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4.8 out of 5 stars
The Orphan of Angel Street
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40 of 44 people found the following review helpful
on 17 January 2008
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
on 1 February 2010
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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on 13 February 2015
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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VINE VOICEon 22 September 2012
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
on 2 March 2014
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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 28 March 2014
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 10 April 2014
I enjoyed everything about this book I couldn't put it down, you're transported to another time and place. A well written, descriptive read - you can feel the atmosphere of the surroundings and feel sensitive towards it's main characters.
It's the first book I've read by this author but certainly will not be the last!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 25 February 2014
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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on 6 July 2012
If you like to read books set in the late 1800's early 1900's then you will love this. It's set in Birmingham and gives the reader an insight into what it was like in Birmingham back then. It covers the the life of an orphaned child and describes the poverty in which she was raised. It later touches on the war and although not a war fan myself, it gives an insight into the devastating effect on the survivors of the war, both at home and on the front line. It was very well written and a joy to read. Can't wait to get started on her next one now.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 25 June 2014
Excellent reading, lovely family saga. Beautiful book full of ups and downs, just what you would have expected, with a happy ending for all to enjoy.
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