In 1937, Mary Margaret Joyce is born in the Tuam Home for unwed mothers. After spending her early years in an uncaring foster home, she is sentenced by a judge to an industrial school, where she is given the name Peg, and assigned the number 27. Amid 100 other unwanted girls, Peg quickly learns the rigid routine of prayer, work, and silence under the watchful eye of Sister Constance. Her only respite is an annual summer holiday with a kind family in Galway.
At the tender age of 13, Peg accidentally learns the identity of her birthmother. Peg struggles with feelings of anger and abandonment, while her mother grapples with the shame of having borne a child out of wedlock. The tension between them mounts as Peg, now becoming a young adult, begins to make plans for her future beyond Ireland.
Based on actual events, The House Children is a compelling story of familial love, shameful secrets, and life inside Ireland’s infamous industrial schools.
Peg is one of the house children. She started out in a terrible foster home. When that deteriorated, a judge sentenced her to one of Ireland’s industrial schools. She is one of the few orphans, out of the many in the home, which actually gets to go on holiday. Peg has no idea why she has been chosen to go on holiday. But as time goes on, secrets begin to unravel.
Peg is a scared little girl. And her situation tears at my heart. The whole situation in Ireland for the children and the unwed mothers during this time period is appalling.
This is a unique book and to know it is based on a true story is even more amazing. I don’t think I have read a book about Ireland’s orphanages. So, this was interesting to say the least.
The narrator, Lauren Reilly is more straightforward than I like. it is almost like she is just stating the facts instead of reading a story. But, the book itself is very well researched and heart wrenching in places.
Need a good historical fiction book…THIS IS IT! Grab your copy today.
I received this audiobook from the publisher for a honest review.