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The Orphan of Angel Street Paperback – 9 Jul 1999


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Product details

  • Paperback: 528 pages
  • Publisher: Pan (9 July 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0330350250
  • ISBN-13: 978-0330350259
  • Product Dimensions: 11.1 x 3.2 x 17.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (96 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 455,874 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Annie Murray was born in Berkshire and read English at St John's College, Oxford. Her first 'Birmingham' novel, Birmingham Rose, hit The Times bestseller list when it was published in 1995. She has subsequently written many other successful novels, including The Bells of Bournville Green, sequel to the bestselling Chocolate Girls, and A Hopscotch Summer. Annie has four children and lives near Reading.

Product Description

Book Description

Abandoned at birth, little Mercy Hanley shows a fierce determination few others can match. Her inner fire burns brightly, even in the harsh conditions of turn-of-the-century Birmingham.

For behind Mercy's pale and haunting face, there is a mind of steel, as her harsh foster mother, Mrs Gaskin, soon discovers. Beatings, threats and poverty cannot halt Mercy's efforts to improve herself, or to create a new life for Susan, Mrs Gaskin's crippled daughter. Even in the worst times, it is as if someone is watching over Mercy, and willing her to succeed.

Through the dark shadow of world war, Mercy continues her fight for survival. She will first earn her freedom and security. Then at long last she can give her love . . .

About the Author

Annie Murray was born in Berkshire and read English at St John's College, Oxford. Her first 'Birmingham' novel, Birmingham Rose, hit The Times bestseller list when it was published in 1995. She has subsequently written many other successful novels, including A Hopscotch Summer, Soldier Girl and the bestselling Chocolate Girls. Annie has four children and lives near Reading.

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

40 of 44 people found the following review helpful By V.Henderson on 17 Jan. 2008
Format: Paperback
This was the first book of Annie Murray's that I read, I just couldn't put it down until I had finished reading it. I have read all of her books and not been disapointed by any but this was my favourite.
24th April 2008. Having made the previous comments some months ago, I have now reread this book again.What joy, what pleasure this book gave me. The storyline twists and turns and you never know where the storyline is going. This book certainly brings out the emotions in myself. It's about a young orphaned girl and her struggles throughout childhood and attempting to survive what fate dishes out to her. Which is not all good but which makes her the strong survivor that she becomes later. It is a beautiful story. If you have never bought any of Annie Murray's novels I suggest you buy this one as you will not be dissapointed.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Mrs. Paula Heard on 1 Feb. 2010
Format: Paperback
A fictional story based in Birmingham like her other books.

I've only just started reading this book but if it is anything like the other books I've read by this author then I am sure I will love it just as much! Annie Murray has done her research well on history of Birmingham maybe because she lived there once - as I did. I know from my late mother - who was born in Birmingham and my own family history research that a lot of the factual parts about Birmingham are true, maybe that is why I loved her books. I don't know but they were so good I couldn't put them down!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Geraldine Page on 28 Mar. 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I ordered this to read on my Kindle and haven't been disappointed, it is an excellent read and I would highly recommend it
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Diane on 2 Mar. 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Love all of Annie Murray's work and this one is no exception another excellent read..... Buy someone you love a new book.....
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By snooks on 13 Feb. 2015
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Immediately, we are transported into the grimy back streets of Birmingham and can even smell the fetid, unpleasant odours, see the rotting crumbling hovels where filth abounds and poverty reigns. This is where a young girl from the wealthy part of town, and in trouble, has chosen to escape to give birth. The harrowing account of her labour and abandonment of her newly born little girl is painful but compulsive reading.
I was intrigued to follow Mercy's life as she survived the orphanage before being stolen away to become a slave to a harsh woman with a handicapped daughter. The cruelty she suffered is unbearable, but Mercy is strong and resilient and in spite of her brutal treatment has a huge capacity to love. She escapes the slums for a supposed better life only to discover that for her own sanctity she needs to return.
Ms Murray writes with conviction and understanding of those dark and difficult times in Birmingham's history and it is clear that she has fully researched the historical facts necessary to the story. There is an authenticity in her writing, which engages all the senses. Her rich language allows us to experience the horrors and joys in Mercy's life as if we are there. Minor errors are unimportant as the story is king
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By DubaiReader VINE VOICE on 22 Sept. 2012
Format: Audio CD
I thoroughly enjoyed this abridged audiobook and was only sorry that I didn't have the full version.
It was beautifully read by Frances Barber, whose voice suited the story perfectly.

We meet Mercy Hanley as a new-born, abandoned on the steps of a Birmingham orphanage. Her mother waited to see her discovered and then walked away. Mercy is a spirited child, causing problems for her carers. Only Dorothy shows her any compassion.
When a new home is found for Mercy, she becomes the close friend of crippled Susan, but conditions are no better than in the orphanage and it is only her bond with Susan that keeps her with Mrs Gaskin, Susan's mother.
In spite of the poverty in the early 1900s Birmingham, we have a sense that Mercy will make something of herself. Then the war comes and the young men of her area leave to fight. Mercy is a teenager by now and must cope with the changes like everyone else. Will she ever escape from a life of poverty?

I have a couple of Annie Murray books on my shelves, I really should bump them up my tbr pile.

Also read (in abridged audiobook)
Miss Purdy's Class (4 stars)
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By roseann jamieson on 25 Feb. 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Enjoyed the book so much always do if it is a annie Murray book so just keep them coming so I can enjoy
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By mrs margaret mckenzie on 1 May 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Fantastic book I could not put it down she is a very good writer I have enjoyed this book so much can wait to read the next one
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