The Orphans from Liverpool Lane by Eliza Morton: A gritty and evocative tale – book review –

If a gripping blend of wartime, domestic drama and heartfelt emotions is your perfect reading recipe, then head off to Liverpool with actress Eliza Morton for a deliciously nostalgic saga for long summer nights.
The Orphans from Liverpool Lane by Eliza MortonThe Orphans from Liverpool Lane by Eliza Morton
The Orphans from Liverpool Lane by Eliza Morton

Morton – better known as Elizabeth Morton and married to actor Peter Davison of Doctor Who fame – has a keen eye for drama and her childhood years in Liverpool have armed her with a love and in-depth knowledge of both the city and what makes its people tick.

And after success with A Liverpool Girl, A Last Dance in Liverpool, Angel of Liverpool, and The Girl from Liverpool, Morton returns once again to Merseyside for The Orphans from Liverpool Lane, a gritty and evocative tale featuring a family torn apart during the Second World War.

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Marcia Rogan is only twelve years old the first time she is sent with her older sister, Cynthia, to a Liverpool orphanage in 1944. With their father John in a PoW camp in Singapore, her mother Eunice is struggling to cope and hands them over to the nuns to be ‘orphans of the living,’ a cruel term for those children with living parents but whose families have abandoned them.

Things look up when their father finally returns and the girls are allowed home, but it’s clear the years in the camp have taken their toll on the sweet man Marcia barely remembers... and the family disintegrates.

Cynthia finds an escape with an aunt and follows her ambitions to be a dancer. But Marcia is sent back to the orphanage. And while she finds friends among her fellow ‘orphans,’ it’s no substitute for the family she so desperately craves...

The Orphans from Liverpool Lane – the first book of a Liverpool Orphans Trilogy – is a warmhearted, enchanting and gritty tale filled with nostalgia, colourful characters, romance, and the rich detail of life and its hardships in Liverpool in the wartime period and beyond.

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Readers cannot help but fall for the feisty Rogan sisters as they struggle to survive the war and battle to keep together their long-suffering and divided family. With emotions running high, the uncertainties of wartime, the strong sense of family and community that has always been a hallmark of this close-knit northern city, and an entertaining slice of Scouse humour to enjoy, this is an action-packed journey you wouldn’t want to miss!

(Pan, paperback, £7.99)