Category Archives: Orphan Lit

Bitter Orange by Claire Fuller

Bitter Orange opens with Frances Jellico incarcerated, dying of an unnamed wasting disease though whether she is in a hospital, an asylum or prison is not clear. Only Victor, her friend, the once vicar of Lyntons parish visits, hoping she … Continue reading

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Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

Eleanor Oliphant leads a simple life. She is happy. Nothing is missing from her carefully timetabled life. Except, sometimes, everything. No one’s been in my flat this year apart from service professionals; I’ve not voluntarily invited another human being across … Continue reading

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The Orphans by Annemarie Neary

Annemarie Neary’s novels are The Orphans (2017) and Siren (2016), both from Hutchinson/Windmill Books, and A Parachute in the Lime Tree (2012) from The History Press Ireland. Her short stories have been published in many places in Ireland, the UK … Continue reading

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PhD Block?

Doing a PhD is very much a self-directed, self-disciplined experience. I write words on a page hoping they will fuse and one day create a novel about a care leaver managing her life from sixteen to eighteen in the late … Continue reading

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Mothering Sunday by Graham Swift

Two grand old houses, inhabited by the Nivens and the Sheringhams, who between them lost four sons in the great war. It was March 30th 1924. It was Mothering Sunday. Milly had her mother to go to. But the Nivens’ … Continue reading

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Top Twelve Reads 2016

My plan at the beginning of 2016 was to read Orphan Lit and review it. Here are some of my favourite reads, in no particular order, some reviewed and some not, from last year and nearly all of them feature … Continue reading

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The Girl With All the Gifts by Mike Carey

Every morning, ten year old, Melanie waits in her cell to be collected for class. When they come for her, Sergeant Parks keeps his gun pointing at her while two of his people strap her into the wheelchair. She thinks … Continue reading

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The Fish Ladder by Katharine Norbury

Following the miscarriage of a much-longed-for child, Katharine Norbury sets out – sometimes accompanied by her *nine-year-old daughter, Evie – with the idea of following a river from the sea to its source. The luminously observed landscape provides both a … Continue reading

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Song of the Sea Maid by Rebecca Mascull

Song of the Sea Maid opens with a young girl thinking she may have had a brother and looks back to the time they were stealing pies – just before he is kidnapped by a press gang. Left alone she … Continue reading

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My Name is Leon by Kit de Waal

My Name is Leon, is about two brothers, white Jake and mixed-race Leon, who are separated in foster care. The title of the book tells us this is Leon’s story, he is going to tell us how it really is. … Continue reading

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