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Empty Cradles (Oranges and Sunshine)

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Most were not orphans, as they were told, and were raised in institutions where horrendous conditions and abuse existed.

As I mentioned in my review, Margaret Humphreys is just an incredible woman and shows us what is possible when someone decides to fight against injustice. This is an important book and the story should be made known, but put simply I was so irritated by Humphrey's writing and her vendetta that it lost a lot of impact for me. The novel seeks to know the extent of these deportations that spanned decades and saw children as young as three exiled and abused. This story will tug at your heart strings and make you wonder how in the world could such an atrocity have happened in a "civilized" country.

History reveals many atrocities and we must never be complacent about questioning things that are going on in our world right now, too. For three decades (1940s - 1967), thousands of English and Irish children were taken from their homes and shipped to Commonwealth countries (namely NZ, Canada, Rhodesia and Australia) to populate the colonies and provide (slave) labour to farms. Despite a lack of resources, much official resistance and at times even death threats, Humphreys and her colleagues persisted in bringing to light the awful history of 'The Lost Children Of The Empire', as it became known.

By using the Web site, you confirm that you have read, understood, and agreed to be bound by the Terms and Conditions. In fact, for many children it was to be a life of horrendous physical and sexual abuse far away from everything they knew. We don’t share your credit card details with third-party sellers, and we don’t sell your information to others. Margaret Humpreys, a social worker in England, found out about the children when she heard about one case of a child who had bee sent to Australia, and years later was looking to find out if the now grown up child had any relatives left in England.

It is totally inconceivable that a government can send its most vulnerable, children in care, thousands of miles away ripping them from their homeland, some as young as three.

Oranges and Sunshine is a hard book to read, a definite tear-jerker,also an eye-opener into the inhumanity of man to the weakest,even by those professing to be Christians! For numerous children it was to be a life of horrendous physical and sexual abuse in institutions in Western Australia and elsewhere. My maternal grandmother, I discovered, after many years, had an illegitimate child who ended up in Australia. A self-author is never likely to sing their own praises, but Oranges and Sunshine lacks both the style and clarity to evoke empathy and feeling from readers for its creator.At first incredulous, Margaret Humphreys soon discovered that this woman's story was just the tip of an enormous iceberg. Their parents, too, were often deceived; many believed that their children had been adopted in Britain. religious institutions of the past were magnets for sadistic men who enjoyed being cruel to children, and that some of these sadists were also paedophiles, or perhaps men who used kids for sex because their options were very limited, it's hard to tell, and who's going to say anyway.

The untold cost lies in the following generations of children who feel so deeply the hollowness of a parent or grandparent who cannot tell a vital part of their own story.Anyone who had parents who were there through their childhood will like me possibly never fully understand the pain in more ways than one these children suffered. When I was very young, about 7, I would walk two blocks with my two younger sisters to go to church. The deceit and cruelty ring out from the pages not only for what Britain did, but also for how Australia treated the "lost innocents", many of whom suffered appalling abuse. For me the stories have always been diverse, the needs of the people involved varied, and the journeys seemingly individual and private despite their occasional similarities.

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