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Ratings and Book Reviews ()

Overall rating

4.2 out of 5
5 Stars
9 reviews have 5 stars
4 Stars
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All Book Reviews

  • Not for me

    Historical World War 2 Fiction, the hardship of the blitz and a blossoming love story – that’s what drew me to this book. Author Glynis Peters is a historical romance author and has previously been shortlisted for the Festival of Romance New Talent Award (UK) in 2014. This story follows the life of teenager Ruby following the loss of her family and home after being battered during WWII by the Luftwaffe in Coventry, England. Young Ruby needs to pick up her life amongst the heartbreak and devastation. Needless to say she needs to show resilience and resourcefulness in abundance to do this. Perhaps the most interesting character is a young streetwise Cockney lad called Tommy, who comes into and out of her life throughout the book. His character has an interesting story to tell, he proves to be pivotal. There’s also a sprinkling of various good hearted, resilient characters, and the odd villain thrown in for good measure. This blend of characters in such a catastrophic back-drop should have produced a riveting narrative. Instead, I found the story to be a little too predictable, the dialogue too superficial, and the plot thin. I wasn’t really invested in these characters, and found myself not really concerned about their welfare, which for me, is a tragedy, as they were in such a precarious, sad, dramatic and interesting place at that time. I’m not adverse to a good romance novel, and my reading list proves that, but this was my first real encounter of a syrupy sweet love story – and I’m afraid this lost me. Having said that, Ms Peters has sold plenty of books and is pretty popular. Her previous book, The Secret Orphan (also based in Coventry) sold plenty. So for those who delight in this type of romantic fare, this is the book for you. This book wasn’t for me. 2/5 stars. I would like to thank NetGalley and HarperCollins UK for providing me with an advance copy in exchange for an unbiased review.

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    9 person found this review helpful

    9 people found this review helpful

    9 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Absolutely wonderful story!

    The Orphan Thief is a wonderful, well written story of perseverance during the dark days of WWII. Fourteen year old Ruby, who lost her entire family during German bombing, brings two similar souls together to form a new family group and figure out how to survive and perhaps even thrive. The author has done an amazing job spotlighting the hardships and the small but significant times of joy and satisfaction. As an avid reader of WWII stories this one certainly rings true as the story follows Ruby until she turns 21. Readers are introduced to her parents’ friends Beatty and Fred, who having lost their homes find shelter and purpose with Ruby, and Canadian war photographer John, whose presence conjures more grown up feelings. They also meet street urchin, Tommy and his ‘Uncle’ Earl, a mean, nasty man...and that is the only spoiler I will give. Glynis Peters is a new author for me, but I will be watching for more by her. I voluntarily reviewed an advance copy of this book from NetGalley. Most highly recommend.

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    0 person found this review helpful

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  • Family is : those you love the most

    The Orphan thief was set in WWII but it was surprisingly different. What a refreshing read. Ruby, returning home found her home demolished, her parents and siblings dead. At sixteen she was overwhelmed with grief. She ran to her grandmother's house only to find that her home was gone as well. A disaster worker helping the neighbor Fred to the hospital told her to check to see if her grandmother was among the injured. She found her grandmother on the deceased list as well. What to do now? The first night she slept in the park in a den in the ground. The next day she found food in town at a Red Cross truck. She decided to go to Fred's house her grandmother's neighbor, he was gone, but she spent the night there. The next day they started demolishing the houses on the block as they were unsafe. She then went to her family's bookkeeper's office, as she knew no one else. He was deceased in his chair from a heart attack. When the workers came to take him away she let them think he was her Uncle and would watch over his home. She then went to see a friend of her mother's , Helen, that used to buy dresses from her mother, who was a seamstress. She took papers to Helen from the bookkeeper's desk and found out the land and property belonged to her father and was now hers. This is the beginning. How Ruby brings Fred and Beatrice and finally the young boy , Tommy to live with her and how Fred and Beatrice become guardians for both her and Tommy is within the story told in the book. Also her romance with John the Canadian Army photographer. The story of Tommy and the evil Earl and how he came to know Ruby is also in the story told. It tells the story of how Ruby, a young lady transforms into an adult. It also tells the story of a young orphan boy Tommy and his life as a thief. It is a sad story at times with the loss of Ruby's family, but there is so much love from others it is a happy story. Ruby is so resourceful and so grown up at an early age. The story is heartwarming, the characters are so charming and true to life it is like watching it all play out in your head. I sincerely enjoyed this book with a breath of fresh air into the WWII genre. I know that you will enjoy it as well. I highly recommend it. Thanks to Glynis Peters, One More Chapter / HarperCollins, and NetGalley for allowing me to read an advance copy of the book.

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    0 person found this review helpful

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  • A bit repetitive

    I received a free copy of this book from Netgalley. I think the name of the book gives away a bit too much of the story since the mystery of this boy is a large part of the book. I liked most of the beginning of the book about Ruby and how she copes with the loss of her family. I was interested in the story, but it didn't really seem to go anywhere and came across as a bit repetitive with John showing up to photograph Ruby at the ruins of her family home multiple times, asking Tommy about his family ad nauseum without ever really investigating the situation on her own, etc..

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    0 person found this review helpful

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  • Iffy

    This wasn’t a bad read.. but wasn’t quite what I expected either! I was hoping for more of a story line, but loved the bit of romance it held.

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    0 person found this review helpful

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