By

Read By

Lauren Reilly

Length

6 hours 8 mins

Audiobook Review

The House Children

Genre(s)

Heidi Daniele

Overall
Performance

So Very Powerful and Endearing

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Excellent, Unforgettable, Best of the nest

Very good, thoroughly enjoyed, 

Good, Solid, Enjoyed many aspects

STAR RATINGS GUIDE

THE BIRDICT

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💛 So… the systematic practice of sentencing (sentencing?!) children to imprisonment and a lifetime of ostracization. Not the lightest of subjects, I think you’ll agree. And yet this book did it in the most endearing way possible: Through the eyes of a child. This provided some levity in the way only a kid’s thoughts can, but also a stark contrast between complete innocence and mind-bending cruelty. Consider me fascinated, moved and not a little angry.

💙 The child in question is Mary Margaret. She is, quite frankly, adorable. I believe it was Marge Simpson who once said, “I wouldn’t mind tucking that in at night” and that definitely applies here. Intelligent, funny, thoughtful, amenable, but ultimately her own person, I loved spending time with her thoughts.

Big thanks to Heidi Daniele, OrangeSky Audio and NetGalley for providing me with an ALC in return for an honest review.

SQUAWKING THE TALK

🎧 Lauren Reilly is perfect as the voice of Mary Margaret. Likeable and lovely to listen to, she managed to convey both the light and dark aspects of the story and I was totally immersed in her performance.

SHALL I COMPARE THEE TO...​​

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I felt echoes of the film, Sleepers (1996). Admittedly that was even darker than this, but there are lots of parallels. Too young to remember that one? Okay, well there’s also Never Let Me Go (2005), a book and a film and also with lots of similarities. I highly recommend both by the way.

And if 2005 is too far back for you… I just… I need a minute.
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ABOUT

The House Children

THE BLURB

In 1937, Mary Margaret Joyce is born in the Tuam Home for unwed mothers. After spending her early years in an uncaring foster home, she is sentenced by a judge to an industrial school, where she is given the name Peg, and assigned the number 27. Amid one hundred other unwanted girls, Peg quickly learns the rigid routine of prayer, work, and silence under the watchful eye of Sister Constance. Her only respite is an annual summer holiday with a kind family in Galway.

At the tender age of thirteen, Peg accidentally learns the identity of her birthmother. Peg struggles with feelings of anger and abandonment, while her mother grapples with the shame of having borne a child out of wedlock. The tension between them mounts as Peg, now becoming a young adult, begins to make plans for her future beyond Ireland.

Based on actual events, The House Children is a compelling story of familial love, shameful secrets, and life inside Ireland’s infamous industrial schools.