31 May, 2013

Oranges and Sunshine

This compelling true story describes the journey of an English social worker who discovered a child migrant scheme and spent decades working to reunite families. Margaret Humphrey's life changed when a woman in Nottingham, England, asked her to trace her family, claiming that she had been separated from them when, aged four she was sent by ship to Australia.

Despite doubting the credulity of the claim, Margaret investigated and was horrified by her discoveries. Her searches revealed that almost 150,000 English children had been sent overseas to new lives without their parents' knowledge. In most cases, rather than the sunshine and oranges they were promised in their fresh starts, most of the children experienced years of abuse and hard labour in institutions.

Margaret embarked on her mission in 1986 and was appalled to learn that the last known migration was as recent as 1967. Margaret Humphrey founded the Child Migrants Trust and travelled as far as Australia, Canada and Zimbabwe to follow leads in order to bring together children, siblings and parents. Her book describes the emotional rollercoaster this journey resulted in and the impact it had on her life and those she worked so hard to help.

Published originally as Empty Cradles, her story stunned all who read it and it was adapted into a film in 2010. This moving book is well worth reading.

Title: Oranges and Sunshine
Author: Margaret Humphrey
ISBN: 9780552133354
Published: 2011
Publisher: Corgi

 - Biddy, Highland Park

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