Hi Friends, those who have read my novels, No Ocean Too Wide and No Journey Too Far, are often surprised to learn that British Home Children continued to face challenges and hardships when they finished their indentured contracts and became young adults. Even those who were accepted into a family and were well treated often had to overcome prejudice and mistrust in the community. This motivated some adult British Home Children to keep the events of their early life a secret, even from their own family, and that put a strain their relationships.
Challenges For Those Coming of Age
When I did my research for No Ocean Too Wide, I focused on young children and how they were impacted by leaving England and starting a new life in Canada. But the more personal accounts I read, I realized they continued to face difficulties when they came of age and had to set out on their own. That motivated me to write the second McAlsiter Family novel, No Journey Too Far. I wanted to explore the difficulties British Home Children faced in their young adult years. I decided to follow the McAlister family and set the story ten years later. Then I asked myself, how would they overcome the separation and hardships? What would their lives be like? How would they take on new challenges as young adults?
Young Men Join the Military
Many of the young men enlisted the military during World War One and World War Two, looking for acceptance and a way to overcome the stigma of being a British Home Child. Joining up to fight gave them a cause, a band of brothers, and for some, it provided a way to return to England so they could search for their family members on the way to and from the front.
Reading Personal Accounts
I was deeply touched when I read personal accounts and listened to interviews recorded by British Home Children. Many went on to build stable careers and strong families, overcoming great obstacles and healing from the painful experiences of their childhood and separation from their family. Several mentioned their faith in God as a foundation that helped them take on new responsibilities and relationships. But some carried those painful experiences inside for the rest of their lives, suffering in silence and passing on the pain to the next generation.
I hope you’ll enjoy reading No Journey Too Far and learning about Garth’s return from World War One and his search for his missing sweetheart, Emma, who was also a British Home Child. You’ll also finally learn what happened to Grace, the youngest McAlister sibling, and see if she will leave her sheltered life in Toronto to reconnect with her family.
You can purchase No Ocean Too Wide and No Journey Too Far wherever books are sold. I have easy order links on the book page of my website for US and Canadian readers.
Listen to These Podcasts
You also might enjoy listening to these podcasts that released this week, Historical Fiction Unpacked with Alison Treat, and Because Fiction with Chautona Havig. I discussed British Home Children, No Journey Too Far, and my writing journey.
Until Next Time ~ Happy Reading,