Child for Sale

I read Child for Sale by Pam Howes like a voraciously hungry person because I felt compelled.  Stories and shows about the Magdalene Laundries in Ireland always break my heart, but I feel like I have to watch them, and read them, even though I know the story, each account has little lessons and moments.  Like most historical fiction, it is a reminder that this should not happen again. At the moment I am obsessed with The Woman in the Wall on BBC (If you haven’t watched it, I can highly recommend). I have been thinking about why I am drawn to these emotional and heartbreaking stories of love and loss, and I have come to the conclusion that it is about the loss of control at the heart of the story.  This is a particularly personal subject for me as I have had my own issues with control, but we won’t go into that here. Child for Sale is a beautiful book takes us on a journey, not of an unwanted baby as you might think, but of a teenage pregnancy where the couple concerned were given no choice in the matter.  Their choices were taken away from them and Laura Sims was bundled off to a mother and baby home, not in Ireland in this case, but in Cheshire, where all liberties vanished and the only choice was to work hard, keep your head down and wait for the birth of your child. This is a complex story which charts the heartache of separation from loved ones, and the loss of children.  Told on a dual timeline, we read about how Laura and her now husband Pete join their friends in the search for their babies as the truth is uncovered.

Book Description:

I reach out, arms aching to hold my newborn baby, and catch just a glimpse of soft, dark-brown hair before someone pushes me back onto the bed. ‘It’s alive,’ says the woman who delivered my child before she places something over my face. My last thought is of my baby’s first cry before my world goes dark.

1964. When seventeen-year-old Laura Sims realises she’s pregnant, her boyfriend Pete says they will look after and love their baby together; but Laura’s mother turns on them in fury. Wrenched from her home and the boy she loves Laura is thrown into a home for unmarried mothers. With no access to the outside world and treated harshly, Laura fights to keep her child safe and to find a way to escape the nightmare…

2015. Despite the anguish of losing their firstborn, Laura and Pete have been happily married for fifty years. But they’ve never given up on their lost child. And when Laura uncovers a tattered old diary from someone who worked at the home where she last saw her child, her heart breaks in two: those who ran the home sold their baby to a desperate, childless family.

Such cruel actions give Laura and Pete a tiny sliver of hope. Is there a chance to find their child, safe and happy, or will their search bring them only heartbreak and devastation?

A totally heart-wrenching and utterly gripping novel about how far a mother will go to find her child. Before We Were YoursSold on a Monday and The Orphan Train fans will be swept away by this gorgeous novel that reminds us to never give up on those we love.

Author Bio:

Pam Howes is a retired interior designer, mum to three daughters, grandma to seven assorted grandchildren and roadie to her musician partner.

The inspiration for Pam’s first novel came from her teenage years, working in a record store, and hanging around with musicians who frequented the business. The first novel evolved into a series about a fictional band, The Raiders. She is a fan of sixties music and it’s this love that compelled her to begin writing. Treat yourself to this amazing read here. Amazon:


There was a huge part of me fighting against turning anything like fifty. It happens though and there is nothing we can do to fight it. Well we can’t fight the chronology of years and minutes ticking by but we can stay fabulous. I try to be fabulous, despite having a few things I am fighting against like RA, Diabetes and Pernicious Anaemia. This blog is simply about me embracing life. Food, make-up, fashion and more. My trials and tribulations. I hope you enjoy!

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