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Publisher's Summary

A heartbreaking, enthralling and utterly unforgettable World War 2 story of two young sisters cruelly abandoned by their mother at an orphanage.

1929: four-year-old Etty and eight-year-old Dorothy are abandoned at Blakely Hall orphanage by their mother, never to see her again. With no other family to speak of, the sisters worship their beloved mam - and they are confused and heartbroken to be deserted by her when they need her the most.

1940: Etty and Dorothy are finally released from the confines of Blakely Hall - but their freedom comes when the country is in the grip of World War Two and its terrors. Amidst a devastating backdrop of screaming air-raid sirens and cold nights huddled in shelters, the sisters are desperate to put their broken childhoods behind them.

But trouble lies ahead. Dorothy must bid good-bye to her beloved husband when he’s sent to war, and Etty must nurse a broken heart as she falls in love with the one man she can never be with.

Etty and Dorothy survived the orphanage with the help of one another, and neither sister can forget the awful betrayal of their mother, which has haunted them their whole lives. But when a shocking secret about their painful childhood comes to light, will the sisters ever be the same again?

©2019 Shirley Dickson (P)2019 Bolinda Publishing

What listeners say about The Orphan Sisters

Average Customer Ratings
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Excellent story. PG-13+

The book is well-written and I enjoyed most of it very much. I could have done without the sexual references (a hand on the bulge in a man's pants, playing with a girl's nipple, etc. Not exactly rated R, but not what I care to read). They are not necessary for the story and are the only portion of the story that makes it seem smutty. I would recommend it to family, if it weren't for those sections.

10 people found this helpful

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Unique Look At Life During War

This story was well written and performed. It pulled at my heart strings. I loved hearing about the unbreakable bond between the sisters, and felt that the author did a great job of bringing her characters to life. The listener really gets to know them, and will become emotionally attached to them and the story’s outcome, as did I. Despite war being the backdrop, the actual story is about family, and the choices we make, and how those choices effect our lives. Get ready to shed a few tears. Beautifully presented. I was so invested in the book, that I finished it in just two days. Definitely worth downloading!

5 people found this helpful

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A must listen!

A heartwarming and heart-wrenching story which seems very true to how those lives might’ve been. Shirley’s wonderful writing, detailed history, crafted characters and imagination brought to life for me this period and the enormous stress and terrible events people endured. The ending was full of optimism, important for me. Congratulations on this debut novel.
The narrator was easy to listen to with a very pleasant voice and authentic regional accents. I enjoyed it very much. I’ve listened to Shirley’s next books too and in my opinion, she is one of the best novelists who write about WW2. I can’t wait for others by her.

2 people found this helpful

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great till the epilogue

the only reason it's not five stars is the decision to go back on the pivotal plot point of why the mother left the kids in the epilogue. that was a central point of the story and you decided to change it at the very end of the book to make the character likable again? felt like the author lost courage to make the mother "bad" (sorry trying not to give away spoilers)

1 person found this helpful

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Couldn’t stop listening!!!

Heartbreaking, all consuming, I felt like I was there!!! I just didn’t want it to end! Such informative history and memories that encompassed Great Britain during WW11. Much sadness, but much gratefulness as well!!!

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tearjerker

A wonderful book but my gosh, I haven't ugly cried like that in a long time. You are so emotionally attached to the main characters that everything is just raw and heart wrenching.

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Emotional

What a story!!! An epic journey that leaves you wanting for more. The characters are real it seems, there struggles, the love, the hope, the frailty. Your rooting for a happy ending and a continuation for these characters in another Novel.
WONDERFULLY WRITTEN and Narration.

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loved this

i absolutely loved this book!!! wonderful author and story. love following thr story of etty and dorothy

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WWII soap opera

Well, at least the author included some vivid details about life in London during the war. The majority of this book is a soap opera
Decent narration, but that doesn’t make up for the flimsy characterization and melodramatic plot.

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Worth it

Loved this book and so glad that the ending gave closure to the story. Will definitely read/listen to another from this author.

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  • Ms
  • 05-31-19

The orphan sisters

Very enjoyable looking forward to the next book. The wonderful Anne Dover made this possible

4 people found this helpful

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  • Kay
  • 07-18-19

Emotional turmoil....

Really loved the story line...so well written kept you interested and wanting more. The bond between the sisters and the truths coming out...and the sad followed by the happy content ending...looking forward to your other books...thank you...

1 person found this helpful

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  • dawnie
  • 09-16-21

Wonderful

I have read lots of books and this is one of my most favourite of all time. It was so easy to listen to and uncomplicated with a wonderful moving story that I don’t think I will ever forget and it was lovely and I will be giving it to my sister to read as I know she will get as much joy out of it as I did. Excellent 5 stars

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  • Eilidh
  • 08-11-21

Brilliant

Wonderful book, didn’t want it to end. Can’t wait to hear more from this author. Narrator was very good also. Definitely recommend!

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  • Sonia paine
  • 04-10-21

The orphan sisters

I found this book a great read. It was a heart warming read and obviously sad at times. I just like books to be straight forward interesting and down to earth of how life was for people in the war.
Although to young to of experienced the war. It is good for other generations to know what life was like back then.
I have also read Shirleys other books which are linked but can be read independently.

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  • Sue
  • 03-13-21

The orphan sisters

Love the book from the beginning to the end didn't want to put it down!! And I had a few tears listening to it

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  • lorinda
  • 03-08-21

Wonderful story

Wat a Lovley book sad and happy times of the sister gripped me till the end xx
Ok

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  • Jeanette
  • 03-05-21

Amazing story

if this is how good her first book is, I can't wait for her next one

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  • LISA
  • 01-30-21

Beautiful Story with emotional roller coasters .

A lovely story. full of emotions
read beautifully by Anne Dover
really enjoyed it.

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  • pat eunson
  • 01-30-21

The orphan sisters

Had me gripped from the first till last pages characters were brought to life and could visualise them super book cannot wait for more from Shirley

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  • Jenny Clark
  • 09-21-21

The Orphan Sisters

I found this book very interesting right to the end I would recommend it

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  • Jacqueline Benz
  • 08-07-21

The ending was so heartwarming.

It took a long time to get into this story, I trusted it would deliver so persevered.
The last few chapters got me involved and the curiosity of how it would finish held me fast.
The characters were most believable,
And it was well narrated.
Good job for first novel Shirley:)

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  • Dianne Pridham
  • 04-17-21

Amazing story of hardship & recovery

What a great first book! I enjoyed it very much. Wartime must have been devastating on so many levels. Makes one feel guilty for the easy lives we have enjoyed but still complain. Does one good to be reminded. Well written Shirley. Can’t wait to read your next book.

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  • Tessa
  • 11-26-20

Heart wrenchingly beautiful

Well written, great characters, lots of twists. I couldn’t get enough. So many ups and down. Great listen

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  • MARGARET
  • 09-28-20

Orphan sisters

I loved the story it was so beautifully written and narrated I cant wait to read more stories by Shirley.Will reccomend it to my friends and family

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  • customer of Kindle
  • 06-14-20

Comfortable book to read.

I enjoyed the compassion in this book. Look forward to next book by Author.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 12-21-19

Fantastic Book

Loved listening to this book, the characters, storyline, tears, happiness and narration was brilliantly done.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 10-05-19

Sad but a wonderful story of family bonds

I couldn’t stop listening. The author captured beautifully the ties that families have when times are rough. The author was amazing and her accents transported me to my birthplace in Northern England.
I’m listening to the sequel now and the author doesn’t seem as good but too early to judge.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 08-14-19

wonderful

i absolutely loved this novel
and such a beautiful story
i highly recommend it :) ❤

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  • Patricia
  • 07-30-19

Great book enjoy every minute

Loved this book looking forward to listening to more books by Shirley Dickson it reminded me of my childhood