Cover Image: A Place to Call Home (Shilling Grange Children’s Home Book 2)

A Place to Call Home (Shilling Grange Children’s Home Book 2)

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

I've read several of  Lizzie Page's books and enjoyed all of them. This was no exception. I read both books back to back, so felt like I'd read one long story, which I really enjoyed. I do like a happy ending!
Was this review helpful?
A really good read. The second in this series of books set in a children's home and it doesn't disappoint. Clara loves the children and when they get some new arrivals she again faces many challenges but she also gets some bad news that the couple council could be putting the building up for sale. She is determined to do her best to keep the children together  and will do everything possible to help them. Some lovely characters and beautifully written by Lizzie Page I thoroughly enjoyed it
Was this review helpful?
Set in 1949, Clara finds herself as house mother in local children's home.  She tried to make it a good and caring
place as much as for herself  and the children.  They have all lost something and some  one..  She appears to be succeeding, until she hears that the orphanage is going to be sold.  Children despatched to Australia, and others 
to notorious home for disabled children.  She as to act fast.

A well written book that keeps you turning the pages.
Was this review helpful?
A Place to Call Home by Lizzie Page. Narrated by: Emily Barber is the second book in the Shilling Grange Children’s Home series. This book is so beautifully written I was hooked from the very first few pages and just wanted to read more,, plus, I didn't want it to end. Just beautiful throughout.  This book is set in the aftermath of WWII, England, 1949, a housemother Clara, who is wonderful  and will do anything in her power to help the children in her charge, she tries her hardest to find homes for the orphans she has come to deeply love and care about. 

The narrator Emily Barber was excellent!

I highly recommend this series. 

Big thank you to NetGalley and the publisher Bookouture for my digital ARC to read in exchange for an honest review.
Was this review helpful?
A Place to Call Home is the second in the Shillings Grange series by Lizzie Page. Again, as with book one, I found it to be a good read but one that only really picked up towards the last quarter or so as things started to come together and other events occurred which set us up nicely for book three. Don’t worry if you are new to this series as it is easily read as a standalone story. There is plenty of information provided as to the backstory to all the various characters and how they find themselves currently dealing with a wide range of problems. There is a big cast of characters to get to know and admittedly it is slightly confusing at first but once you settle into the story you realise that each person has their own distinct and unique voice which shines through from the pages. 

The loudest voice is that of Clara Newton, mistress of the Shillings Grange, the orphanage which houses an eclectic mix of children. Clara really has matured since we first encountered her in book one. Gone is the young woman who is struggling to acclimatise to her new job and who seemed at some points to have the children running circles around her. This time around I found her to be more settled and confident and much more willing to fight for the orphanage to stay open and for the children to have some form of safety, security and love. That’s not to say that Clara is perfect and gets everything right. In fact, far from it. She knows what she wants to achieve and faces a daily uphill battle to do so. There are many trials and tribulations that are sent her way and she faces stiff opposition to keep the orphanage open and prevent the children she has come to love so dearly from being separated. What really stood out in this book perhaps more so than the first is the Clara and the children have become like one big family unit. They may be unconventional and have come from various troubled and distressing backgrounds but they are solidifying a new group where they always try to look out for one another and make the best of any bad situation that comes their way.

Clara really wants her charges, both old and new, to blossom. I think now she feels more secure in herself and the death of her fiancée during the war although traumatic and devastating she is now finally beginning to put this loss behind her. She knows that she can’t go back to the past but must move forward into the future. The love she has for the children felt really strong in this story. Before, I felt she was very much like a fish out of water frantically swimming against the tide each day not knowing what direction she would take to reach her final comforting destination. I don’t think she has reached that end point yet but she is doing her best to get there and to navigate the bumps in the road along the way. 

Maureen, the eldest of the children at the Grange, is being secretive and has dumped her boyfriend Joe much to Clara’s dismay. There were subtle hints as to what was going on with Maureen which I quickly guessed and was fervently hoping Clara would too. Peter, Rita, Alex, Peg, the twins Billy and Barry, all feature again. I have to say the twins really stand out in the way they are written, they are two peas in a pod who provide so many comedic moments and I could visualise them so clearly with all their antics and the exasperation Clara feels towards them sometimes. Two new residents arrive, Evelyn and Joyce, who both come with their own issues and troubles. Clara has to try and break down their barriers just like she has done with every child. I think now she is more wary in that she doesn’t rush straight into things headfirst, she has learned a lot from her time at the Grange. She knows children need time to settle in as they all come from such different backgrounds that have been troublesome and which have lasting effects. 

I loved the way Clara interacted with all the children. She seemed more settled and wiser but still she questions herself and desperately hopes that her ally and support system Ivor will return. Clara wants to keep the home happy and safe for everyone but when rumours begin to spread that the home is to be sold, fear and doubt sets in. She knows she must do everything in her power to prevent the closure as she has done so well in helping the children become more confident and to deal with all the struggles that they face. When she hears even more devastating news that those who cannot find homes are to be shipped away to Australia, Clara knows she must do everything in her power to prevent this from happening. She has come so far to go down without a fight and now she can stand on her own two feet she is determined to show everyone and the powers that be that Shillings Grange is worthwhile and needs to be open as she does such good work. The children are happy and content and their care and wellbeing is always her utmost priority. 

The story really developed as Clara champions the underdog and goes above and beyond to keep the Grange open. An unexpected source makes an appearance but will it be too little too late?  I did enjoy how everything was panning out in the last quarter or so. I will say the romance side regarding Clara and Ivor remains as frustrating as ever. They are so destined to be together, but they really need their heads banging together as they are more separated and apart than ever before. Communication and being honest is the key but that doesn’t seem to be happening here. In her end notes Lizzie Page eluded to the fact that readers may find the Clara/Ivor situation frustrating but she assures us that she knows exactly in which direction this part of the story is heading. I trust we are in safe hands and I am keen to figure out what will happen for the pair and in fact for all the residents of the Grange.

A Place to Call Home is a good addition to the series overall. It’s a nice saga that really grows on you and Clara and the children do find a place in your heart. The issues of children’s safeguarding, the English class system and how the decisions made by bureaucrats do affect so many were well developed, and I hope will continue to be so in the next book. I’m looking forward to An Orphan's Song already as there are lots of unanswered questions making the reader want more.
Was this review helpful?
England, 1949, Clara Newton’s fiancé died in World War Two, and she felt as if she had died with him.  Thinking her life was over she felt like she had nothing left.  She begins looking after the orphans who also lost everything they had, during the war.  She feels her life has a purpose again.  But there is nothing easy about being a housemother.  The needs for the children in her care are so desperate, from Peg who doesn’t speak and Joyce who has polio.  Clara will do anything she possibly can for the children.  But then Clara receives horrible news that the orphanage is going to be sold and the children will be sent away.  Joyce and Peg will be sent to a home for disabled children and all the others will be sent to Australia.  Clara has to find homes for them or she will never see them again.  She has to do everything she can to save them, but most of all she must keep them together, all they have is each other.  They need her as much as she needs them.  This is the second book in the series Shilling Grange Children’s Home, and it was just as good as the first book.  This was a wonderful continuation of the series as it was nice to reconnect with the children.  This story was so wonderfully written that you can’t help but relate with Clara and her love for the children.  This book was both heartbreaking and inspirational.  This is such a rapid page turner and is one that is sure to stay with you for a very long time.  The unforgettable characters and their situations were so heartwarming and captivating, and the flow of the story made this an unputdownable book. This story was so well written that I felt like I wanted to jump into the book and wipe away their tears.  It was truly phenomenal, I loved it.

Thank you Lizzie Page for such a beautifully written story filled with inspiration and hope.  I look forward to reading the last book in the series.  I loved it and I highly recommend it.
Was this review helpful?
This is a captivating story ! My first from this author. It’s a historical romance fiction in category. Very well written so the characters come alive. 
   The protagonist is a housemother at an orphanage. She becomes very close with children. It is 1949 and the setting is a small English town. Two new students have arrived and Clara has her hands full ! Two of her students have a disability and the two newest house members are not happy with living there. 
    There is a previous book , that I have on my list to read next, so the romance I’m the story had a backstory that I do not know. One romance ends and another begins but she is not with the right man and thought return to her first love. 
     Much of the story is about the future of the orphanage as the committee has decided to sell it  Clara is a young lady without much backbone in the beginning of the book who becomes stronger as the story goes on. 
     Reading their adventures was very entertaining. The story was not predictable like many are. Thanks to NetGalley and Bookoutre for the chance to read.
Was this review helpful?
BLOG TOUR REVIEW 

Review for 'A Place To Call Home' by Lizzie Page. 

Read and reviewed via NetGalley for Lizzie Page, Bookouture publishers and Bookouture anonymous 

Publication date 17th February 2022. 

This is the second book I have read by this author. It is also the second book in the 'Shilling Grange Children's Home' series. The first book I read is called 'The Orphanage' which is the first book in the series and I would highly recommend. 

I was originally drawn to this book by its beautiful cover and intriguing sounding synopsis and title. I am a HUGE fan of Lizzie after falling in love with her book 'The Orphanage' which is also the first book in this series and if this is half as good as that was it is bound to be a page turning read. The synopsis also stated that this book is "Perfect for fans of Before We Were Yours, Diney Costeloeand The Orphan Sisters." I am a huge fan of 'Before We Were Yours' so am looking forward to seeing if this lives up to this statement. I must admit I was also biased due to the publisher being Bookouture. I have yet to read a book published by Bookouture  that I haven't enjoyed. Hopefully this won't be the first... Watch this space! (Written before I started reading the book).

This novel consists of an article and 64 chapters. The chapters are short to medium in length so possible to read 'just one more chapter' before bed...OK, I know yeah right, but still just in case!

This book is based in England 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿, UK 🇬🇧. I always enjoy when books are set in the UK as I'm from Wales and have sometimes visited areas mentioned in the book. This makes it easier to picture where the scenes are set at times. 

This book is written in third person perspective and the main protagonist is Clara Newton. The benefits of third person perspective are that it let's you see the bigger picture of what's going on and you get to know more characters more, what they are thinking and what they are doing. It feels like you get to see the whole picture and not miss out in anything.

'A Place To Call Home' discusses some topics that may trigger some readers or may not be suitable for others. I like to point this out ahead of time in my reviews so you can judge if this book is for you or not. In this book Lizzie discusses/includes child abuse and neglect. 

Wow!!! Yet another absolutely captivating heart warming and tear jerking stunning  page turner ♥ Well done Lizzie on yet another stunning success! 

This book is absolutely beautifully written and it had me absorbed from the first page to the last. The vivid descriptions really put me in the storyline with Clara and the children and the cover and synopsis suit the storyline perfectly. 

This series  itself was quite unique for me as in I have never actually read a fictional book about a children's home apart from the first book in this stunning series 'The Orphanage'. I have read several non fiction foster books but never any fictional so I have been looking forward to getting sucked into this continuation of Shilling Grange children's home !! The storyline is filled with heartbreak, love, friendship, family, shocks, tension, sadness, hope and much more. My mind and heart was completely captivated throughout and I couldn't stop turning the pages from start to end. I was completely shocked and saddened by certain events. I can't say any more than that as I don't want to spoil it for future readers. There are several parts where I found tears running down my face which isn't an easy feat so you may want a box of tissues on standby and I would definitely clear your schedules as this really is unputdownable. I cannot wait until the next book in this beautiful and amazing series comes out!!! If it is half as addictive as this and 'The Orphanage' then it is bound to be a winner!!! I absolutely loved how this book ended even if it ended in even more tears!!! This would make an absolutely stunning TV series!! 

Although this is the second book in the series I had would have had absolutely no problems reading it without the others. Any details or events that have previously happened are mentioned in just the right amount of detail to let a new reader know what has happened and yet not too much to bore a previous reader.

 I absolutely fell in love with the kids and I absolutely adored Clara in what she was doing for them in 'The Orphanage' and I was over the moon to "meet" them all again. I love that the main protagonist was a strong female who went from someone who seemed to have certainly chosen the wrong job and really annoyed me on several occasions with her materialistic ways to a fighter and a role model for the children and I enjoyed watching her grow and develop in 'The Orohanage' and watching her grow and develop even more in this book. I absolutely love how she fought for the children even when it felt like she was banging her head against a brick wall she never gave up!!! She was not only struggling with everything that was going on with the council but with the children, her own emotions and feelings and much more yet she continued to keep going strong even when, at times, she just wanted to curl up in a ball and cry. I look forward to meeting her again in the next book in this wonderful series. I could not stand Mr Browne who I found to be horrible and insensitive nor Julian who I found to be a stuck pillock from the start. I absolutely adored Ivor and although I was gutted for someone about something (don't want to give anything away for future) it will be interesting to see what the future holds after a certain surprise!! I fell in love with Marilyn and found her to be a fantastic and supportive friend to Clara and I could absolutely hug her for what she did!!! It is so lovely to see that, although Marilyn is Clara's fiancé's mother (Michael, who passed away) that she has such a strong bond and is a mother figure to Clara and a grandmother figure to the rest of the children. I loved all the children who each had their own unique personalities. I found Evelyn ans Peg very sweet, Alex made me laugh on several occasions and as for Billy and Barry I must say the Weasley twins definitely came to mind!!!! My heart went out to Rita and Joyce and it was wonderful seeing how Maureen had grown and matured so much from 'The Orphanage' and through this book. An absolutely fantastic mix of characters and I am looking forward to meeting Clara, Ivor, the current children and the new children in the next book. 

Congratulations Lizzie on yet another absolutely gorgeous book ♥ This is exactly why you are one of my favourite authors. Here's to your next success 🥂 

Overall an absolutely  heartwarming, soul lifting unputdownable book that will captivate your heart, body and mind. 


Genres covered in this book include Saga, Coming-Of-Age Story, Historical Fiction and War Story amongst others. 


I would recommend this book to the fans of the above as well as fans of 'Before We Were Yours', Casey Watson, Harry Keeble, Shane Dunphy, Louise Allen, Angela Hart, 'The Orohanage' and anyone looking for a heartwarming book on children's homes. 


434 pages.

This book is just £1.99 to purchase on kindle via Amazon or free if you have kindle unlimited which I think is an absolute bargain for this book!!! 

Rated 5 /5 (I LOVED it ) on Goodreads, Instagram, Amazon UK and Amazon US and on over 30 Facebook pages plus my blog on Facebook. 

Feel free to add me on Goodreads or follow me on my website or Facebook for more reviews 

#APlaceToCallHome #Bookouture #LizziePage #NetGalley #BookReview #BlogTour #BooksOnTour
@LizziePage @Bookouture @Bookworm1986 @bookworm86 

https://kcmw86.wixsite.com/bookworm86

https://m.facebook.com/Bookworm1986/?ref=bookmarks
  
https://m.facebook.com/Bookwork86/?__tn__=%2As-R
Was this review helpful?
Thank you NetGalley for allowing me to read this book in return for a review.

This book is amazing and emotional. Clara, who’s the house mother of a children’s home discover that the place is for sale. She must also find two children living with special needs somewhere to live while the other children were sent to Australia. 

Reading this book has its moments of finding a way to keep a place and other things like losing a loved one and reuniting.
Was this review helpful?
Clara Newton lost the love of her life during World War II. However, she has not given up on life. In fact, she does what she can for the orphans under her care at the orphange where she works. It is not just a job. In fact, it is so much more. Clara receives tragic news - the orphanage is going up for sale and she and the children will likely be separated. 

Each child is precious to Clara. Consider Joyce, suffering from polio. Then there is Peg, a child who does not speak. Young Alex, who loves Clara but wants his father. Evelyn, discriminated against due to her skin color and one who is wise beyond her years. Each child, as well as a few others, are very dear to Clara. She cannot imagine the children being split up, with some of their prospects that would hardly be liveable. 

Clara searches high and low to find homes for the children. They have already lost so much, she cannot bear to think of them losing even more. Meanwhile, a man who once touched her heart, Ivor, has returned after the war. Perhaps Ivor can help her keep the home, or at least protect the children.

A Place to Call Home is the second book in the Shilling Grange Children's Home series. The first book, The Orphanage, introduced Clara and showed her remarkable strength as she lovingly cared for all of the children. This second book could be read as a standalone, but readers will not be disappointed if they take the time to read the two books in order.

I loved these children, especially Evelyn, a girl of tender years who has seen it all but never stopped smiling, even after great loss. Love was the hallmark of the orphanage, even with the sad situation they all were facing. Equally heartbreaking and touching, this book was a stellar read from beginning to end.

Many thanks to Bookouture and to NetGalley for this ARC for review. This is my honest opinion.
Was this review helpful?
A Place to Call Home (Shilling Grange Children’s Home Book 2) by Lizzie Page continues the memorable story of the children and housemother at the Shilling Grange Orphanage in 1949. WWII has ended but the losses from that war continue to haunt not only the children but Clara Newton too. Like the children it seems that a permanent home is out of their reach. Clara fits these children so well being the mother that they needed but it looks as if they are to be separated when the building is sold. The one person who Clara had begun to depend on has disappeared. 

Disappearing Ivor is such a major part of this story too. However, I was glad that Clara did not give up on herself and what she could accomplish. WWII changed the role of women forever. This is one woman to be admired. I must say that while some situations were completely resolved Clara and Ivor’s relationship not so much. I for one hope that there is a third book to see what happens next with the children, Clara, and Ivor.

Unforgettable characters who are resilient, resourceful, and totally lovable. 

An ARC of the book was provided by the publisher through NetGalley which I voluntarily chose to read and reviewed. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Was this review helpful?
Shilling Grange Orphanage, England, 1949. She would do anything to protect the innocent children in her care. But soon they could be sent into danger…

A completely heart-wrenching and unforgettable historical novel, set after the devastation of World War Two. Perfect for fans of Before We Were Yours, Diney Costeloeand The Orphan Sisters.

This is book two of the Shilling Grange Children’s Home but it can be read as a stand-alone - I do recommend reading the first one before this one just so you can get a true feel of the background and characters, especially Clara. I fell in love with her quaint and quirky personality and especially her dry humor and naive look at everything. Her character truly makes the books as good as they are, she is just great and has a heart of gold. Overall this is a cozy upbeat read, though there are some topics that are sensitive and sad, the overall tone is still more on the positive side. The reading is easy and light, that dry humor is prevalent throughout, which adds so much fun. All of the characters have such distinct personalities and color and it is easy to feel connected to them and wanting to read what is happening to and around them. I became a big fan of this author after reading The Orphanage (the first book of the series) and was looking forward to this book since then. It was as good as I hoped it would be.
Was this review helpful?
Thank you to all concerned for my chance to read this ARC.

I had read the previous book in the series and have to say I enjoyed that one more than this.

It seemed at times it couldn't decide if it was written from Clara's viewpoint, in the first person or the third person and I found that the flow of the narrative was very stilted.

However it was great to meet up again with characters from the first book. It was sad at times, it made me angry in parts, that it was even considered alright to send children to Australia without first checking the conditions they were being sent to. It is certainly a sad episode in British history. 

It was an 'all's well that ends well' type book but if this genre is to your taste then give it a go
Was this review helpful?
A PLACE TO CALL HOME is the sequel to "The Orphange" in which we were introduced to Clara Newton, the recently appointed housemother of Shilling Grange Children's Home. This book picks up where the previous one left off still in 1949 and with a new challenge facing them. As we followed their story perviously, Clara would do anything to protect the children in her care and see that they are given the best possible chances and hopeful outcomes.

When Clara's fiance Michael was killed on Christmas Eve in 1944, she thought her life was over. Then the war ended, her life went on but it was unfulfilling. When an opportunity arose for a housemother in an orphanage in Suffolk, Clara applied and was surprised when, despite her lack of experience with children of any kind, she was offered the job. Arriving in Lavenham and the orphanage gave her something of a shake-up and within the first day she had already decided that she couldn't do it. But...upon making an agreement of a trial period with her point of contact with the council (who run the home), Clara decided to stay...and she soon discovered she loved it and the children. Not to mention the dashing mysterious Ivor Delaney...but that's another story entirely.

After the troubles she faced previously, Clara is determined to do her level best for the children and help give them the best chance of a loving forever home. Being housemother to the nine children in her care is the greatest privilege she has ever experienced but with that job comes a lot of blood, sweat and tears. As a council run children's home money is naturally tight and so Clara continues to manage as best she can. Unfortunately, everyone she'd previously had to lean on have gone - Judy's dead, Ivor's disappeared without a word, Julian is history and Anita, her last and somewhat precarious confidante, has her hands busy with her family. Not for the first time, Clara feels completely alone. Even Miss Bridges, who was once sympathetic and helpful, has withdrawn and she is left with the efficient if somewhat distant Miss Cooper.

As if she's not overwhelmed enough under the weight of tight budgets and an even tighter council, two new girls arrive at Shilling Grange and each of them come with their own set of challenges. Evelyn is a quiet reserved 11 year old who, once left malnourished and neglected in foster care, now eats anything and everything. Joyce, also 11, was rejected by her parents when she developed polio leaving her slightly disabled with a leg heavy with atrophy that she drags everywhere. As a result, she is angry, rude and belligerent and Clara, despite her attempts to win her over, often despairs as to what to do with her.

Added to that, twins Barry and Billy, whose adoption quickly fell through previously live and breathe their new-found passion: football. And although she has made every effort to attend one of their matches, something else always comes up to prevent her...but the boys, bless them, understand that the other children need her more. Maureen is the oldest and is still something of a concern to Clara, even after the trouble she found herself in last year, and that doesn't change this time round either. Alex is still her sturdy child, content with the world of academia, continuing to bury his head in books. Peter, who was abused by his uncle previously, has taken some time to thrive but, through his talent for creating the most amazing cartoon comics, is given a promising opportunity. Rita though 10 often appears older, has come along in leaps and bounds on the piano and is now busy practicing to participate in the Festival of Britain and it's all she can talk about...when she doesn't whisper "mama" in the vain hope her mother somehow survived the Blitz eight years before. And then there is little Peg, who never speaks and yet uttered but one word "cows" which thus saved Clara from a stampede, for whom Clara's heart aches the most as she is such a sweet innocent little girl. All these children, plus the new additions, are all dear to Clara's heart and she would do anything to protect them.

And then she hears the most devastating news. Shilling Grange is to be sold and, despite the council's promise to move them into a purpose-built dwelling thus keeping them together, discovers that half of them are to be shipped to Australia as part of the Child Migrant Scheme (a cheap solution for the council resulting in child slavery). The remaining few are to installed at the Home for Handicapped Children. Clara is livid. Despite all her hard work, all the children's hard work, to cut costs and keep Shilling Grange an efficient and viable commodity she soon discovers she has been naive in her trust and that the council has lied to her.

Joining forces with Miss Bridges and Miss Cooper, Clara endeavours to find homes for the children to save them from the fate that otherwise awaits them. Staving off the buyer who had initially approached the council with the idea, Clara soon finds out that with the loss of one buyer there will be plenty of other wealthy ones lining up to purchase Shilling Grange, going up for auction in just a few short weeks' time.

Can Clara save her children from the fate that undoubtedly awaits them? Or will they lose everything they hold dear? And if Ivor returns at a time she needs him most, will it be too late? For the children, for Clara and for them?

A PLACE TO CALL HOME is a heartwarming and, at times, a heartbreaking read. The author weaves a tale that has readers spellbound through vivid descriptions and the heartfelt stories they each have. Every moment is poignant, inspiring and touching with a few twists that have you wondering where it is all going to end up. Is this the end of Shilling Grange?

The ending is satisfactory to a point, tying up the loose ends facing them now, but still leaves it wide open for a third of which I hope there is because really...Clara and Ivor need to stop second guessing each other and just move forward together. So as the most prominent issues were resolved, readers were still left wondering what happens next?

Wonderfully written and cleverly crafted, A PLACE TO CALL HOME is a heartwarming read perfect for fans of Call the Midwife, Shirley Dickson and Diney Costeloe.

I would like to thank #LizziePage, #NetGalley and #Bookouture for an ARC of #APlaceToCallHome in exchange for an honest review.
Was this review helpful?
A good book but very slow in it's flow the fact that after i time one has to just turn pages to complete this book.
It is as good as previous one and unlike other series You HAVE TO READ THE FIRST ONE.
While new characters are introduced and old ones improved it's not utterly heart wrenching book while the ending is good but what will be next is up in the air
Was this review helpful?
This is Book 2 in the Shilling Grange children’s home series.  This book carries on where the first book left off and we are back with Carla Newton and the children she looks after.   I really enjoyed this book and the development of all the characters as we progress through the story.  I loved reading about the children and each of them had their own little personality which was really good to read about.  This book was at times an emotional read but there were also parts that made me smile and laugh out loud..
Was this review helpful?
Clara Newton was housemother to the orphans at Shilling Grange Orphanage in England. It was 1949 and Clara’s fiancé had been killed during the war and for a while her life had spiralled. But now, with the children to care for, her life felt somewhat complete. Two new children arrived – Joyce who had been stricken by polio, and Evelyn who had moved so many times she just didn’t care anymore. But Clara was determined these children would know love…

The news that the orphanage was to be sold and the children sent elsewhere knocked Clara for six. Between them, she and the children vowed to help with the current money worries and finding new homes for the children. Alex was adopted by his best friend from school’s family, Peter gained an excellent job in London – but it seemed some would be sent to Australia, and others to a home for disabled children. Clara couldn’t bear to hear that. Sweet little Peg, stoic Rita, Joyce who had come into her own with photography. Where was it going to end?

A Place to Call Home is the 2nd in the Shilling Grange Children’s Home series by Lizzie Page and I enjoyed it. Perhaps not quite as much as the first, but it was still a great read. Poignant and heartbreaking, Clara was a perfect housemother. Maybe she cared too much, but she was happier with that than the rough treatment some children received. I happily recommend this one but suggest reading from #1 would be the best.

With thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for my digital ARC to read in exchange for an honest review.
Was this review helpful?
This book is set list WW II and is a heartbreaking take about a young woman struggle to save an orphanage that is scheduled to be shut down.   I fell in love with everyone if the children.   It is such an emotional novel and reveals the story that was probably true to many orphans during this time period. Thank you NetGalley and ye publisher for the oy to read and review.
Was this review helpful?
Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for an early review copy. 

It’s 1949, England: 

After Clara lost her fiancé during WWII, she didn’t think she had much to live for, but, she’s now looking after children, who’ve also, like her lost everything in the war. 

Peg won’t talk and Joyce’s body is scarred by polio, but Clara loves them all very much, even though she’s lonely herself, after Ivor a hero in D-Day war vanished. Soon, she’s hears news that the orphanage is going to be sold and the children living there will be sent far afield.

Emotions will be felt while reading this story as every child has a different story to tell. Clara has to face new challenges but she’s got the strength and confidence to do so now. This book follows on from the previous one. 

Clara is a wonderful person, who will do anything she can to help the children she’s looking after.

Recommend this book.
Was this review helpful?
I have not read the first book, which I guess would give some additional background to the characters, but the book does stand alone & it doesn’t take too long to work out who they are & how they fit together. 

Set in the late 1940s, Clara is employed as the “housemother” in an orphanage/children’s home. She is devoted to the children despite their differences & difficulties – from Joyce who was rejected by her parents when she developed polio and was left unable to walk properly, to the twins Barry & Billy who have one passion: football, Peg who doesn’t speak and Peter who was abused by his uncle but has an incredible talent for drawing cartoons. 
Clara is devoted to the children and always determined to fight for what is in their best interest, not necessarily what the Council believes to be best for them! When their building is rumoured to be being put up for sale, she works hard to cut costs and do everything they can to save Shilling Grange. As time goes on, Clara realises that she is being lied to about their future and is determined that the children are a family and will not be split up, particularly when she hears that some will be sent to Australia on the Childrens Migrant scheme. 

The writing is very descriptive, and you can picture not only the crumbling Shilling Grange but the individual children, the town of Laverham and the glamorous Marilyn.

Overall this is a heartwarming read that focuses on the devastation and harm that adults can do to children, and the way that seemingly insignificant people can make such a difference.  
I liked that the storyline didn’t quite go where you expected, there were twists & turns along the way and there are enough storylines left open for a sequel!
Was this review helpful?