have to say this one didn't quite capture my attention like the others.

The overall plot is great. There is a rollercoaster of events, from an inevitable shipwreck, to house fires, assault, attempted murder, runaways, injury and deceit. It is well thought out keeps you guessing until the very end. However, the ending seemed very rushed to me. The last few chapters play out the tearful reunion between Maggie and her younger sister. It is what everything has been leading up to and it seems Maggie and her family are finally going to be happy. What kept me going was wondering how they would find Jack since we had followed his journey through the whole book. I was disappointed then, to realise that the book wraps up with Jack appearing out of seemingly no where to walk Maggie down the aisle. They don't tell us where he has been or how they tracked him down, all we get is a short reunion on the last page that leaves much to be explained.

There is a wide range of characters and great potential for them all to grow and develop throughout the course of the novel. I feel though, that character development was somewhat lacking. The characters themselves and the relationships they formed all seems rather underdeveloped and two dimensional. I think a little more work could have been done to build the characters a little more.

In saying all this, for a debut novel, 'Scattered' is quite good. An easy read with lots of excitement, it definitely shows that Nola Lorraine has great potential for the future.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
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81 reviews
October 27, 2020
A beautifully crafted and well researched book! I loved the depth of the characters, especially Maggie the young heroine. She never faltered in her quest to find her young brother and sister who had been sent to Canada when it was believed they were orphans. She survived a shipwreck which saw the demise of the family who employed her, and spent time on Sable Island healing from the trauma of the shipwreck before sailing to Halifax to begin the search for Jack and Emily. A dastardly villain Thaddeus Tharaday, who was determined to stop Maggie’s search for her siblings, and a handsome hero in the form of the reporter Nash Halliwell who was determined to help Maggie with her quest. Together they survive the attempts on their lives and the many twists and turns before them and experienced a growing faith as well. A very difficult book to put down, I had to keep on reading to see what would happen next! Thank you to the author for sending me a free copy of the book to read. A delightful novel, a great read!!

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