To the outside world, Charlotte is the privileged daughter of the local vicar, but her life is cruelly controlled by her father. She longs for freedom but when her captivating innocence leads her into trouble, she is sent to Ireland to hide a shameful pregnancy. Forced into a convent's harsh and humiliating regime, she must eventually give up the one thing that makes her life worthwhile.
When Charlotte returns to England, older than her years, she chooses to forget the past. Becoming a London midwife, she longs only to help others at this hardest and mist joyful moment in their lives. But her deep compassion, and dersire leads her into a darker and more dangerous place.
Published by: Headline - Fiction
Year: 2012 - Paperback
'The Empty Cradle' is number 22 off the bookshelf. Certainly this summer has given me the opportunity with such inclement weather to catch up on a lot of reading averaging two -three books a week depending on their size.
I have read Rosie Goodwin novels before and this one was just as good as her previous novels.
Charlotte and her mother are bullied by her father and woe betide them if they should disobey him. She can't understand why her mother has stayed with him for all these years. As Charlotte approaches leaving school her grandmother encourages her to look at nurse training even telling her that she will support her financially to get her through her training. Unfortunately before she can convince her father that this is the career she wishes to follow something happens to change her life forever. Whilst walking back home from her grandmothers her best friends brother offers to walk her home through the park as it is dark but a much quicker route to the vicarage. Charlotte agrees but as they are walking through the park he attacks her and rapes her. Charlotte doesn't feel she can tell her mother what has happened as she has been ill of late. All too soon Charlotte realizes that her worst fear is about to come true when she realizes as a result of her attack she is pregnant. Eventually her mother notices and convinces her that she should have a termination, but in the 50's it was still illegal to have an abortion, Charlotte then discovers she is not the only one in her family to have secrets when she discovers what her father has been getting up to over in the church. She confronts her father and tells him of her pregnancy. Charlotte thinks she has the upper hand, but he father confides in his sister in Ireland and between them they come up with a plan that will rid them of Charlotte once and for all by sending her to a convent where they look after unmarried mothers. Charlotte gives birth to a daughter who she names Daisy. She knows she won't be able to keep her the girls never do and soon the day arrives when a young couple come to the convent to adopt her Daisy. She vows she will find a way in which to leave the convent and to one day be reunited with her daughter.
Some years later she fulfills her at least one of her dreams by leaving the convent. She moves to London where she trains to be a nurse as her grandmother had wished going on to become a midwife. As the years go on she helps many women to become mothers but at the same time she has also been using her skills to help those women who find themselves with an unwanted pregnancy. One day her world will come crashing down around her when in helping one particular women leads to tragedy.
'The Empty Cradle' was a well written novel by Rosie Goodwin and if you are a fan of her writing you will not be disappointed.
Happy reading one and all.