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Summary

The unmissable new novel from Rachel Hore, Sunday Times best-selling author of Last Letter Home, a 2018 Richard and Judy Book club pick. 

London, 1917. When 19-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?   

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.  

©2019 Rachel Hore (P)2019 W. F. Howes Ltd

Critic reviews

"A gorgeous and deeply absorbing story." (Tracy Rees)

What listeners say about The Love Child

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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An intriguing story with weak moments

I don't always enjoy writing reviews which aren't glowing but it's bound to happen with the amount of books which are available. The main thing I was unhappy about wasn't Rachel's story, it was Ana's narration, particularly her very poor Irish accent. That weakness really affected my ability to focus on events and believe the characters.

4 people found this helpful

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Adoption Life story


Nice story, nothing taxing.

I needed a palate cleanser after doing the Tolstoy classics.

The story weaves between Irene the adopted child of Mr and Mrs Burns and Irenes birth mother Alice who fell pregnant to a soldier fighting in WW1, who unfortunately died shortly after their relationship started .

My only real criticism is the narrator, who read in what I can only describe as a jerky fashion. Her voice went very high and then low during sentences.
It’s something you get used to but was nonetheless irritating.

2 people found this helpful

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Love the story, ambivalent about the reader

Rachel Hore always turns out great stories, but this reader sounds as if she's about to burst into tears all the time. Occasionally, it may be useful, but not all the time.

1 person found this helpful

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  • G
  • 09-06-20

Lovely heartwarming story!

At first I didn’t think I could put up with the narrators high voice but I got used to it and it was ok. I enjoyed the story and the time it was set in. I think it was a bit different from Rachel Hore’s normal books but very good even so. Definitely well worth a credit and listen.

1 person found this helpful

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Exquisite!

Charming story about love, loss, hurt, duty and the struggle between class and family dynamics all set beautifully in the troubled times between the First and Second World War.

1 person found this helpful

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Unputdownable!

Beautiful, simple story with surprising depth and layering of themes. Thoroughly enjoyed it. Had me shushing my children more than was fair to them!

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Enchanting story

Enjoyed this easy listening story, shame about the poor narrator. Will not listen to anything else read by her in future.

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Quite a predictable story line.

A predictable storyline with a narrator that suited the happily ever after theme but not to my liking.

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LOVED IT

Would really recommend this book. Thank you for such an enjoyable read. Loves the descriptions of the Amber found on the beach


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Good story

I enjoyed the tread of the story,but found the narration irritating and monotonous. shame really