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The Love Child

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Brilliantly evoking the changing attitudes of the time, The Love Child is a novel about love, family, separation, despair, and hope, full of tenderness and deep feeling.

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 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 together must surely be complete. Irene grows up knowing that she is different from other children, but no one will tell her the full truth.

Putting hopes of marriage and children behind her, Alice embarks upon a pioneering medical career, striving to make her way in a male-dominated world. Meanwhile, Irene struggles to define her own life, eventually leaving her Suffolk home to find work in London.

As two extraordinary stories intertwine across two decades, will secrets long-buried at last come to light?

Rachel Hore worked in London publishing for many years before moving with her family to Norwich, where she taught publishing and creative writing at the University of East Anglia until deciding to become a full-time writer. She is the Sunday Times (London) bestselling author of ten novels, including The Love Child. She is married to the writer D. J. Taylor and they have three sons. Visit her at RachelHore.co.uk and connect with her on Twitter @RachelHore.

“Hore tackles difficult subjects with a clever, light touch, and a sunny positivity. Her women are brave and good and you desperately want them to win.” 
— Daily Mail

“A hugely compelling, poignant, and moving read. Rachel has great skill as a storyteller and readers are sure to be engrossed and swept away by her clever double-stranded tale.”
— JANE JOHNSON, author of The Sea Gate

“A poignant story, rich in period detail.”
— Sunday Mirror

“Simply stunning . . . I savoured every moment of this moving story of love, loss, and, ultimately, forgiveness. [An] absolutely beautiful book.”
— DINAH JEFFERIES, author of The Tuscan Contessa

“An emotive and thought-provoking read . . . My heart went out to both these two women as they faced such difficult personal decisions that would change their lives forever.”
— ROSANNA LEY, author of From Venice with Love

“Rachel’s stories are always absorbing and intricately woven. . . . This is a wonderfully moving tale of love and loss, hope, and eventual reconciliation, and I very much enjoyed it.”
— BARBARA ERSKINE, author of The Ghost Tree

“I found her writing warm and compassionate in this story about one girl’s search for her true identity amidst the secrets and dynamics of her adopted family. It had a realism about the poignancy of illegitimacy in this pre-war setting.”
— LEAH FLEMING, author of A Wedding in the Olive Garden

More books from this author: Rachel Hore