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    Warmly Engaging

    The Five Shilling Children by Lindsey Hutchinson is a nice work of historical fiction. Nine-year-old Polly Fitch and her ten-year-old brother, Adam, are sold for five shillings each to an orphanage by their abusive father, Gerald. They’re distraught, but they have each other, three filling meals a day, their own beds and a brand new set of friends that treat them better than their biological family ever did. The one exception being new arrival, Rodney Dukes, whose bullying of Polly prompts Adam to hatch a plan to sneak out of the orphanage to learn how to box. Pugilist Billy Marshall agrees to train Adam after he realizes that Adam is the son of an old secret crush, Minnie Fitch. Polly is eventually sold to a wealthy family and Adam remains in the orphanage. His distress is so profound his nemesis, Rodney Dukes, comes to his aid and comforts him. Everyone in the orphanage is upset at his profound sorrow, except the owner, Una Reed. All the children band together to help Adam escape so he can search for his sister. The children have come to depend upon each other and now long for independence and the type of companionship and love that can only come from family. The question is: what makes a family? The Five Shilling Children is an excellent read. The characters are fully-developed and completely relatable. The plot is engaging and has surprising twists. The ending is wonderful. I truly enjoyed this novel and rate it 4 out of 5 stars. I recommend it to readers who enjoy fiction with a historical backdrop. My thanks to Aria and NetGalley for the opportunity to read an advance copy of this book. However, the opinions expressed in this review are 100% mine and mine alone.
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    Memorable

    Lindsey Hutchinson’s The Five Shilling Children is the first book I have read written by this author. She wrote a complex, intertwined story of life for the those in the Black Country years ago. The two main children Adam and Polly stole my heart as they make their way upstairs in the first chapter. This is not the first book that I have read of family members selling the children but it is the most memorable. Foes becomes friends, family takes sides and some even get their comeuppance in the end. Many characters in this story but all have very clear roles so that they do not become confusing. Adam is as apt a hero as I have ever read, even with him being only ten. Intelligent, being a better judge of character than his mother, quick study, hard honest worker and possesses a heart that is determined to protect his sister, he is unforgettable.
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    A heart wrenching tale

    The Five Shilling Children by Lindsey Hutchinson takes to Wolverhampton in the heart of the Black Country. Polly and Adam Fitch are sold to Reed’s Orphanage by their father for five shillings each. They miss their mother (not their bully father), but they are thankful for a warm bed to sleep in each night plus hot meals to eat. They are especially grateful that they still have each other. Adam has always been protective of Polly. The siblings become close friends with the other children at the orphanage. The bond strengthens over time making this assortment of children a family. When Una Reed sells Polly to a wealthy family, Adam escapes the orphanage with the help of the other kids to get his sister back. The Five Shilling Children is a heart wrenching tale. I like that the author gives us different perspectives: the children, their mother, a nanny, and two ladies at the orphanage. It is shocking what these children suffered at the hands of adults. I was drawn into this emotional novel right away and I stayed up late to finish it. I wanted to see what would happen to Adam, Polly and their makeshift family. As the story evolves, we find out why Gerald Fitch went from a loving husband and father into an abusive man who drank through his earnings. I enjoyed the various storylines in the book and how it all tied together. The Five Shilling Children is my favorite book by Lindsey Hutchinson. The love between Adam and Polly was strong and touching. I loved how the kids came together and were loyal to each other. It was so sweet that they never forgot to pray for help and guidance. The Five Shilling Children is an emotional historic novel with a nasty nanny, a famine of funds, a supportive pugilist, a vile father, and hopeful children.
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