The Forgotten Family

Written by Beryl Matthews
Review by Claire Thurlow

In 1890, Queenie Bonner is a happy and boisterous two-year old living in the slums of London. When she is ‘sold’ by her parents to a wealthy, but childless, couple, she is heartbroken at being separated from her brothers and sisters, and confused to learn that her new name is Eleanor. However, she soon finds love and happiness with her new family on their country estate, and her Whitechapel origins fade from her memory. On her 18th birthday, Eleanor learns of her adoption and resolves to find the eight siblings she left behind. Despite her privileged upbringing, she reveals her resilient and resourceful spirit as she struggles to reunite her family, including her favourite, long-lost brother, Harry.

Although I am not convinced that Eleanor/Queenie’s siblings would be so readily accepted by her new, upper-class family, or that so many weddings would follow, it is an entertaining and well-paced read. Beryl Matthews provides an appealing young heroine and heart-warming tale.