House of Orphans by Helen Dunmore

About the book

Finland, 1902, and the Russian Empire enforces a brutal policy to destroy Finland’s freedom and force its people into submission. Eeva, orphaned daughter of a failed revolutionary, also battles to find her independence and identity. Destitute when her father dies, she is sent away to a country orphanage, and then employed as servant to a widowed doctor, Thomas Eklund. Slowly, Thomas falls in love with Eeva . . . but she has committed herself long ago to a boy from her childhood, Lauri, who is now caught up in Helsinki’s turmoil of resistance to Russian rule. Set in dangerous, unfamiliar times which strangely echo our own, the story reveals how terrorism lies hidden within ordinary life, as rulers struggle to hold on to power. House of Orphans is a rich, brilliant story of love, history and change.

Reviewed by Champagne Reading Group:

Conveyed brilliantly the isolation of the individual in a crowd and in remote Finland countryside. Interesting comparison of the relationships between fathers and daughters. Several of group felt end spoilt the book because it was so abrupt.

Star rating: ***

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