The Only Blue Door

Written by Joan Fallon
Review by Lesley Hockin

Most of us are familiar with child evacuation during World War 2, but I wonder how many know about child migrants who were sent to South Africa, Australia and Canada to avoid danger? The Only Blue Door follows the story of Maggie, Billy and Grace, siblings who become victims of the good intentions of people believing them to have been orphaned during the Blitz. Shipped to Australia to start a new life, the children are separated and so begins Maggie’s struggle to prove her mother still lives and to bring the family back together.

Based on actual events, this beautifully written story had me gripped and emotionally attached to the characters and their struggles. Apparently well researched, it provides some insight into the long term impact of the events unfolding between 1939 and 1945, without being clichéd. The tireless work and battles with ‘red tape’ of the organisations involved in evacuation and subsequent repatriation of thousands of children over this period, is aptly represented in the story.

The writing style is engaging and accurate, with fully rounded and believable characters. I will not only be recommending this book but also looking to read more of this authors work. Not every story has a happy ending, but maybe this one does?