I’m delighted to welcome you today to my stop on the blog tour for the devastatingly beautiful The Paper Bracelet by Rachael English. Thank you to Anne Cater and Headline for giving me the opportunity to read and review this moving book.
About the book:
Inspired by heartrending real events, the gripping new novel from the No. 1 bestselling
author about a former nurse in an Irish mother and baby home who reunites the
mothers with the babies they were forced to give up years ago.
Every baby’s bracelet held a mother’s secret…For almost fifty years, Katie has kept a box of secrets. It dates from her time working as a nurse in a west of Ireland mother and baby home, and contains a notebook with details of the babies and young women she met there. It also holds many of the babies’ identity bracelets.
Following the death of her husband, Katie makes a decision she has long kept at bay. She posts a message on an internet forum, knowing that the information she possesses could help reunite adopted people with their birth mothers.
Soon, the replies are rolling in, and Katie encounters success, failure, heartache and joy as she finds herself in the role of part-detective, part-counsellor – chasing down leads, piecing together stories, and returning many of the bracelets to their original owners.
But there is one bracelet in the box that holds the key to a story that may never be told …
About the author:
Rachael English is a bestselling novelist and presenter on Ireland’s most popular radio show, Morning Ireland. During more than twenty years as a journalist, she has worked on most of RTÉ Radio’s leading current affairs programmes, covering a huge range of national and international stories.
Inspired by the heartbreaking true accounts from an Irish mother and baby home, The Paper Bracelet by Rachael English is a devastatingly beautiful story that will stay with me for a long time to come. Not an easy read by any means, this is a book that will elicit a strong emotional response from many readers due to the often painful subject matter.
Katie is a former nurse who has kept a box full of secrets at the back of her wardrobe for many years. The box contains a notebook with details of the babies and young women she met while working in a mother and baby home in Ireland. It also contains many of the babies identity bracelets.
After the death of her husband, Katie decides to do something she has wanted to do for a long time: try to reunite some of the babies with their birth mothers. So she posts a message on an internet forum, hoping it will set the ball rolling. The replies soon begin to flood in, taking Katie on a journey that will see her encounter success, failure, heartache and joy. But there is one bracelet in the box that holds the key to a story that may never be told…
The Paper Bracelet is a dual timeline story that begins with Katie in the present day and then moving back almost fifty years earlier to unwed mother Patricia, who has been sent to the home to give birth to her baby boy. The story had me gripped from the very first page, with the author bringing to life the horrendous conditions the young women are forced to live in, and the heartbreak they feel at having no choice when it comes to having their babies taken away from them.
Rachael English has written a beautiful but devastatingly honest story that tore my heart into a million pieces while reading it. The stories told within its pages are many and varied, giving a voice to the young women whose lives were so callously torn apart when their babies were wrenched from their arms. There is no denying that The Paper Bracelet is an emotional and sometimes difficult read, but it is written with insight and sensitivity, breathing life into each character as their story is told.
I won’t go into too much detail about individual stories as I don‘t want to spoil them for you, but suffice to say there are moments in this book I genuinely did not see coming! The Paper Bracelet is a compelling, moving and thought provoking read I would highly recommend.
The Paper Bracelet by Rachael English is available to purchase now: Amazon UK
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